You gotta nourish to flourish🌿🌿 Nourishing yourself with a diet composed of mostly plants (whole-foods plant-based diet, vegan diet) has great benefits on your health, and is also amazing for the planet :).
The exploitation of the planet’s resources has encouraged people to take act proactively to protect the environment, and the animals that we co-exist with, by restricting or minimizing animal product usage. Also, there are so many amazing health benefits to making the switch –> stronger immunity (more efficient lymphatic system), detoxing, weight loss, better digestion, clearer skin (hormones balanced), etc., etc. (only scratching the surface here). 🍅🥒🌿😉
I’ve been vegan since January of 2017 (almost 8 months) and am so thankful to have been able to save so many cute animals’ lives, but even more significant to me: elevate my health. I thought I’d share with you some helpful tips on how to get started because, I agree, it does seem daunting at first but it’s definitely 100% possible and not as hard as it seems!<3
Top 10 Tips for Vegan/Plant Based Diet Beginners:
1. Stock Up: getting your essentials will help you pack in extra nutrients in every meal. I would recommend getting some staples like beans, nuts, seeds, butters (nut/seed), grains (quinoa, buckwheat), cranberries, dates, hemp hearts, nutritional yeast, chia seeds to name a few. I bought mason jars for quick access and storage of some of my essentials like mynuts and grains.
2. Research/Cookbooks/Pinterest: be an educated plant eater! You can’t just leave an empty gap in your diet… lets replace that animal product with some amazing gut-loving nutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats, proteins, carbs, and fibre from plants. You could start listening to some podcasts (I love ‘The Ultimate Health Podcast, Dave Asprey, Dr. Trevor, The Plant Trainers), research on the web new protein sources (who else knows about Seitan…?), reach out to vegan friends, etc. I also love using pinterest for recipes and cookbooks for great tips! Also check out this website as a good starting point —> Vegan Soceity
3. Pre-cook in the Masses: I call this a cheat “meal-prep” because you’re not fully prepping every meal, but what you’d be doing is pre-cooking staples for the week like…. quinoa, sweet potatoes, peas, edamame, tofu, chickpeas, oats, pasta… and then putting them in containers. I find this works for me as its not as time consuming as meal prepping and it still gives you options if you’re feeling something different to eat that day (not as restrictive in a way?). When you’re ready to make your meal, put your ingredients together, heat up, season, toss some hemp hearts/nutritional yeast/nuts for extra nutrition and you’re good to go.
4. Take Baby Steps if Necessary: if its too much to take the full on plunge into plant-based eating, try an incremental elimination process. Start with eliminating animal meat like red meat/chicken, and then dairy, and then seafood, etc. I find this helped me transition well in the beginning too. Or, you could veganize 1 meal of the day, start doing “Meatless Mondays,” small things like these can help you transition :).
5. Fats! Some people are so against fats and yes, they do give you 9 cal/g instead of 4 cal/g that proteins and carbs give you, but they satiate you more (satiate: make you feel ‘fuller’) and fuel your brain with an alternate energy source stimulating focus and concentration. Check out some interesting info on fats in this article by Dr. Mercola on fats at —> Fat as the Prefered Body Fuel
5. Keep a Vegan Snack at Hand: you’ll never know when you’re out and about and the hunger strikes. Although more restaurants and cafes are catering to vegan food options, there are still places that you’ll really have to dig deep to find options, or will be left to come up with your own creation (usually most places are pretty good about this). That’s why always carrying a vegan bar or snack is always good as a last resort, because who ever wants to be hangry, nuh uh.
6. Vitamins: when no longer eating meat, your body does not get adequate vitamin b12. This is what the vegan society website indicates (Vegan Society on Vitamin B12). This picture below is directly screenshotted from the link above.
7. “Veganized” Versions: although it’s always best to cook from scratch, veganized versions of things will help you curb the cravings if you long for that slice of cheese, patty, beef grounds, or yogurt. But remember that these are in moderation as they are still packaged and processed somewhere other than your home. To find these yummy alternatives, take a visit to your local natural foods store and you’ll be able to find so many veganized versions of your favourite foods like vegan cheese Daiya Cheese, vegan burger patties Yves Veggie, vegan sausages, vegan ground beef, and so much more.
8. Don’t Worry Too Much About Too Little Protein: unless you’re doing hardcore exercise almost every day, this shouldn’t be as big of a concern as people make it out to be. Theres at least a bit of protein in almost everything you eat. Also, random foods you would have never have thought to have protein actually have a lot of it! My fav is quinoa as it can be added to soo many dishes, its a pseudo grain so its gluten free, and it gas 8g of protein per cup :). Check out my instagram post on plant protein ideas FitnessFoodieHealthy Plant Proteins.
If anything, look at supplementary protein powders and make sure to get all you 9 essential amino acids in a day!! –> soy provides all essential aminos. As I train at the gym everyday, I do take supplemental proteins from time to time.
9. Support Network: reach out to other vegans that you know, or check out vegan blogs, pages. Talk to your friends that might be interested in the switch as well and make a pact together. Challenge each other. Support each other. And then reap the benefits together :). You might think at first people look/think of you different or oddly for going against the grain but ultimately you’re doing this for you, your health, the planet and whatever your reason may be, don’t worry about the stubborn haters. I remember my dad flat out said one time, “You’re not allowed to be vegan” and that just fuelled me even more, so yes, do your things and don’t let what others think skew your decisions.
10. Don’t be too Harsh on Yourself: coming from eating meat in almost every meal of the day for however many years, don’t feel upset if you’re having troubles eating more plant-based meals. Even the smallest changes make such a big difference so if you have to take it step-by-step, so be it :).
These are some some of the things I wish I knew when I first started, so hopefully they can help you kickstart your plant eating right!! 🙂