How to Start a Plant-based Diet
Lots of evidence is surfacing regarding the benefits of adding more plant-based nutrition to your everyday nutrition. Plant-powered nutrition is beneficial in many ways, including lowering blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, more energy and better digestion. No matter where you are in your relationship with foods, now is the right time to start. Just like with anything else, there is no perfect time. Saying so is only an excuse.
A plant-based diet simply means adding more plants, or fruits and vegetables, to your daily diet. It doesn’t mean extreme changes or complete elimination of animal products, just a plant-centered meal plan for you and your family. Read on to learn some of my tips on how to start a plant-based diet today.
- Start gradually. Try some little changes here and there and see how they work. I’d start with eliminating dairy products, especially milk. Dairy is pretty harmful to the body, and if you start by having 3-4 non-dairy days per week, then after a week or two, try 5-7 days. This is a good way to feel a difference without drastic changes.
- Commit for 30 days. In this method, you’ll continue to eat as you do, but also working to eliminate certain foods, and more importantly by adding more plant-based items into your daily meals. For example, the first week, continue your normal pattern, but add more fruits and veggies. If you eat macaroni and cheese, double up on your veggies on the side. On the second week, continue recommendations from week 1, but eliminate dairy and maybe eggs and beef. By week three and continuing forward, continue adding veggies and fruits, and add the elimination of seafood and poultry. By week 4, any detoxing symptoms such as mood changes or headaches should be gone, and you should have a great foundation of plant-based recipes. You’ll probably be feeling more energy and sleeping better, too. It’s also important to mention the importance of drinking lots of water throughout this method to aid in the detoxing process. From week 4 on, consider eliminating gluten.
- Jump in head first. Maybe you’re ready for a change, so just arm yourself with some great plant-based recipes and dive right in.
- 7 day transition. Increase more of the plant-based meals you already eat. Things like pasta primavera and veggie soups or vegetarian curry are great options. Add more plants to your mixed meals. Make simple changes first. If you love cheese, save it for last and eliminate eggs first instead. Be prepared by keeping lots of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables in your home. Reduce your purchases of meat and you’ll have plenty of plant options to consume.
No matter which method you choose, start incorporating more plant-based meals into you and your family’s life as soon as possible. The benefits are outstanding, and you’ll feel so much better!
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