People have been consuming plant-based diets for many years but this lifestyle has become more conventional over the past few years, not simply because it’s the current trend. Switching towards plant-based meals is one of the best things people can do for the planet, for the animals, and mainly for our personal health. Through media coverage and documentaries, more people became enlightened that a plant-based diet can improve one’s health, stimulate energy level and can prevent diseases. Before directly delving into the ways of maintaining a plant-based diet, you should know what it means.
What Is a Plant-Based Diet?
A plant-based diet is one of the ways to have a healthier lifestyle and this diet consists of foods that are mostly or entirely acquired from plants. Usually, these are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tubers, and legumes. It doesn’t include animal products such as eggs, dairy, meat, and honey.
How do Plant-Based Diet and Vegan Diet Differ from Each Other?
You might be wondering if a plant-based diet and a vegan diet are the same, they may be similar but plant-based diet is not totally the same as a vegan diet. A plant-based diet is a portion of a vegan lifestyle that only focuses on eliminating animal-based meat, dairy, honey, and eggs from their diet and consumes whole foods. On the other hand, a vegan diet doesn’t ingest animal-based foods or animal byproducts and doesn’t support goods that came from harming animals, such as buying clothes produced from leather, or cosmetics which were tested on animals first.
How Does Plant-Based Diet Affect Your Health?
People who eat plant-based diets tend to have better weight management and lesser rates of obesity, diabetes and chronic diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, and stroke than those who consume meat. It is also good for the gut. They help sustain a wide range of healthy gut bacteria, which can ease gastrointestinal diseases.
Now that you already had minor information, here are a few easy ways to keep in mind if you’re planning to switch to a plant-based diet:
Knowing Your Motivation
The first step you should consider is to know your motivation. Realize why you have to do it. What are the goals you have to achieve? You want to have a healthier life, you want to prevent any diseases, to increase your energy, because you want to be a part of saving the planet, whatever reason it is, as long as it excites and inspires you to continue what you’re doing.
Always consider your motivation so that you’ll never be discouraged and learn something new along the way.
Replacing One Meal Slowly
Switching to a plant-based diet is a process that your body has to adapt slowly. Be kind to yourself and add more plant-based foods slowly at a time. You can switch animal-based food to a healthier substitute.
For example, have whole grain instead of white flour spaghetti; you can also have vegan alternatives to heavy cream. You may also have fruits or nuts as your snack, or buying non-dairy ice cream. By doing this, you are replacing unhealthy food intake with healthier plant-based ingredients.
Marking Down Meat and Processed Food Consumption
Instead of having a larger portion of beef on your plate, add more plant-based foods and lessen animal-based until your mind and body have the time to adjust to your new diet. You may also have a larger serving of salad, a bowl of fresh fruits, or replacing ground meat with beans or mushrooms. Swap your favorite animal-based ingredients to plant-based gradually.
Enclosing Yourself with Plant-Based Foods
Scan your kitchen and dispose of foods that you know will not be beneficial to you. You can give it to someone instead of keeping it to your kitchen, which can tempt you to consume it. Don’t regret disposing of it if it’s a good choice for you.
The next step is to buy fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, potatoes, starches, so you’ll be able to prepare plant-based meals. You have to build a supportive environment that can help you stick to your diet.
Take this step even further by growing your own food at home. Plant your own fruits and vegetables so you can have a fresh supply of plant-based ingredients. You can try starting an organic home garden to ensure the freshest and healthiest fruits and vegetables.
Mushrooms are a great substitute for many meat-based foods. If you love mushrooms, you can try growing them at home. Start with spray-and-grow cultivation kits for beginners, and then work up to advanced mushroom-growing methods as you gain more fungi culture knowledge and experience.
Eating Plant-Based Breakfast
Spending your day eating three vegan meals can make you discouraged especially if you’re just starting your diet. Thus, breakfast is the easiest plant-based meal you can prepare. Here is the list of breakfast with easy recipes:
- Chia seed pudding
- Green smoothie
- Oatmeal muffins
- Wholesome banana bread
- Tofu omelet
- Avocado toast
- Raspberry juice
These easy plant-based breakfasts will motivate you to have healthier meals for lunch and dinner.
Making Things Fun and Thrilling
Researching more recipes to make your meals more exciting, cooking new meals you’ve never tasted before, or even surrounding yourself with people with the same habits of eating plant-based food will make you feel you’re not alone. It will inspire you to know people are supporting your decisions. Meeting or knowing people with the same interest, talking about your favorite plant-based recipes, will make your diet fun.
These are some of the ways you should consider switching to a plant-based diet, considering the good effects not just for your health but also for the planet. And by doing this, you have to be committed and stick to your plan so that you’ll benefit from it.