Adopting a plant-based diet may be daunting if you don't know where to start. The best way to do it is by transitioning gradually and slowly adding new plant-based foods and recipes to your diet. Here are four steps to kick-start your plant-based transition.
Step 1: Choose Your Type of Plant-Based Nutrition
A spectrum of plant-based eating options is available to you. Considering that your nutrition will be mainly coming from plants, your options are:
1) Strict plant-based nutrition (vegan): With a strict plant-based nutrition, you are not going to consume any meat, fish or animal products like dairy foods, or eggs.
2) Vegetarian plant-based nutrition: In a vegetarian plant-based nutrition, you will be able to consume eggs, milk, cheese and other products of animals but no meat or fish.
3) Pescatarian plant-based nutrition: The pescatarian plant-based nutrition is similar to the vegetarian one but include fish. That would mean that your nutrition includes plant-base food, eggs, milk, cheese, fish and other products of animals but no meat.
4) Flexitarian plant-based nutrition: This option is great for individuals who would like to slowly move into plant-based eating without fully committing to never eat meat again. In this plant-based nutrition option, your meals will have a large proportion of plant-base food. In addition to small portions of eggs, or dairy foods and, on occasion, include meat, fish, seafood or poultry.
Step 2: Adapt Your Grocery
In order to ease yourself into plant-based eating, try to slowly increase the amount of plant-base food on your grocery list and stop purchasing animal protein and dairy products. Stock up on cans of legumes such as black beans or chick peas. They are fast and easy ingredients to add to many recipes (just make sure they are not full of sugar or salt). This might require a bit more shopping time at first but eventually, you will know which brand is the healthiest.
Step 3: Plan Your Meals
One of the most difficult parts about adapting to plant-based eating is to adopt new habits in the kitchen. Instead of having burgers for dinner, you have to find new ways to cook and bring more plant-based food at your table. It is recommended to try new recipes as opposed to try to adapt your old recipes to a plant-based nutrition.
Step 4: Let’s Do This!
The best way to start plant-based eating is to make small changes now. Choose a day this week when you want to have a plant-based nutrition day. That day will be the beginning of your journey in plant-based eating. Once you’ve chosen a date, pick your recipes!
By the Urban Life Center Team