Many people switch to a plant-based diet with high hopes, only to pack it in after a short time because they don’t have enough information or useful tips on what to do to make it stick.
Whether you are going plant-based for your health, animal welfare, or the environment, these tricks will help you stay on track. You’ll be able to enjoy a plant-based diet for as long as you like while keeping your health intact. Let’s have a look at ways of making plant-based diets easier to stick to…
Tips for Making Plant-Based Diets Easier to Stick To
Keep your why in mind
Remembering why you are embarking on a plant-based diet can help keep your motivation strong when you encounter challenges along the way. One good practice is to write down your reasons and how you are feeling at the start of your journey. You can then look back a few weeks later and see if you feel a difference in yourself, and remember why you began this new way of eating.
Look after your digestion
When we change our diet, we can often notice excess gas or other digestive challenges. If you haven’t eaten enough fiber, for instance, you may get more gas than you’d like when first going plant-based.
Excess gas does go away after a while, but you can help this process along by eating foods rich in probiotics.
Some excellent complete protein foods to include in your diet are tempeh, miso, kimchi, kefir (vegan), sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. The good bacteria in these foods will help deal with the gas in your gut, and they have many other health benefits.
Educate yourself in nutrition
While you don’t need a degree in nutrition to follow a plant-based diet, it helps to know where you can get various vitamins and minerals to eat a balanced diet.
If you are eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, then you’ll likely be getting most of the vitamins you need.
However, some key things to remember are the need for vitamin B12, which is mostly present in animal products. There are some products for vegans that are fortified with B12, such as nutritional yeast, so check labels and buy vitamin-fortified foods where possible.
Other essential vitamins are D3, Omega-3 DHA, and EPA. You may wish to consider vitamin supplements, particularly as you are learning what’s what at the beginning of your journey.
Choose powerful protein options
Some foods are complete proteins, as they carry all nine essential amino acids. Make sure you’re eating some of these foods every day: spirulina, hemp, Quorn, chia seeds, edamame, tempeh, and tofu.
Tempeh and tofu are both excellent meat substitutes. Tofu, in particular, can be prepared in all kinds of delicious ways, especially if you press it first using a press like at https://tofubud.com before using it in your recipes so that it easily soaks up all the flavors of your favorite sauces and spices.
Have on hand delicious recipes
Put together a collection of plant-based recipes that you particularly like. You can open a Pinterest board for each meal of the day, for instance, and start experimenting.
You may want to start with a go-to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and build from there.
Try to start slowly, adding perhaps one new recipe a week. You’ll have a whole collection before you know it!
Start with plant-based versions of your favorite dishes, such as spicy tofu chili, tempeh tacos, tofu scramble, chia seed tapioca pudding, plant-based milk smoothies, etc.
Eat in a balanced way
When we talk about a balanced diet, we usually are talking about the distribution of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. But balance is also about eating mindfully, eating for enjoyment, and without distractions.
When you prepare and eat your food, take your time, and enjoy the process. Be kind to yourself as you learn new ways of preparing food. Allow yourself to make mistakes and to learn new tricks at your speed.
To balance your plate’s contents, a good rule of thumb is to fill half your plate with greens or vegetables, one-quarter whole grains, and one-quarter protein. Simple! You can then add good sources of fat such as olive or coconut oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, etc.
Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. Digestion begins in the mouth with our saliva, so don’t rush the process. Enjoy your food, and if you find it difficult to slow down, put your fork or spoon down between each bite.
And don’t forget to congratulate yourself for taking on a new way of eating!
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