4 tips for how to go plant-based for beginners
Tip #1: Set Realistic Expectations
My biggest tip when going plant-based for beginners is the set realistic expectations for yourself.
When you begin this journey, know your end goal but realize that where you are in life RIGHT NOW might not make that end goal totally manageable. The key to successfully transitioning to a new way of living like a plant-based diet is to set realistic expectations for where YOU are and what makes SENSE for you now.
It’s hard to explain but here’s the example that was real for us.
When we started this journey we wanted to go Whole Foods Plant Based – as clean as possible but adopting a plant-based diet in the midwest is NOT that easy.
We have toddlers. We work. Our kids have babysitters. We are on a budget. We have 5 months of freezing weather where produce is more expensive and gardening isn’t an option.
ALL these things were making it difficult.
So we had to take a step back and reevaluate. That’s when we realize we HAD to be okay with other foods. We had to allow ourselves to have vegan snacks and let our kids eat boxed mac and cheese, just for an example.
Our goals now are slightly different but we are happy with where we are because it is realistic for our life right now.
RELATED: The First Step To Going Plant-Based
Will you still have bumps in the road? Of course. But instead of beating yourself up about it, allowing yourself some grace will keep you motivated and encouraged.
Tip #2: Ease Yourself In
The second step for going plant-based can be especially difficult but it is VERY important. You will need to ease yourself in. Of course this doesn’t work for everyone but in most cases, it helps to go slow and steady.
Take it one day, one meal at a time.
Don’t feel like you have to go 100% plant-based in every aspect of your life over night. We found the easiest thing to do is utilize vegan swaps in our favorite dishes but also to try something NEW.
Breakfast was hard for us in the beginning because in my mind, breakfast was basically eggs or yogurt. Instead of panicking about finding a way to replicate eggs, we tried something new: avocado toast, and it really works for us!
🍋Need help getting started? Download this FREE meal planner to layout your meals and set a clear plan.
Tip #3: Educate Yourself
Understanding WHY you want to fuel your body on a plant-based diet is SO important. This is more than just “because I want to be healthy” or “I want to lose weight.” The WHY I’m talking about here is understanding the BENEFITS of eating plant-based foods and recognizing why animal-based foods are harmful. a great resource for basic education about this is Fork Over Knives or NutritionFacts.org.
In addition, don’t feel like you have to 100% agree with everything and you don’t have to “do it” just like everyone else does. Find a way that works for YOU and makes sense for YOU.
Books worth having:
Remember that this is a JOURNEY. You won’t adopt a plant-based lifestyle and do it perfectly overnight. It takes time.
RELATED: 6 Foods To Help You Go Plant-Based
Tip #4: Find a Community
If you really want to know how to go plant-based, you need to surround yourself with other people who have been there.
People who have done it.
People who are on the journey with you.
When you are trying something new, it is so important to have people cheering you on and supporting you. This was the hardest part for me when we adopted a plant-based diet because I couldn’t find a place that felt like home.
I couldn’t find a digital space that understood my view or felt supportive of the direction I wanted to live. I joined dozens of groups and nothing ever felt right.
Part of my journey that I talked about earlier, around expectations, is why this was so challenging for me. There is such a difference between vegan and plant-based and when I started going plant-based, I didn’t understand it. I thought vegan was plant-based… but it’s not. At least not to others.
After feeling like I didn’t fit in for so long, I decided to create a place that would feel welcoming and open to everyone who was wanting to eat more plant focused. (Check out my group here)
In my community you will find it to be judgement free, totally supportive, and all inclusive to wherever you are on this journey. Although I do ask for you to not share animal products or foods containing animal products, we recognize and understand that not everyone is 100% plant-based and that is okay! We are here to support anyone on their journey to eating less animal foods and more plants.
Online communities I enjoy are:
Growing Families Fueled By Greens (my FB community)
Also look for local vegan or plant-based groups. (Search your city + vegan or plant-based and see what comes up!)
I hope this helps you to have a better understanding of how to go plant-based. It’s an exciting journey to be on and hopefully you feel a little more confident in what’s next for you.
What tips do you have for transitioning to a plant-based or vegan diet? I’d love for you to share them below!
WELCOME TO REALISTIC PLANT-BASED MAMA!
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