Starting a Plant Based Diet (Reasons, Way, and Tips)

Are you trying to eat healthier or lose weight? Do you care about animals and the health of our planet? If so, a plant-based diet is just for you! In this article we will discuss reasons, ways, and tips to start a plant-based diet. Stay tuned, it has the power to change your life.

“Plant-based or plant-forward eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.”

“Plant-based diets offer all the necessary protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health, and are often higher in fiber and phytonutrients.”

Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN Contributor of Health Harvard blog 

Reasons you may want to try a plant based diet

Better health

Plant-based eaters tend to replace meat with more nutritious foods like beans, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. These nutrient dense foods promote good health and well-being.

Weight loss

Studies show that people who follow a plant-based diet are slimmer and less likely to be obese than meat eaters. It is possible to still consume junk food (soda, snacks) but once you understand the consequences, it becomes much more difficult to enjoy.

Lower your risks for heart disease, diabetes, and cancers

Processed meat and casein from dairy products are directly linked to disease and cancer. This is because animal products contain a lot of saturated fat. Cutting this fat from your diet  and replacing it with lower fat nutrient dense foods will greatly reduce your risk of developing these conditions

Reduce animal suffering 

Approximately 10 billion animals are killed for human consumption every year. I don’t know about you but that hurts my heart! I always think about the poor mom cows that are pregnant pretty much their whole lives so they can produce milk (that is made for her calf) just to have their babies taken from them days after birth. It’s so sad! Plant-based meats are so yummy and almond breeze original milk tastes better than dairy milk. There are plenty of healthful options. 

Help the environment

I learned some facts during my research that I couldn’t ignore. Raising animals for consumption accounts for 51% of human-caused climate change.

The world’s cattle eat enough grain to feed everyone on the planet plus 2 billion more.  

According to Cowspiricy one Quarter pound hamburger requires over 660 gallons of water to produce. This equates to showering for 2 months.

There is a huge disconnect between the American diet and its global effects. 

Ways to start eating a plant based diet

  1. Eat whole grains and/or fresh fruit for breakfast (oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, barley) 
  2. Meatless lunches
  3. Eat vegetables with lunch and dinner (should take up at least 1/2  of your plate)
  4. Introduce lots of green leafy vegetables (kale, collard greens, spinach)
  5. Create meals from a salad. (taco salad, fruit & nut )

Tips for eating a plant-based diet

  • Change the way you think about meat and dairy. They are animals that love and bond just as we do. They have complex feelings, families, and community. Their lives should not be taken for food when mother nature provides an abundance of plants that offer more than enough nutrients to meet our nutritional needs. 
  • Do your own research. There is so much knowledge available for learning at your fingertips)
  • Find good recipes. Take your time creating a collection. This doesn’t mean you need to sit down and create a whole recipe book. Just piece by piece if you see something that looks good, make a note of it and give it a try!
  • Have a good reason. We went over some reasons why you may want to give a plant-based diet a try above, but if none of them really speak to you I would suggest watching a few documentaries like (ie. What the health, forks over knives, and cowspiracy) that will teach you how well connected health, food choices, and global warming really are. I don’t want you to give up because you don’t really have anything you believe in. So educate yourself. Even if it makes you a little uncomfortable! 
  • Easy substitutions Plant-based meats are delicious!  Meat is a staple of the American diet. But what if I told you that the plant-based meats on the market today are just as good! Check out our brands we love section for more information. The substitutions were so good that I was able to get my carnivore husband on board. Dairy free milk almond breeze original is my favorite. It is even better than milk 
  • Cut out red meat first and then white meat. This is because red meat is the least healthy of the two.
  • Try 1 new plant-based recipe a week
  • Enjoy your journey. You want to enjoy the experience so it is enjoyable. Don’t think of it as having to restrict yourself because test me, you won’t feel like that. You will feel like you are actually nourishing your body and your body will thank you. You will be happier, have better skin, lose some weight, and sleep better. So be excited! 
  • Plan ahead. This is nothing special to a plant-based diet. All diets need to be appropriately planned. When your meals are not planned it usually results in take out. So take some time over the weekend and plan out 5 meals for the week. It will save you a lot of time and energy and we all need as much of that as we can get. 

You will love this journey. It will be the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. It will also support our planet and the animals who inhabit it in a crucial time. 

Eating a plant-based diet will change your life-in more ways than one. Once you start to see and feel the results, you will want to tell everyone how wonderful it is! It’s exactly how I got my husband and sister on board. 😉

So go ahead and change your life! It’s much easier than you think! 

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