Is a Plant-Based Diet Right for You?
One path to nutritional awareness that’s beginning to catch on among those striving toward healthier eating habits is the plant-based diet. Before the eyes of the carnivores in the room start to glaze over, let’s clarify that this doesn’t mean you’re only allowed or expected to subsist on celery stalks and pumpkin seeds. (Honestly, where’s the fun in that?) All it means is that more people are trying out a diet based on consuming fruits and vegetables, minimally-processed foods, and foods that are derived from plants. While it’s true that meat and dairy tend to get excluded from the party, many people who enjoy this diet do incorporate the occasional small amount of lean meats into their food selection.
If you’re among the growing legion of people looking to improve their health and sustain the multitude of benefits derived from rocking the plant-based diet for the long haul, then as it is with any marked change introduced into an established routine, commitment is key. Some folks tend to dive right into the transition, while others take a little time to get into the swing of things. Use your personal situation, goals, finances, and health to determine what type of approach works best for you.
Are You Willing to Get Personal?
Life would be so much sweeter if switching up your eating habits was always a simple, uncomplicated undertaking. It hardly ever is, though, and it demands discipline as well as willingness to embrace a new routine. Starting a food journal about the foods you eat and how they are affecting you is a good way to lean into that new routine while tracking your progress. You’ll be able to keep detailed notes about any ailments you’ve had that caused you discomfort and poor health prior to you starting the new diet. Most importantly, listen to your body. Document the slightest changes to your sleeping, digestive, energy, moods, and other processes. The info you collect will inform your path to future good health by guiding you to make better food choices.
Cold Turkey Is Not The Way to Go
Trying to quit all your favorite foods cold turkey is a road to ruin, so for the love of all things fried and tasty, don’t do it. Eating only plant-based foods will be a drastic departure for your taste buds and falling off the wagon will be all too easy in the beginning. Sure, the benefits of said change will be many, but starting on the right foot puts you in a better position to stick with it. Try to change over gradually, perhaps by setting a personal deadline by which you’d like to fully transition. Then, stick to that deadline like glue. Get your family in on the effort, because no one’s ever failed from having too much support from those around them. Start substituting healthier plant-based alternatives for some of your favorite processed foods. Remember that making smarter food choices isn’t about denying yourself delicious meals. It’s possible to have your cardamom-scented lemon sunflower cake and eat it too.
Lastly, you might not be the only person in your household wanting to give the plant-based diet a whirl. If that’s the case, you’d do well to consider varying approaches to it, depending on the personalities involved. Little ones, for example, might get really stubborn and uncooperative if pressured to eat things they don’t want or like (anything that departs from the roster of familiar favorites to which they’re accustomed.) To ward off confrontations and tense dining situations, try sitting your family down to talk about dietary changes you’d like to implement. Make clear what’s expected of each individual and what steps will be taken toward completing the transition. By taking your time and outlining your desires when transitioning to a plant-based diet with family, you can make the experience as pleasant as can be.
Are you currently enjoying the health benefits of a plant-based diet? What was it like, making that change? Let us know!