Our motto? Take it step-by-step. We’re all on a different journey and nutrition doesn’t look exactly the same for any two people. To build sustainable healthful eating habits, you need a personalized approach and a deep-dive into the root causes of your concerns.
Your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Nutritionist Team
Change is hard and transitioning to fully plant-based in a non-plant-based world can be really challenging as well. Maybe you’re at the beginning of your journey. You may have limitations based on where you live. You may have cultural influences that you are navigating. Whatever the limitation, that doesn’t mean you have to let go of the goal of going plant-based altogether.
If you can make some small, even the smallest of changes over time, those changes are going to add up. Also, it is perfectly normal to not be able to make the transition to plant-based overnight. For that reason, I created seven things you can do to make your diet more plant-based day by day.
1. Focus on adding more plants
The first thing you can do is focusing on adding more plants into your diet. Focus on what you get to add to your plate versus what you’re taking away and can’t get. Because what ends up happening is, as you transition to plant-based and start adding in more plants or making some fun plant-based swaps, this naturally weeds out things that you don’t want to eat anymore. Or it gently pushes out the items you’re hoping to not eat later on down the road. It’s a win-win!
It’s common to concentrate on the negative or what we have to live without or get rid of. So, trick your brain a little bit. Ignore what you have to get rid of. Just focus on what you get to add, what you can experiment with as well as new recipes. That’s going to make your brain have a much more positive outlook.
2. Be flexible
Secondly, set realistic goals for yourself – and be flexible with them. If you don’t reach them, stop and think about why that’s the case and learn from it. But don’t use it as an excuse to quit if you truly feel like this journey is aligned with you. If you feel the pull to go plant-based, whether it’s over the course of three months or three years, don’t quit just because things didn’t go as you thought they would. If for some reason you’re not as far along as you’d like to be, go easy on yourself.
You’ve also got to give yourself a chance to adjust. Nobody is 100% perfect – and nobody can be – but especially if you are just starting, that’s when you likely need to be the most flexible. You don’t want to punish yourself, be self-destructive, shame yourself or feel guilty for not being fully plant-based immediately. Being flexible in the beginning is going to help that sustainability.
3. Find alternatives
It can get overwhelming with all of the alternatives that are out there. There are more and more options, which is phenomenal. But, don’t get overwhelmed. Really start small with trying plant-based options.
Say, if you use dairy butter, switch it out for vegan butter. If you’re used to dairy milk, try one of the many types of plant milks out there and see which one works best for you. Don’t go to the store and get all ten options and see which one you prefer, even though that would make for a fun tasting party.
4. Find a community or support system
Next, join a community or find some sort of support system where you can ask questions if you feel lost. Find a system to help avoid feelings of isolation, especially as you’re newer to plant-based eating, because you don’t have to feel alone on your journey. For those occasions, it is really helpful to have that community or even just one person to turn to.
Another reason community is so important is to help you navigate difficult questions. How do you manage holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving or tell your friends you’re trying to eat plant-based? Teaming up with a plant-based community or friend is a great resource when you’re looking for a vegan-friendly healthcare provider, because they’ve already been through it all.
5. Listen to your body
Step number 5 is listening to your body. Easier said than done, because what does that even mean? Basically, as you’re making decisions on what foods to eat, let your body also help you decide. Pay attention to how different foods make you feel along the way. It might take a little bit of extra effort, a little bit of trial and error, but that’s true with anything, right? With your diet, sometimes your body might need a chance to adjust, and you may need a strategy for what foods your body can handle right now.
Again, don’t use that as an excuse to think that you can’t go plant-based. Some foods agree with us and some don’t. You have to work to find what tastes good and makes you feel energized and satiated, but also you can always come to us if you need further assistance.
6. Enjoy each bite
As you’re transitioning, really take your time while eating. Notice the different colors that you’re now incorporating into your diet. Smell the different aromas. Maybe they’re new or maybe they’re familiar. Take time to appreciate the textures. Appreciate different aspects of new foods that you haven’t taken the time to eat before.
Enjoy each bite as an expression of gratitude for the meal that you’re able to eat. Because expressing that gratitude can put a positive spin on what’s in front of you and increase the level of satisfaction that you’re experiencing with the meal and during the mealtime, too.
Your brain gets so much more satisfaction if you just take the time, take a breath and enjoy the colors, and honor all the work that it took to get to our plate. So, just taking the time to appreciate that and incorporating that into your gratitude practice tricks your brain into having strong memories and satisfaction.
7. Celebrate your successes no matter how small
The final step is to celebrate yourself. Celebrate your successes, celebrate your progress, no matter how small, no matter what it looks like. This is such an important part of your journey, to become your biggest cheerleader, and to take note of those small things that you’re doing. All of that, again, is going to add up over time.
And you also don’t have to deprive yourself until you reach the big, giant goal of going 100% plant-based. That could be three years down the road. That’s a long way to wait for your big celebration moment. You want to keep that motivation up and celebrate. Each win can motivate you to reach that big goal, because how many people can wait three years before they finally reach victory?
You want to be your own biggest cheerleader and be excited about all the changes that you’re making because that’s amazing.
Hopefully, these tools and thought patterns will help you find your personal and unique journey towards living a more plant-based life. It’s never too late to change, especially if you can manage to not let perfectionism get in the way of all of it.
Get weekly guidance to support your plant-based journey while strengthening your relationship with food, including weekly plant-based recipe ideas, tips, encouragement and so much more.
Join our newsletter
want blog updates?
We’ve helped hundreds of people just like you who were discouraged by strict diets to build sustainable healthful eating habits. Using a heartfelt, practical and personalized approach, we deep-dive into the root causes of your concerns to help you embrace a plant-based lifestyle.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
click to LEAVE A COMMENT