It’s a new year! And with that comes an array of goals, resolutions, and everything beyond. One thing that keeps coming up over the beginning of each new year is the discussion of trying out a plant-based diet. People’s willingness to try out the ways of the vegan is something that I always see popping up in headlines at the start of a new year. Which, to me, is super cool!
I began my plant-based journey in 2008 after trying the Daniel Diet. I loved it so much that I kept it going for months until I did a modeling gig where all the food offered was non-vegan friendly. And yes, I caved in!
But from there I shifted my diet to vegetarian and then finally in 2017 I made the commitment to go full vegan. And I haven’t felt better! I love it. And yes, at times I do feel uncomfortable sharing this because so many people have negative connotations of what it means to be vegan. I mostly keep what I eat pretty private because lets be honest, no one likes being judged at the dinner table. But hey, it’s 2022, and whatever we do to help ourselves, our health, our environment, and animal friends has nothing to do with the thoughts and opinions of others.
Below you will find a few tips on how to get started on your plant-based journey! Bon-appetite!
Try Meatless Mondays As a First Step
Years ago, as I became more serious about my plant-based eating, I decided to challenge myself to do Meatless Mondays. Which in essence meant no chicken, fish, or dairy on Mondays. After a while, it got easier and easier to create it as a habit. Give it go!
The Instant Pot is Your Friend
What scares people the most about going vegan is the dreaded thought of what am I going to eat?!?! I get it, I’ve been there. But then came the Instant Pot!
One Christmas, my fiance’s sister bought us an Instant Pot and suddenly life became a little easier. We created a routine of cooking base food in bulk. Basically, every weekend, we cook rice, quinoa, or wild rice in the Instapot and use that as our base food. Throughout the week we add any kind of toppings, sauces, veggies to it. This has been a total game-changer for us and a simple way to cut back on cooking every day or dining out. So if you’re considering finding a failsafe approach to going vegan, consider trying out the Instant Pot or any other pressure cooker of your choice.
Be Aware of Sugars and Starches.
When I first explored eating a plant-based diet, I discovered all kinds of delicious foods and treats. However, I neglected to consider the amount of sugars, carbs, and starches that were in those goodies. Personally, my body doesn’t react well to large amounts of sugar and starches that turn into sugar. Even though I knew I was eating plant-based I realized that my consumption of cane sugar, processed fruit sugar, potato flours, vegan bread, etc. had skyrocketed my sugar levels. So I began to make a conscious decision to steer clear of plant-based foods loading with processed ingredients and stick mainly to fresh home-cooked meals. It’s what works for me and could possibly work for you.
Choose Your Why
Look I get it, food plays a major part in our daily lives, culture, religion, family, and all the many ways in which we find our identity. Making the switch to a plant-based diet and reading all the many articles of information and misinformation out there may lead you to reach for a piece of your favorite comfort food. I’ve done it early on and unfortunately, my body did not react well. So while you’re exploring this new lifestyle change, it’s always important to keep in mind your why. Why do you want to adjust the way you eat? Is it for your health, environmental consciousness, or not participating in animal cruelty? All of these, in my opinion, are strong reasons to stay on the journey and challenge yourself to commit to making the change. Whatever your reason is, keep it in mind when you’re feeling the urge to eat that familiar comfort meal. In doing so, you’ll find something even more fulfilling and satisfying, that your body, the planet, and our animal friends will thank you for.