New year! Wee!
I know 2017 is going to be a year for the books already – will it top 2016? Yeah, I think so. Life has been uber good to me.
I love kicking off the year with a post like this, because I know a lot of people decide to “reset” and going vegetarian/vegan/plant-based is usually at the top of the resolution’s list (which makes me very happy). I’m here to help if that is the case for you… because everyone that knows me knows that I love nothing more than giving all the plant-based and vegan diet tips that I have. I am very passionate about this!
I know that transitioning is not easy, and I know that it can be extremely frustrating when you are face-to-face with a weak moment or day. Please – never get frustrated with yourself. It is never about being perfect – it is about doing the very best you can to feel the very best you can. Falling off the wagon is all a part of the process. Instead of feeling defeated, you should feel proud for revamping your lifestyle in the first place – no matter what your reasons are for doing so (weight, animals, planet, health – whatever!)
When all else fails, you’ll always have a place to go for motivation and inspiration… because I am all about that here! So today, I wanted to share some of my favorite tips for any omnivores out there looking to transition to a plant-based, vegetarian, or vegan diet. These goals are attainable – especially if you try tackling them one at a time. It doesn’t matter if it takes you a whole ‘nother year to get to where you want to be – what matters is that you are on this road NOW, and you are going to do great things!
ONE – Slowly cut meat from your diet. For most, it just doesn’t happen overnight. Start by cutting out red meat, then pork, then poultry. Taking baby steps may be what you need to avoid any “shock” or getting frustrated when you cannot maintain. When transitioning and cutting out different ingredients, that is when you do the research for the next thing you plan to cut. Being mentally prepared and educated makes a world of a difference.
TWO – Try a new ingredient each week. Don’t be afraid to explore new fruits and vegetables – especially greens. I challenged myself to this when I first started, and it is one of my favorite tips to date. I even created challenge sheets for each one. Download the vegetable or fruit challenges HERE.
THREE – Educate yourself. You love Netflix, right? RIGHT. Put TV-time to good use and watch all the food documentaries. I share a list of my favorites HERE, so get to watching. They’ll make you rethink everything that you put into your body.
FOUR – Replace cow’s milk with a plant-based option. Picking up a caffeine fix? Swap out cream or milk for almond, coconut, or soy milk. I suggest soy because it is the creamiest of the three (it helped me transition!) but do what feels right. There are so many different types of plant-based milks (cashew, macadamia, almond, rice, hemp, soy, etc) that you’re bound to find one you like.
FIVE – Swap meat burgers for veggie burgers. There are so many different brands out there, so do not be afraid to try them all. I recommend LightLife for a garden burger than tastes most similar to your usual. Even better, try making your own. It’s fun to experiment!
SIX – Buy Earth Balance butter. It’s made with oils, and it tastes incredible. Honestly… I hardly tasted a difference in this brand vs. real butter.
SEVEN – Try tempeh or tofu. Once you learn how to properly work with these ingredients, you may become a fan much sooner than you’d like. I share the proper way to bake tofu HERE, and my favorite way to prepare tempeh HERE.
EIGHT – Try all the beans. With such a wide variety – black, red, kidney, pink, white, butter, pinto, chickpea – you’ll probably find at least one that you like. Beans are one of your major sources of protein, so it is important to at least give them a shot. If all else fails – lentils!
NINE – Make a large batch of vegetable soup each week. It’s fast, easy, and bursting with nutrients, fiber, and goodness. When you have a belly-filling vegetable soup on hand, you are less likely to cave on something else when you are starving and need something in a pinch. This is my favorite go-to.
TEN – Avoid buying processed foods and snacks. It may be tempting, but if you do not keep it in the house, then you won’t feel tempted. Your body goes through a bit of a detox at first, but trust – your cravings will subside and your tastebuds will adjust. Sounds crazy and impossible, but I swear… it is very possible.
You got this, baby! And as always, please never hesitate to reach out or ask me questions… this is what I love to talk about. I’m so proud of you! xx bianca