If you feel that you don’t eat enough fruits and veggies or you want to transition to a plant-based diet, this article is going right down your alley.
We’re discussing how you can make the switch as smoothly as possible, without messing up your mood, health or lifestyle.
So, here are the top 3 beginner tips for transitioning to a plant-based diet.
#1 Up your fruit & veggie sources
That might sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes silly and simple is the way to begin anything new. You will not be getting from non-plant based to plant-based overnight. Instead, we’re taking baby steps.
Start by sneaking in a serving of fruits or veggies whenever you can.
Here are some examples that work really well:
- have some spinach or frozen cauliflower or maybe frozen avocado in your smoothie
- carry an extra fruit in your bag
- chop on some veggies you can bring with you at school or work and snack on.
It also helps to set daily goals.
For example today you might commit to having 1 serving of fruit and 1 serving of veggies. Two weeks from now you might commit to having 3 serving of fruit and 2 servings of veggies.
The numbers don’t really matter that much. Start with where you are and adjust them gradually. The important thing is to set reasonable goals that you can achieve.
#2 Commit to one plant-based meal a day
Once you’ve started to sneak in the fruits and veggies more and more every day, the next step is to commit to having one plant-based meal each and every day.
It doesn’t really matter if it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.
For breakfast that could be a tofu and veggies scramble or a smoothie with fruits and veggies mixed in, some peanut butter, maybe some protein powder if you like to work out and be active. You can also use some plant based milk such as almond milk or coconut milk.
They are delicious and very, very good for your health.
On the days where you feel that you didn’t eat enough fruits and veggies you can use green super-food supplements to compensate for it. There are great products out there which you can try out.
Other breakfast ideas could be oatmeal with bananas or pancakes with some fruits on top as well. You can get really creative with it. Just add fruits and veggies that you love.
For lunch, you can have a salad veggie bowl with quinoa and beans a nut butter and jelly sandwich with a side salad. If you have the time you can also try making your own veggie pizza.
There are also a lot of companies right now that make ready to eat plant-based frozen meals that are healthy and delicious.
For dinner, you can try a veggie burger with some baked fries, maybe some zucchini noodles. You can also make noodles out of potatoes – they turn up really, really delicious and you can mix them with all kinds of sauces and vegetables or toppings.
Once you start checking out plant-based recipes and experimenting on your own you will find out that there are more possibilities than you would’ve imagined.
#3 Swap out processed foods for non-processed plants
Final step and tip are to gradually get rid of all the processed foods that are still in your everyday diet.
The best example I can think of is white bread. You can easily replace that with whole grain bread.
Or instead of buying a bag of potato chips, bake your own do sweet potato chips. Yes, I know that is a lot of extra work, but if you want to take control of what you are putting inside your body, that’s pretty much the only way to go.
I know that convenience is super important because we are all busy, but it shouldn’t trump how it is that you feed and fuel your body.
Another swap would be changing regular pasta for veggie pasta such as spinach pasta, quinoa pasta, black bean pasta and so on. All of those are a lot more nutrient dense than just eating while flowering pasta.
Lastly but not least you want to swap out that soda for some water or making your own ice tea. The majority of us don’t get enough water each day and it is super important for the functions of our body, for our skin and for basically everything that we do on a daily basis.
Bonus tip: Best vegan foods to eat in the cold season
There are no right or wrong foods that you can eat in the winter. The simply eat any fruits or vegetables that you can find in your grocery store.
Many of you will be probably finding things like bananas, lots of citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes or even papayas.
It’s probably going to be more difficult to find things like watermelon or grapes, for example, depending on where you live.
Nuts and seeds will abound at this season so that’s something you can eat more of. Don’t go overboard those, these are very caloric dense foods. You can also find late-season apples that will still be really good up to January or so.
You will also be able to find plenty of veggies, so you can go ahead and make yourself a green shake, and throw an apple or lime in there. It’s going to be delicious.
The main problem with the cold season is that many people crave for heavier, warm foods so that they can keep themselves warm.
So I guess the most important thing to do in the winder is to keep yourself active as much as you can, exercise and get that blood pumping, make a fire or light up some candles.
By staying warm you will be less likely to be tempted to eat stuff that’s bad for you.
So these are my top tips for making the switch to a plant-based diet.
Remember that this is your journey and feel free to try out things that seem natural to you. Just try not to go completely from not being plant-based to 100% plant-based. It will not work.
Start off slow, go at your own pace and allow at least a couple of months to make the full switch.
Tyler has been working as a certified personal trainer for over 10 years specializing in weight loss and functional training with women between the ages of 30 - 65. He also enjoys helping others become industry leading personal trainers through his website PTPioneer.com and YouTube Channel.