Learn what it takes to eat a plant-based diet and train your mind to fight for your health. Plant-based eating can transform your health and save the planet.

Transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle takes strategy. Photo by Daria Shevtsova of Pexels
Transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle takes strategy. Photo by Daria Shevtsova of Pexels

The COVID pandemic caused a drastic meat shortage. As an advocate for a plant-based lifestyle, I think this is the perfect time to consider diversifying your menu.

Plant-based eating is not the most instinctive diet in western society, but reforming your diet to include more fruits, vegetables, seeds and legumes can have significant benefits. With a more inclusive diet, you can reduce risk of cancer, boost your immune system and maintain healthy weight. It can also help our planet.

Eating plant-based does not mean you can’t eat meat. It means most of your meals are plants. Transforming your plate takes strategy. Here are key things to help stay the course.

Thwart the Food Police

There is a reason this is a priority. If you’ve ever made adjustments to your diet, you already know about buzz-kills eager to remind you of a commitment break. There’s no stopping the swarm once you eliminate meat and go plant-based.

Be patient. Majority of people affiliate food with culture, so it’s hard to conceive breaking away from tradition in favor of a plant-based diet.

Remind them that since you’ve eaten meat the majority of your life, you won’t change to plant-based overnight. But spend no more time debating what’s on your plate. Meatless eating is a shockingly sensitive topic. It would amaze you how many people take personal offense to your new lifestyle choice. If they’re not trying to learn more about your decision, cut the conversation short. No one wants to debate over dinner.  

Don't let the food police ruin your craving for a plant-based meal.
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Don’t let the food police ruin your craving for a plant-based meal.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Take it Slow

This is not a keto carb elimination. It will be hard to deprive yourself of meat that used to be the main course.

Plan on missing it. Every month, dedicate a week without certain meats. The last week of each month can be beef-less, or only allow yourself to eat seafood when you go out to eat with friends. Gradually work your way to meatless Mondays, or meatless weekends. Like social drinking, you can reserve eating meat when you hang out with friends.

If you have no known illness, allow yourself time! It may take a year or two. You can plan it far out.

Think Inclusion. Not Exclusion.

Plant-based eating gets a poor reputation because of the perceived limitations. But while there are 12 types of edible meats, there are over  20,000 types of edible plants. For your daily intake of nutrition, you only need 24 servings of fruits and vegetables!

Plus, because of the outrageous demand for meat alternatives, you can find plant-based variations of your favorite recipes. Be warned that if you stock up on imitation food, it can get pricey. There are more benefits to purchasing whole foods than processed, like maximizing nutrition and cheaper prices.

You can take a household favorite dish like meatballs and spaghetti. Blend spinach in tomato sauce for iron, flaxseeds in turkey meat for omega-3s, and use whole- grain noodles.

You’re hardly depriving yourself with a meatless meal. Between holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, most people don’t realize that they eat a mostly plant-based diet, anyway. Make the switch!