Thinking of Going Plant Based? Try These 6 Tips!
I remember when I started to learn about plantbased eat, vegetarian, and vegan diets. The thought of eating less animal proteins was something I was not ready to tamper with, especially with a collegiate running career on tied to me. During the time while I contemplated on whether or not eating less meat or entirely giving it it up I made sure to brush on a my what a meatless diet entailed.
Here are a few tips and strategies I used to help guide me from eating less meat to going entirely vegetarian for what is now 4years!
What is your motivation around eating less meat?
Is it due to health concerns?
Do you want to lose weight?
Would you like to have more energy?
Do you want to improve your athletic performance?
Whatever the case may be, I encourage figuring out why that way when it gets hard you always have your own motivation tied to you. Once you know why, use it to encourage you to keep going.
2. Start slow
Some people can completely give something up cold turky, but many of us, llike myself, like to give up something gradually and in small doses. I recommend trying to go meatleas in steps. Here are some ways to get you started:
- for one meal per week
- one day per week
- everyday for lunch
- every other day
I recommend doing this and noticing small changes that may start to happen such as are your motivating factors or reasons starting to show results for you?
3. Get comfortable with veggies
Not all vegetables have to ben in salad form. ry out a couple of recipes (like 5) that are all meatless you and your family enjoy eating. I encourage this so that you figure out which dishes are a hit, easy for you to prepare, and keep you feeling satisfied. if you are someone that is particular with veggies then I also would sugesst that you try some vegetables a couple of times and in different ways that you can also know which ones you really really really do not like.
4. Plan ahead
We all have super hectic and busy lives. So in order to make your transition easier and less stressful I definitely recommend planning out a few meals per week that are easy for you prepare. They don't have to be super elaborate or foreign sounding, just make sure that you comfortable with making and eating the meal. I also encourage carrying few snacks with you just in case you are caught in situation to where you are extra hungry and there is no food available for you!
In social settings, you may way to also offer the hostess to take something you ca eat and you know others may also enjoy. Or you can also make sure to eat something light before going, and snack on nuts, fruits, or other meatless appetizers available.
5. Know your proteins
This is a super common question, so don't feel bad if you don't know. Plant based protein sources are going to be things like:
- lentils, beans, edamame
- nuts or nut butters
- seeds or seed butters
other vegetarian protein sources:
- cottage cheese and low fat/part skim cheese
***A super important meal and snack tip is to pair any of your meals with a protein source that way you are able to meet your daily protein needs AND keep you full and satisfied! If you do not pair your meal with one of the above, you may end up still feeling hungry, or be hungry most of your day.
6. Eat and Take Your Vitamins
It is important to have a varied and balanced diet so that we don't skimp on the nutrients that are most important. People who are vegetarian and vegan tend to need a supplement to help them meet their mineral and vitamin needs. Listed are vitamins and minerals that important to either supplement or eat:
- Iron- nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, spinach
- Vitamin B12- spirulina, dried seaweed, nutritional yeast
- Vitamin B 6 (BIotin)- nuts, eggs, seeds,, cereals (oatmeal)
- Vitamin D- mushrooms, Fortified almond or soy milk
- Calcium- broccoli, kale, forfied, almond or soy milk,
- Omega-3- walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds
If you are already making your own meatless changes: What have you found that has worked for you? Which tips would you recommend to anyone also trying to become plant based?