A plant-based diet (PBD) is the new sexy thing to try in this era. Some people go on a PBD short-term as a type of cleanse from how they normally eat. It’s great to see individuals taking interest in a PBD, especially, because it increases product availability to permanent plant-based eaters. If you are considering a PBD, there are some things you should keep in mind before starting the diet. Below, I’m going to share some PBD tips I’ve gathered from my own experience.
Don’t do it for weight loss
It’s great to lose unwanted weight, but think about being on a PBD as a way to be healthier. Being on a PBD, initially you may notice a reduction in weight, but overtime your weight can become stagnate. It can be challenging to lose weight (or burn fat) on a PBD as a non-PBD. For some of us, when we switch to a PBD, our sugar consumption increases. A high sugar consumption, even natural sugar, can make it harder to burn fat.
Learn to cook
If you’re choosing a plant-based life, you cannot eat out all the time. In fact, you may not be able to eat out at all depending on where you live in the world. For an example, California likely has more vegan restaurants than Michigan.
Another important thing to remember is restaurants are in business to make food taste good. Therefore, a vegan restaurant may choose a less healthy ingredient to prepare a dish versus a healthier ingredient. For an example, the cook may use a processed dairy-free cheese instead of making the cheese. I believe the only way to know a meal is completely free from the bad stuff is to cook from scratch.
Lastly, embrace creativity in the kitchen and be open to try different foods. If you’re closed minded when it comes to food, then a PBD will be difficult. Your PBD will be a lot more enjoyable if you learn to like vegetables and fruits because that’s all you’ll be eating (LOL).
Preparation is essential
A good way to lighten the stress of a PBD is to become a forward-thinker. It’s a great idea to meal prep all your meals and snacks once a week because it will prevent you from making unhealthy eating decisions throughout the week. Also, be prepared for social times with non-plant-based eaters. If you’re going to a restaurant where you feel you must eat something, scope out the menu prior to the event to see what you can eat. Other suggestions to managing your PBD around non-plant-based eaters is to eat before going out, keep snacks in your purse or car, or bring a meal with you.
While a PBD increases vitamins and minerals we consume, it’s still going to be hard to consume everything you need from food alone. I’m not saying it’s impossible to eat every vitamin and mineral you need daily, I just don’t think it’s realistic for everyone’s lifestyle. There are two supplements I suggest on a PBD: Probiotic and B-Complex vitamin. These supplements are suggested because probiotics are good for digestive health, and our consumption of B vitamins decrease once we stop eating meat.
Stick with the basics
Most people think being healthy is expensive. I believe eating healthy can be expensive but doesn’t have to be. If you’re on a budget, don’t buy organic foods and stay away from luxury foods like spirulina. Instead, daily, concentrate on eating leafy greens and foods high in fiber. Also, try not to consume high amounts of processed food. Even if the chips are vegan and gluten free, the product could be packed with salt, sugar, and preservatives. Therefore, get in the habit of reading food labels.
I will continue to express that a PBD is not easy but try to have the mentality that this diet is an investment in yourself. Take your time transitioning to a PBD. Sometimes it takes a while to see a return on your investment.
Are you on a plant-based diet? Comment below some methods that have been beneficial to your journey.