Following a healthy diet is essential for maintaining good health and living a long life. It’s not always easy to find a delicious, nutritious way of eating that one will enjoy and that has the nutritional profile they need - especially if they are switching their diet from an unhealthy one to a healthier one, or have been on a healthier diet before and want to go vegan.
Most people find it hard to follow a plant-based diet because junk food and sweet things are always tempting. But since it's a journey, one doesn't have to give up everything at once! When going meatless, some new foods may make one feel funny at first, like tempeh, beans, and tofu. However, with time, these foods will grow on them so much that they will start feeling as normal as pasta and cheese.
Tips To Get Started on a Plant Based Diet
Starting on a plant based diet can be difficult for some people. There’s some things that you can do to help. Some actually don’t really have anything to do with plant based vs. meat based, but make it easier. Some plans include:
- One Should Make Healthy Snacks Their First Priority - Anyone starting this diet should try to avoid snacks made out of white flour as they usually don't contain any valuable nutrients. Instead, they should opt for healthy snack options such as fruits, carrots, oats, nuts, seeds, soy milk, nut butter, brown rice, quinoa, etc.
- Drink Lots Of Water - Another trick anyone starting on a plant based diet should try is drinking lots of water while still adjusting to their diet. Staying hydrated prevents constipation and dehydration, a common problem most people experience when following a vegetable-heavy diet.
- One Should be Consistent - Consistency is a key part of success, whether it's in exercising regularly or sticking to a diet. Most people who are switching from a regular diet to a vegetarian/vegan diet lack consistency. By remaining consistent, one has a better chance of succeeding with their goals than those who quit every now and then.
- One Need To Find a Motivation - People often lose motivation when transitioning into different diets. If someone wants to do a healthy change, they must create reasons why it would benefit them. Being healthy is a great reason to do anything and making a positive change is even more inspiring.
When transitioning to a plant-based diet, meat substitutes tend to be used instead of animal products. Many of them are high in protein to ensure people don’t become deficient in their protein levels. Meat alternatives can come in different forms, including:
- Tofu - Tofu is a great source of protein which makes it suitable for vegans and vegetarians alike. It tastes similar to chicken and provides plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Tempeh - Tempeh is a fermented soybean product with a higher amount of protein than tofu. This means that tempeh can provide enough protein without consuming too much fat and calories.
- Chickpeas - The Chickpea is a mix of peas and corn, which are both very high in fiber and low in calories. They are packed full of proteins and nutrients, making them a perfect replacement for ground beef.
- Quinoa - Quinoa is a complete protein that contains all the essential amino acids required by the body. It also contains twice the amount of protein compared to wheat bread and is loaded with antioxidants and iron.
Popular Plant Based Meals
A key part to a plant based diet is having some good meal ideas that will assist you in the journey. The food needs to taste good in order to ensure that you’re going to stick with it. Some great meal ideas include:
- Smoky Spiced Veggie Rice - This meal includes a variety of vegetables, onions, peppers, and mushrooms which all come together in a delicious flavor. The spices act as a savory sauce for the rice while giving it a nice smoky flavor. A little bit of black pepper gives the dish an extra bite.
- Vegetable Chili - Vegetables are not just vegetables anymore when one is eating a plant based diet. These ingredients include broccoli, spinach, green peppers, onions, chickpeas, beans, and celery. The secret ingredient? Pumpkin! For those who want a tasty and healthy meal, they need to try this one out.
- Black Bean Burritos - Black bean burritos are super delicious and offer a filling alternative to tacos. Everyone will love the combination of black beans, corn, salsa, avocado, spinach, red onion, jalapenos, cilantro, cheese, and tortillas.
- Lentil Soup - Lentils are good for every human being. They help improve kidney functions, heart health, digestion, boost energy levels, and regulate blood sugar. This soup made with lentils is delicious and nutritious.
- Peanut Butter Banana Bread - Bananas are very versatile once one learns how to use them effectively. Even though bananas contain only carbohydrates, their power lies within. In addition to providing quick energy, they help slow down hunger pangs, promote digestive health, and prevent certain types of cancers.