Vegan Bowl

6 Steps To Switching To A Plant-Based Lifestyle

So you’ve decided you want to make the switch to a vegan lifestyle. Congrats! Going from consuming animal products (in your food and/or in your home life) to plant-based products sounds daunting, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult transition.

A little planning goes a long way, and if you consider your lifestyle choices an ongoing journey you’ll feel less pressure to do a complete overhaul right from the get-go.

My decision to eat plant-based evolved over time. It began out of an interest in my health, and soon expanded to include ethical reasoning and more recently environmental concerns.

I’m still in the process of “greening” my home and improving my culinary skills, and I’m constantly educating myself and doing my best to make healthy decisions.

But, I’ve been doing this for a while and have a few tips I can share to going vegan. Here are some of my favourite ways to make the switch to a primarily plant-based lifestyle.

I find plant-based cookbooks and blogs beautiful and inspiring — sites like Oh She Glows, Joyous Health, and Hot For Food are among my go-tos, and I love exploring new faves like Love And Lemons.

When I find a recipe I like I’ll add the ingredients to my grocery list and try to replicate it. I follow several healthy food social media accounts like Detoxinista, where I get a lot of inspiration for new plant-based recipes; Candice Batista is inspiring for green living, and Organic Bunny is great for plant-based makeup and beauty products.

House plants do such a great job of helping us connect to nature and for me, the act of tending to them can be a form of meditation — they add beauty to our home and I love seeing new leaves grow! And you may as well bring some house plants into the office, because research shows that when employees are near plants (such as on their desks), they’re less stressed.

Bonus: some house plants, like succulents, require little maintenance and are great for kids, who can learn how to take care of them.

When it comes to your health and the health of your family, you need to educate yourself to make good choices.

Understanding how and where to get all the nutrients you need from plant-based sources is important, and familiarizing yourself with ways to incorporate new foods and ingredients into your diet is particularly helpful.

Reputable websites like One Green Planet, Well + Good, and Mind Body Green (they also have a podcast) are easy, free ways to access helpful information. Government health websites are also a great, reputable resource.

Research can also be practical, like where to buy the best quality turmeric or what items to purchase in bulk, or how to incorporate nutritional yeast (a vegan’s best friend) into your cooking.

Research will also help you understand which ingredients to avoid, and with practice you’ll be reading labels like a pro.

Shopping at places that have already done the legwork is helpful. Get to know your local health food store; chances are the staff are excited about health and wellness and can help you navigate your vegan discoveries.

Eating out can get expensive really fast, and preparing meals at home is a fun and economical way to get excited about your new culinary journey.

Play around and see what works best for you; I have yet to perfect plant-based pancakes from scratch, but I found a wonderful mix that nails it every time.

 

Read more…