Unlock the power of plant based eating

Unlock the Power of Plant-Based Eating

The power of plant-based eating is unmatched. With an increase in physicians and nutritionists touting the benefits of plant-centered eating and our long-time knowledge of the nutrient density of whole-plant foods like dark leafy greens, unprocessed high-fiber whole grains, and vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables, it’s no secret that a diet (or way of eating) focused on plant-eating is beneficial. 

But how do we unlock this power in a world and society constantly pushing fast food, convenience foods, and meat and dairy-laden meals? 

Unlock the Power of Plant-Based Eating

We start with where we are. An unpopular opinion or tip in the plant-based and vegan industry is a slow transition. Vegans are out here pushing and encouraging 100% vegan diets for the animals, and our whole food plant-based pioneers are preaching 100% for the best results. Which, 100% likely is going to yield the best results. But* what I’ve found is when we approach plant-based, plant-centered, or plant-focused eating with intention instead of perfection… we create sustainable and lasting habits (instead of 90 days of perfect 100% only to crash and burn on day 91 and pivot back to the familiar. 

The VegInspired Way is built on intention, sustainability, and living. 

Getting Started with Plant-Based Eating

Starting with plant-based or #eatmoreplants eating begins with analyzing or evaluating your current eating habits. 

Do an audit.

Without changing anything, keep a straightforward log of the foods you eat for a week. Review that log and mark every meal that is 100% plant-based, 75% plant-based, 50% plant-based and 0% plant-based. This record will allow you to reflect on those meals that could easily be shifted or altered to move in the direction of plant-based eating. 

For example, maybe you are already eating oats for breakfast, and a simple swap to plant milk would make that meal plant-based. 

Maybe you are already eating loaded and hearty salads for lunch, and a simple swap of cooked lentils for eggs or meat would make the meal plant-based. 

Look for where your meals already align or mostly align first. Becoming aware of our current behavior makes the changes seem more manageable. *Want help with this audit? Connect with me on Instagram to start the conversation. I love to help people eat more plants with easy swaps. 

Make simple swaps

As I mentioned above, perhaps a simple swap is plant-based milk for dairy milk. Or cooking up some lentils for your salads instead of boiled eggs. Maybe it is trying a new salad dressing or sauce for a bowl or hearty salad that is already plant-based. Perhaps it is swapping out one meal a week for a 100% plant-based meal, #meatlessmonday? 

Maybe it is swapping out one meal a week for a 100% plant-based meal, #meatlessmonday? 

Don’t let the stress or pressure of going 100% plant-based keep you from going 75% plant-based. Those small shifts can be game-changers in our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. 

Look for Plant-Based Options for Dining Out

The number 1 question asked is, “How do I eat plant-based or vegan when dining out?” While every restaurant and city is different, some standard options below can help you get started:

  1. Look for restaurants that have vegan options. Start with the Happy Cow App and look for nearby restaurants with vegan options. I also like to cross-review these options with Google reviews and review the menu beforehand (as restaurants change their options based on demand). 
  2. Look for dishes you can modify. Baked potatoes with avocado, salsa, and a big salad with all the restaurant’s veggies dressed with oil and vinegar can be a great start. Pasta tossed with a marinara (confirm it has no animal products like meat or cheese in the cooking process).
  3. Ethnic cuisine restaurants can be a great source of plant-based options: vegetable sushi, stirfry or steamed veggies and rice (confirm no fish or animal ingredients in sauces), beans and rice with guac and salsa (verify no animal products like lard or chicken stock in cooking), and some ethnicities have vegan or plant-based cooking, like Ital or Indian cooking.
  4. Ask the managers or chefs at your favorite restaurants. Chefs become chefs because they love the creation process in the kitchen. Many will jump at the chance to go “off-menu” to create a satisfying dish. I recommend a call ahead or even stopping in at nonbusy times to explore this option instead of waiting until their busiest time with your party of 10 and “Surprise, I’m vegan! Can you make me an off-menu creation?” 

A Mindset Shift

Understanding that lifestyle changes like these are more manageable when we shift our thinking and attitudes and our conscious behaviors. If all your life you were told “milk does a body good,” and now you are trying to replace milk at dinner with water, this unknown or unfamiliar behavior might feel uncomfortable or like something is missing. Instead of forcing the physical behavior change, pair that with a conscious shift in your thinking. Something as simple as a sticky note with a “hydrating with water is beneficial for my body” on the bathroom mirror can help with subtle shifts in your thinking. 

Another helpful mindset shift is owning the change, standing confidently in your decision to change how you eat, and communicating that with conviction and self-belief. Shifting your self-talk (the conversations in your head) and your outward expressions from “I’m trying to eat plant-based.” to “I AM a plant-based eater.” can foster that inner ownership and personal responsibility. 

When I pivoted from vegan eating to whole-food eating (mostly ditching processed foods and increasing the whole foods I ate), I focused on being the whole-food eater who could stand in front of a big spread of food and choose the apple over the cookie. This intentional visualization gave me confidence day after day in moving toward the plant-based version of myself. A shift in mindset and perspective helped with the new habits. 

Focus on the Daily Habits

Lastly, this could be a program and post all on its own… focus on your daily habits. What are you doing and eating plant-based daily, and how can you increase that? Just like we don’t gain or lose weight from one meal, we don’t go or become plant-based or not with one meal. It is about what we consume habitually -daily – that gets our long-term results. So instead of focusing on that wedding in six- months or that one night out this month, focus on one meal at a time and build the habits that support your goal of becoming plant-based. 

The Power of Plant-Based

Plant-based eating isn’t powerful when it is done once; the power is unlocked when it becomes a way of life when it becomes who you are. If you are ready to unlock that power and become plant-based and feel that support or mentorship is your next step, book a call with Kathy and learn more about the mentorship offered through VegInspired. 

If mentorship isn’t the next step, but you love what you’ve read and want more, be sure to subscribe to our Newsletter (and grab a free E-cookbook) and give us a follow on Instagram