Starting a plant-based diet is like building a house. You have to lay the foundations before you tile the roof. A strong foundation will hold the house when things get tough.
These are the 3 things that are essential for a successful transition to a plant-based diet. It will help you to prioritise your mental health and overall wellbeing too.
1. Find Your Motivation
No matter where we start, switching to a plant-based diet is a major change for all of us.
Although the end is highly rewarding, the transition can be a long and difficult process. That is why knowing your motivation for this journey is incredibly important.
Take a step back and really think about why you want to embark on a plant-based journey. Maybe you want to be healthier and happier…or maybe you want to be kinder to the planet and animals. Perhaps you’re doing this because your friend asked you to try a plant-based diet with them and you said you’ll try!
There are so many reasons why, but the most important one is the one that matters to you. The clearer it is to you, the more excited and passionate you’ll be. This is the energy that you’ll need to not only transition successfully but to also enjoy every step of the way.
Express these reasons through writing or creating a visual board. Think back to it to keep you going. The more you venture into this lifestyle, the more reasons you’ll find to motivate yourself.
Also, don’t forget to look for some outside influences too. They may be a vegan athlete, an Instagram influencer or a plant-based doctor that you look up to. For many people, documentaries such as the Game Changers and What the Health had such a great impact they started their journey from there!
2. Learn More
Have full confidence in your journey by educating yourself on the plant-based diet.
As above, we all have our personal reasons for making this change. However, to make a stronger case for ourselves, we should look into the latest news and research surrounding the topic. For example, if want to go plant-based for health reasons, looking into how a plant-based diet can help prevent diseases might be interesting and highly motivating.
Learning more about the plant-based diet is also great for engaging in discussions about the topic. While this lifestyle has gained popularity over the coming years, it is not yet a mainstream ideal. So unfortunately, you might come across some people who are against or resistant to the idea. From our experience, using facts and well-researched information to engage people and invite meaningful discussion is the best way forward. Of course, some people will be genuinely curious or some might even be sitting on the fence about the idea! This is a really good time to share your knowledge and spread the good word.
Learning doesn’t just mean facts and numbers. Many people struggle with cooking plant-based food. So learning how to cook delicious, satisfying and nutritious vegan food is super important. Whether it’s learning how to use meat substitutes, ways to substitute an egg in baking or new recipes, there’s always something new everyday.
The more we learn, the more we fall in love with the world. So the more you learn about the plant-based lifestyle, the more you’ll love what you’re doing.
3. Know Yourself Well
One of the best things about transitioning to a plant-based diet was learning more about myself.
When starting on a plant-based diet, knowing yourself really well will be an advantage. Perhaps you know that you don’t like soy milk, so incorporating more almond milk into your coffees and baking will make it easier. If you really don’t like the taste of a certain vegetable, there is no benefit in trying to force yourself to eat it over and over again. Personally, I never enjoyed colder dishes before going plant-based so I knew I wouldn’t enjoy raw vegan foods as much.
This also runs on a deeper level. If you know what your strengths are, then you can use them in your favour. If you know what your weaknesses are, then you can try to improve them or avoid them during tougher times. It’s good to be in tune with your personality too. For example, I know that I am a non-confrontational person. So while I love to engage in discussions regarding the plant-based diet, I will quickly withdraw from it if things start to become non-meaningful and antagonistic. This is one way I prioritise my mental health and energy.
With this tip, you don’t have to completely know yourself inside out to make it work. What is important though, is that you’re open to learning about who you are as a person. Being receptive to discovery and reflecting upon your person is important. The things you discover could be relevant to the plant-based lifestyle and help you achieve a smoother transition.
A lot of the times though, you’ll have the added benefit of learning more about yourself in the other aspects of your life.