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How to Start a Plant-Based Diet A Quick & Useful Guide

how to start a plant based diet
Written by Jackie Parker

When it comes to life changes, few major shifts in your daily plan can be as intimidating as a massive shift in diet. You may have spent most of your life accustomed to certain profiles of flavors and textures while building up a base of favorite foods that are difficult to step away from

But, putting aside things like meat for the betterment of the world is worth the trouble.  And you may be surprised at the variants of your favorite dishes that exist in a plant-based diet. Here I'll guide you on how to start a plant-based diet. 

Most of the core tenets that come with switching to a plant-based diet are relatively simple. Many of our current diet standards lead to various health issues ranging from lethargy to cancerBut, you can solve part of the problem by swapping out meat-centric diets for plant-based variants. Of course, swapping isn't an overnight process. And there are a few steps to take along the way while also keeping your health in mind, but it's hardly impossible. 

For others, the choice is more of a mandatory change to fight diabetes, autoimmune diseases and other maladies that need careful management of one's food intake. Cutting oils, meats, and processed sugars out of your diet is just one of many steps you can take to ensure your body performs exactly as it should for as long as possible.

How To Start a Plant-Based Diet

Replace, Don't Restrict

Starting off slow is almost always the best way to approach a new diet, and a plant-based example is no different. Instead of cutting all meat out of your diet cold-turkey style, pun not intended, find foods you enjoy that are already plant-based and eat them in place of other less healthy foodstuffs

Chances are you already eat a fair amount of appropriate foods but haven't had a chance to explore them in their natural form. Garlic bread, a popular choice for pizza lovers and pasta aficionados alike, has a delicious ancestor in the form of bruschetta. Bruschetta is essentially the purest application of garlic bread there could ever be. By swapping out traditional white flour for wheat flour, you can adapt it to your diet and never have to miss any garlic-laden goodness

You may have to brush up on your kitchen skills along the way. See here how to cut garlic in an appropriate crossways manner for bruschetta spread preparation. Your knife will get a serious workout with the tomato to top it with, too, so make sure you have a cutting board of appropriate size and that your knife's sharpness is up to snuff.

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A Plant-Based Day: A Meal Course Example

how to start a plant based diet

Breakfast

 
Starting off the day bright and early with something filling but not too dense is a delicate balance to strike. Opening up with a glass of lemon water during your pre-breakfast routine can give your body time to prepare itself while you whip up a veggie and chickpea omelet to replace the eggier side of your diet without cutting out any nutritional edge. It's a tremendous plant-based diet starter meal that can have veggies swapped out for anything you have on-hand and is excellent when topped with a homemade salsa or pico de gallo.

Lunch

Your lunch choices probably depend on how active you've been and how hungry you're feeling. For a lighter option, a couscous and kale salad with homemade dressing crafted from vegetable stock and lime juice works well if you don't have time to cook in the middle of the day… Especially if you work away from home. For those looking for something more filling, big bean soup adds the surprisingly meaty texture of lima beans with the gently sweet power of the sweet potato for an unexpected yet tasty combination.

Dinner

 
When it's time for dinner, you might start feeling a craving for a comfort food. Pizza is difficult to get over, but it turns out you don't have to leave it behind! Whether it's a veggie pizza with a polenta crush or a simple pita pizza, finding a way to keep pizza in your plant-base diet is far easier than it sounds.

Worry About Satiety, Not Calories

You've probably noticed the above recipes don't give you much in the way of calorie density information. This is by design, as eating in a plant-based way means you have to pay attention to your body and eat more than you may be used to eating due to the caloric content of most whole foods.
 
Fruits and vegetables are often water-heavy which reduces caloric impact, so you shouldn't worry much about having a few extra stalks of celery as a between-meal snack. Once you've gotten used to your new diet, you can skip calorie counting by and large in favor of following your body's natural cues.

Conclusion

Swapping to a plant-based diet is daunting but rewarding. From the health benefits, it offers to the diseases it fights and the global crises it might help prevent… Finding a way to tune into a more natural approach to eating that promotes a fork and spoon over a steak knife is just one small way you can keep your body running smoothly and the world looking a touch brighter.

how to start a plant-based diet

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Author Bio: Amanda Wilks is a passionate writer and a cooking enthusiast. A few years back, she discovered the benefits of including more fruits and vegetables in her diet and since then, she’s been eating and feeling a lot healthier. Through her writings, Amanda hopes to inspire others to make smart choices regarding their own diet. Learn more about Amanda on Twitter.”

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Jackie Parker

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