Power to the Plants: How to Transition to a Plant Based Diet and Make it Stick
Do you want to live longer?
Americans who eat a diet high in red and processed meats have a shorter life span than those who don’t. Meats can cause all sorts of health complications ranging from heart disease to diabetes. If you want to take a stand for your health, it may be time to start a plant based diet.
It can be scary to think about giving up meat, especially when there are so many fun meat-based dishes. However, we’re here to tell you that becoming a vegetarian or vegan doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your love of food. As long as you take the time to find meatless food options that delight your tastebuds, you’ll be able to enjoy every meal just as much, if not more, than you did before!
Are you ready to learn how to start a plant-based diet for beginners that sticks? Read on to learn how to give up meat, the right way.
Great Protein Sources
Before you can begin a plant based diet, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with the different types of protein sources for vegans and vegetarians. For starters, lentils are a wonderful way to add protein to almost any plant-based dish. Packed full of protein, lentils are also great at promoting good gut health.
The type of fiber that exists in lentils helps feed the good bacteria in your stomach, helping you avoid all sorts of health complications. From protecting you from things like diabetes to cancer, lentils can be a real lifesaver. Next, chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans are also great protein sources.
Beans are considered to be a legume, and on top of providing protein, they also have other helpful nutrients. Iron, potassium, manganese, and fiber are just a few of the nutrients beans can provide. To get the most health benefits, we suggest that you buy dry beans. You’ll need to follow the instructions on the beans you buy, by soaking them overnight and then cooking them on your stovetop.
By cooking your beans you’ll be getting a fresher meal, that’s not full of salts and preservatives. Moving on, hemp seed is another great protein source. While hemp seed does come from the same family as marijuana plants, they don’t contain any psychoactive properties. In other words, you don’t have to worry about getting high, or failing a drug test, because your diet includes hemp products.
Along with providing protein, hemp seeds also provide calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and selenium. Finally, we also suggest that you buy fresh green peas to pack even more protein into your day. You can make green pea soup, green pea, and avocado guacamole, or just eat them plain!
What Are Mock Meats?
One of the most difficult parts of starting a plant-based diet for beginners is that you’ll miss the textures, and flavors meat dishes had. However, the good news is you don’t have to miss out on fun meal options, thanks to the help of mock meats! Mock meats are vegetarian and vegan products that look and taste similar to meats, however, they don’t contain any traces of meat in them.
Here’s a shortlist of the different types of mocked meats you should try:
- Plant-based Italian sausages
- Beef-less beef crumbles
- Soy products
- Chickenless chicken nuggets
- Meatless meatballs
- Black bean burgers
- Seitan bacon
Along with tofu, and soy, mock meats can also be made using a textured vegetable protein, or things like wheat gluten. There are vegan food restaurants that help take your mock meat experience to a whole new level with dishes that even your meat-loving friends will want a bite of.
You can also find mocked meats at popular fast food locations such as Burger King, and Qdoba. Instead of weighing your stomach down with a big greasy burger, you’ll be able to enjoy the sensation of eating a meatless burger, with all of the fixings!
Keeping Things Full of Flavor
If you want to stick to your plant-based diet plan, remember that flavor is your friend. Plain boiled vegetables can get boring fast, and sooner than later your tastebuds are going to begin craving the fun sensations different flavors can bring. Luckily, as long as you have a few core spices in your cabinet, you can make any vegetable taste irresistible.
Here are a few of the best spices and seasonings for vegetables:
- Garlic powder
In addition to the list above, you can also use zesty vegetables to flavor plain tasting ones. For instance, if you’re not crazy about the taste of green peas, try adding some chopped onion and red bell peppers into the mix. Before you know it you’ll be creating delicious plant-based diet recipes that make your entire house smell incredible.
Living a Smoothie Lifestyle
Last but not least, never underestimate the power of the smoothie! Smoothies are a wonderful go-to solution for incorporating all sorts of vegetables into your diet. For instance, you can make our favorite smoothie, the kale fruit explosion!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- ½ cup fruit
- 1-2 cups water or almond milk
- Ground flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- 1 cup kale or spinach
- 1-2 cups of ice
Start by putting your liquids in the blender. If you’re going for fewer calories, you’ll want to use water instead of almond milk. Next, add in all of the other ingredients, putting the ice in last. After blending everything, check the consistency of your smoothie, adding more ice or liquid as needed. You’ll quickly become addicted to the great taste and wonderful way a nutritious healthy smoothie makes you feel.
The best part is that the sky’s the limit when it comes to smoothie creations. You can make sweet potato smoothies, zucchini smoothies, celery smoothies, and more!
Have Fun With Your Plant Based Diet
Starting a plant based diet is one of the best ways to invest in your health. However, if you’re not taking the time to make things fun, you’re going to give up before you can start enjoying all of the healthy benefits. Remember to keep things flavorful with different herbs and spices, and don’t be afraid to test out different types of mocked meats.
Go ahead and try 1 meatless product today to kick off your new food journey! For more ways to feel your best, check out the rest of this site.