15 Tips on Starting a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet

 

 

  1. Our taste preferences are learned and therefore can be unlearned and retrained. If a child is only fed plant-based food, that is what he or she will get used to and enjoy. In other words, we can change our taste preferences if we give it sufficient time. The mistake is not giving it enough time.
  1. The way we think and 'speak' to ourselves is key. All of us have internal dialogues and they are very powerful. Rather than tell yourself, "I CANNOT eat meat, dairy, or cheese", it is a lot more powerful to say, "I DO NOT eat meat, dairy or cheese". The former connotes lack and sacrifice whereas the latter connotes the power of choice and empowerment. Pay attention to your internal dialogue.
  1. Embarking on a whole food plant-based diet is not expensive, especially if you cook the food yourself. It is the processed food in the grocery stores that is expensive. Vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes and beans are relatively cheap if you elect to cook them in your kitchen..
  1. The longer you stick to a whole food plant-based diet, the easier it gets. Many people give up before they experience this. You will become more proficient at cooking plant-based ingredients and your taste buds will evolve accordingly. Just like exercise, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
  1. Always try to remember why you embarked on a whole food plant-based diet. Never lose sight of the fact that it is healthier for you and your family and you are giving yourself and loved ones the invaluable gift of health and longevity.
  1. Read the ingredients on food packaging. The major ingredients are always listed at the top. Even better, buy ingredients that do not require food labeling: kale is kale, a head of broccoli is exactly that.
  1. Buy organic/non GMO whenever possible. Vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are great, but not as much so if sprayed with Roundup or harmful chemicals.
  1. Forget worrying about getting sufficient protein. Detractors love to ask, "But where do you get your protein?!" 100 calories of broccoli has almost the same amount of protein as 100 calories of beef (8.4 grams versus 10.3 grams). 100 calories of tofu has 10.6 grams of protein. 100 calories of black beans has 6.25 grams of protein. Also, you will feel a lot more full and satiated eating the broccoli as compared to the beef because 100 calories of beef only equates to 1.8 ounces of meat (when is the last time you can remember only eating a 1.8oz steak?).
  1. Clean out your pantry and fridge. Give away non plant-based and processed items. It is much better to get rid of the temptations and unhealthy food than having to exercise willpower everyday.
  1. Once others hear that you are on a whole food plant-based diet, many of them will suddenly act as if they earned a nutrition degree from Harvard. Forget what others say. Do your own research, watch nutrition documentaries, and make your own decisions. Most naysayers will dislike your new habits because it makes them see the flaws in their own food choices.
  1. Refrain from trying to convert others or publicizing the fact that you are on a whole food plant-based diet. Nobody likes someone who preaches or is condescending. Your actions and results will speak louder than your words.
  1. You are going to become healthier, feel better, look better, think better, and, if you stick with it, you will inevitably influence others in a positive way. You are going to get compliments from others and many will seek advice from you. Some will envy you, but your results will speak for themselves. You will be eating better than 99% of the population.
  1. If you couple your plant-based diet with regular exercise, your health will improve exponentially. Exercise and eating healthily bolster one another and are perfect partners. Doing both also increases your chances of sticking to your new healthy lifestyle.
  1. Recognize that you are changing the world (and yourself) with your food choices. You are at the forefront of changing this planet for the better. You will be a leader in food evolution while embarking on this wonderful culinary adventure.
  1. You are brave, wise, and strong for switching to a whole food plant-based diet. Give yourself a lot of credit. You deserve it.