Easing Into a Plant-Based Lifestyle

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With more and more people choosing to adopt a plant-based lifestyle these days, you may find yourself curious about giving it a go. There is a lot to consider when adopting a vegan lifestyle and whether or not it could work for you. The science is in, though – eating a plant-based diet full of whole foods has been shown to lower blood pressure, enhance longevity and prevent a host of metabolic disorders.

Though the thought of never eating a filet again or not buying leather boots every few years might terrify you, there are ways to ease into the lifestyle to make the transition easier and the practice of living more sustainable – literally and figuratively. So, let’s take a look at how to ease into a plant-based lifestyle so it can work for you long term. 


First Things First 


Though numerous peer-reviewed studies all determine the same thing – that a vegan diet is heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory, and can even help your mental health, every human body is different. So, if you are already working with your GP for specific health conditions, it’s a good idea to check in with them before you eliminate animal products from your diet. While they will almost definitely give you the green light, you want to talk to your doctor before completely overhauling your routines, depending on your current state of health.


Knowledge Is Power 


Many people have the misconception that we can only get our much-needed protein from the animals that we consume. This is simply untrue – we also get our protein from the plants that the animals we are used to eating consume. When you arm yourself with knowledge such as that or get essential omega and fats from things like Chia seeds or Flax seeds, you will feel confident you’re getting all the nutrients you need. At the same time, you may need to supplement with a B-12 vitamin; if you’re eating healthy, whole, and unprocessed food, a plant-based diet is among the most beneficial you can consume. 


Mock Meats Are Delicious 


If you’re someone who loves a good hot dog, a meatloaf, or a hamburger – you don’t have to be concerned about transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle. As you ease into a vegan diet, it’s okay to eat the mock-meat versions of your favorite animal dishes. While these types of foods generally add certain preservatives and are processed, they can aid people struggling to give up bacon. As you get more comfortable eating more vegetables to stay healthy, you’ll slowly phase out the vegan versions of your former meat favorites. If you decide to keep them as part of your diet, consuming them in moderation is best. 


Other Alternatives 


It’s not just meat that some people have a hard time giving up – for some, that part is a breeze. Maybe you’ll struggle more with no longer eating cheese or your favorite desserts. Thankfully, plenty of vegan chocolate, butter, and cheese are available at virtually any grocery store. Don’t be discouraged – you may have to relearn your grocery aisles, but all of your favorite foods are available in a plant-based option for the most part. And when it comes to junk food, we shouldn’t be consuming that anyway, so if your favorite cheat food isn’t vegan, consider it a blessing and more straightforward to give up since it’s not part of your new diet.


Doing It for the Animals 


While many people aren’t even motivated by health to adopt a plant-based diet, but instead for the ethical treatment of animals, that’s a solid push to give it all up. However, if you decide that a plant-based lifestyle isn’t for you, there are avenues you can pursue to consume animal products more ethically. Instead of buying your meats and cheeses from big-box grocers, source local butchers and farms to get your eggs, steaks, and more. The animals on these farms typically live better lives and are well-loved by the farmers. 


Living a plant-based lifestyle can take some getting used to and a commitment that is hard for some to keep. While there is tons of evidence to support the benefits of a vegan diet, it isn’t for everyone. Let the tips mentioned above help ease you into trying plant-based living and give it your best shot. Here’s to your health!