Vegan recipes for an active, healthy life.

How Do I Transition to a Plant-Based Diet?

How Do I Transition to a Plant-Based Diet?

How Do I Transition to a Plant-Based Diet?

This can be a daunting process. I have not always eaten vegan. I was a Midwestern-born meat and potatoes for nearly 30 years! So, I know that the transition can be tough. It can also take awhile! There is nothing wrong with doing it slowly. Here are my tips for a successful and FULL transition!

 

Take Small Steps First

Take small steps first, find success, then take another step. For example, if you think you absolutely cannot give up cheese, then don’t! Not at first. That is my best advice and I think this way works the best. Go vegan, entirely, except cheese. But keep researching, keep learning, keep cooking, keep reading and talking to other people who are eating a vegan diet. And I promise you, you will one day wake up to find that you don’t even want cheese. Or maybe it’s ice cream. That was a hard one for me! Until they came out with coconut ice cream and then the thought of cow’s milk ice cream grossed me out and all I wanted was coconut ice cream, so I never went back! That will happen for you too! I promise! Just don’t give up, don’t judge yourself and tell everyone to buzz off if they judge. Just keep moving forward, keep veganism as the final goal and you will get there.

 

Eating Out Can Be a Challenge

If you eat out at conventional restaurants, my experience has been that it is a challenge to find anything substantial to eat. However, this is FAST changing. Even Pizza Hut just added vegan cheese! So, hopefully, this will continue to change and that vegan options will become the norm everywhere. That being said, many places offer simple things like spaghetti and marinara or a side salad with olive oil and balsamic. However, if you’re anything like me and you LOVE to eat, these will be sort of silly. So, honestly, I have definitely been known to eat before I go because I just don’t want to waste money on food I don’t want because it’s “polite”. However, in most major cities, the vegan restaurants are abundant! Check out my post here about all the vegan options in Austin!

If You Cheat (on purpose or by accident), Forgive Yourself and Move On

This journey is not about being perfect. It is about moving in the right direction. There are a lot of vegan voices out there that are angry and mean and claim that going 100% vegan immediately is the only way! And while that is the goal, it can be very hard to do overnight. I might even say it’s impossible to do in just one night. That’s because there is a lot to learn. It’s not entirely about having the perfect mixture of all the minerals and vitamins and macros, because, if you’re like me, you never did that with a meat-based diet, did you? I NEVER checked my micronutrients when I was living off cheese and chicken. So, now that I am eating more plants, I should start? Plants, naturally, are PACKED with micronutrients. So, I’m already off to a better start!

Do Not Worry, Plants Have PLENTY of Protein

Trust me, plants have plenty of protein! If you don’t trust me, check out some of these AMAZING vegan bodybuilders: Kileigh BranaeTorre Washington, Korin Sutton, Nimai Delgado.

You Do Not Need as Much Protein As You Think

The amount of recommended daily intake of protein can easily be calculated by multiplying your body weight in lbs x 0.36, which means for a woman who weighs 130, she would need approximately 47 grams of protein. For a man weighing 190, he would need approximately 69 grams of protein. To give you some perspective, that could easily be achieved with 1 cup of oatmeal, 1 cup of quinoa, 1 cup of tofu, 1 cup of nut milk, a few nuts and 1/2 cup of beans. Chances are, you’ll be eating a whole lot more than that!

Do Not Worry, Plants Have PLENTY of Protein

Wait, didn’t we already go over this? Yes. But seriosly. We have been conditioned in this society to believe that we have to have tons of protein. This is simply not true. The thing we really need more of are micronutrients like the ones listed below (citation). And guess what, vegetables and fruits are FULL of these amazing nutrients!

Vitamins: Vitamin C, Vitamin B3 (Niacin, Niacinamide), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenate), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin), Folic Acid, Biotin, Beta-carotene, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E (d-alpha-Tocopherol),

Minerals: Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus

Trace Elements: Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Selenium, Chromium, Molybdenum

Amino Acids: Taurine, L-Lysine, L-Proline, L-Arginine, L-Carnitine, L-Cysteine

Other Essential Nutrients: Green Tea Leaf Extract,Bioflavonoids,Inositol,Coenzyme Q-10

Vitamins: Vitamin C, Vitamin B3 (Niacin, Niacinamide), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenate), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin), Folic Acid, Biotin, Beta-carotene, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E (d-alpha-Tocopherol),

Minerals: Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus

Trace Elements: Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Selenium, Chromium, Molybdenum

Amino Acids: Taurine, L-Lysine, L-Proline, L-Arginine, L-Carnitine, L-Cysteine

Other Essential Nutrients: Green Tea Leaf Extract,Bioflavonoids,Inositol,Coenzyme Q-10

 

B-12

People will tell you that you can’t get B-12 from plants and nowadays, with the ways of modern day farming, the soil no longer contains B-12. B-12 is a bacteria. It used to grow in the soil but now, with the sterilzation techniques of modern farming, it no longer flourishes there. The main place it now flourishes is in the intestines of an animal, which is then transferred to the muscles, which is how humans get this vitamin from meat. However, it is easy to come by as most nut milks are fortified with it. Nutritional yeast is also fortified with it and is a great seasoning to add to you pantry (don’t worry, it’s not real yeast like brewer’s yeast as it is not active).

 

Vitamin D

Did you know that vitamin D does not naturally come in cow’s milk? Nope. They make it sound like it does. But way back in the early 1900’s, there was an overwhelming surge of rickets, a childhood bone disorder, which was a clear sign that there was a vitamin D deficiency in the children who ailed from this disorder. So, the powers-that-be at the time moved forward with fortifying milk with Vitamin D. And soon after, the rickets epidemic ended. Most food does not come with Vitamin D, the absolute best way to get Vitamin D is to make sure to get about 10-5 minutes of sunlight every day.

Wait, Now, What About Calcium

Calcium comes primarily form milk and cheese, right? How else will you get calcium? The answer is within those leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens. Other great sources of calcium are soybeans, tofu and molasses.

 

Are You Ready?

You can do this!

 

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