Tips for Transitioning to a Plant-Based DietFeb 18, 2021
By Elena Hollenhorst
Eating a more plant-centered diet can seem a bit daunting at first. Follow these tips to ease your transition:
- Take it slow. When transitioning to a plant-based diet, it can feel a bit overwhelming at fist. Start slowly and be patient with yourself. It may be helpful to begin with swapping one meal a day to be plant-based. (Try breakfast!)
- Focus on what you can add to your diet rather than what you'll be missing. Make room for more beans and legumes, whole grains, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds. When you fill up on fiber-rich food, you'll likely feel satiated.
- You may need to eat larger quantities of food than you are used to eating. Generally speaking, whole, unprocessed food sourced from plants (i.e. vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes) has a lower caloric density than animal-based and processed foods. For some people, this could mean eating larger portions than they're used to consuming.
- Eat the rainbow. Aim to fill half of your plate with colorful vegetables. As a rule of thumb, opt for a wide variety of colorful vegetables.
- Flavor your leafy greens and get creative with how to serve them! Salads are excellent, but they’re not the only way to eat your greens. Try steamed greens; pan-seared greens with fresh herbs and minced garlic; put greens in your smoothies; or try baking kale with a bit of olive oil and salt to make kale chips.
- Include whole grains. Many folks would benefit from actually increasing their intake of whole, unprocessed grains. Try brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, quinoa, corn tortillas, etc.
- Include healthy fats with each meal such as olives, nuts, seeds, avocados, nut butters, and tahini. For many people, adding modest amounts of healthy fats with each meal can help them feel full longer. Consider adding ground flaxseeds, ground chia, and walnuts for omega-3s.
- Stay inspired. Team up with a friend, family member, or community that is interested or active in plant-based eating. If you don't have anyone in person, find an online community!
- Shop at your local farmer’s market. See what’s in season and get creative with what is available and affordable for you. Try buying one new vegetable or fruit each time you go and research a recipe to make!
Bonus: Plant your own herb and veggie garden. Consider using some space in your yard to grow fresh kale, oregano, or tomatoes. Do you live in a city? Check out community gardens, garden rental plots, or plant a small herb garden on your window sill.
The Resilient Diet
We have created the Resilient Diet to integrate seamlessly into your daily life. It is not a set of restrictive rules or detailed recipes. Instead, the Resilient Diet is made up of six broad guidelines or principles. These principles can guide your nutrition whether you cook for yourself, cook for a family, or don't cook much at all. Read more.