Going Plant-based? Try these 5 tips to help you navigate your plant-based transition.
If you want dietary changes to stick, you’ve got to stay inspired. Having inspiration not only makes grocery shopping easier, but menu planning too. Browse magazines or go through your current recipe books with a new set of eyes, and flag the plant-based options (or easily modifiable recipes). Bookmark recipes from blogs and websites or use an online tool to help you save some inspiration for the next time you’re stumped. We love Pinterest for this.
Rotate Recipes Every 3 to 5 Days
Planning ahead can make it easier to improvise. Taking a little time every 3 to 5 days to pre-select recipes you like makes transitioning to a new routine less stressful and will eliminate (or at least simplify) the “what to make for dinner” question.
Once you’ve selected your recipe rotation, take account of ingredients you have on hand (leftovers, dried, and fresh), and match this with your recipes to create a grocery list based on what’s outstanding.
Leftovers are the new fast food. Always check the serving size for recipes and scale appropriately to have a serving or two left over. You can also freeze appropriate recipes (plant-based stews, soups, and whole grains freeze well) and reheat them for an easy dinner when you don’t have time to cook. Leftovers filled with fresh, less freezer-friendly ingredients make stress-free lunches the next day.
Build a Recipe Repertoire
One of the hardest parts about changing a food-based habit is finding new recipes to replace ones you already love. The first weeks of transitioning to plant-based cooking can feel awkward when everything is new. But building a new recipe repertoire will ease this discomfort in time. If you enjoyed a new recipe, make a point to revisit it (again and again), until it becomes habit to make. When a recipe is essentially memorized, you can grocery shop and meal prep more spontaneously, and find a level of comfort where you can unleash your culinary creativity, make a recipe yours, and experiment with ingredient swaps for variety.
Creating new habits is easier when you’ve got people to share your new love of plant-based foods with. Whether you’re seeking out inspiration or camaraderie through social media, or meeting up with friends at local veg-friendly restaurants, sharing your experiences with others will help you stay motivated, work through challenges, and celebrate feeling better.