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A step-by-step guide to converting to a plant-based diet

You’re here because you already know a plant-based diet is healthier than any other diet that exists. Research shows there’s been a 600% increase in the number of people who have made the switch to a plant-based or vegan diet.

With the growing number of plant-based enthusiasts constantly on the rise, there has never been a better time to eliminate meat and dairy from your diet.

If you’ve spent any time at all on social media during the lockdown, you’d probably think a good portion of the world was vegan.

And why not? With over 90 million #vegan posts on Instagram alone, it’s easy to say why Plant-based foods are one of the hottest trends in the food and diet industry right now.

A Plant-based diet is rapidly becoming the fastest growing trend in fitness. So, when people say you need to eat to have meat, dairy, and other animal products to build muscle, gain strength or compete in a bodybuilding contest, they are so wrong!

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Plant-based diet

What is a plant-based diet?

Eating a whole-food, plant-based vegan diet, without meat or dairy is beneficial for our health and wellbeing according to the evidence.

Vegan foods such as vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are low in saturated fat. Even high-fat plant foods (such as avocados, nuts, and seeds), contain no cholesterol whatsoever, so a vegan diet is cholesterol-free.

A vegan diet is also packed with antioxidants and fibre’s which can enhance your health, your body, and muscle recovery.

Eating a whole-food, plant-based diet without meat, dairy or eggs can help lower your cholesterol and improve your heart health.

One of the biggest concerns when making the transition to a plant-based diet for most people is, “Where am I going to get my protein from?”

Just like any change to a diet, it takes time to find out what works and what doesn’t. Thankfully it’s simple to find plant-based foods and recipes.

But let’s face it, making the switch from a meat eater to a vegetarian or completely plant-based diet, can be overwhelming.

A lot of people assume that plant-based or vegan diets are restrictive.  Keep reading…

Plant-based diet

Where do you get your protein from?

As you probably know, protein is the building blocks for muscle, and no you don’t need meat to get the required protein for packing on muscle mass. It is very easy to get plenty of protein from grains and vegetables.

There are two types of protein, complete and incomplete proteins.

And, vegans can get the complete amino acid profile which are in complete proteins.

They are the building blocks of essential amino acids we need to build muscle and recover. There are a lot of substitution meats and vegan protein powders that are a complete protein.

There are also grains and vegetables that are complete proteins too for example quinoa, amaranth, soybeans, buckwheat, hempseed, and much more. Even a mixture of pea protein and brown rice protein together creates a complete essential amino acid profile which makes it a complete protein.

Below are just a few samples of my favourite products that I contain a good amount of protein.

Have you considered a Vegan Diet?

 

Eating a whole-food, plant-based vegan diet, without the consumption of meat or dairy is beneficial for our health and wellbeing.

Vegan foods such as vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are low in saturated fat.

Even high-fat plant foods (such as avocados, nuts, and seeds), contain no cholesterol whatsoever, so a vegan diet is cholesterol-free.

A vegan diet is also packed with antioxidants and fibers which can enhance your health, your body, and muscle recovery.

What are the benefits of a plant-based diet? 

PETA Foundation (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), states that eating meat, dairy, and eggs doesn’t just harm animals and the environment – it can also have a negative impact on our health.

Eating processed meat increases our chances of developing cancer, and research suggests that consuming animals’ flesh, milk, and eggs could be as detrimental to our health as smoking.

So, there are many health and environmental benefits to adopting a plant-based diet.

 

Increased Energy

Those who follow a plant-based diet are likely to have higher energy levels than those who don’t. Feeling lethargic?  This probably has a fair amount to do with your diet.

Eliminating meat means finding replacements that offer more nutrients.  And, this is a really important point.  One of the biggest mistakes of switching to a plant-based diet is simply cutting out the meat. 

By eating grains, beans, lentils, nuts, and a wide variety of fruits and leafy greens are all proven to increase energy levels.

Increased Weight Loss

By slightly reducing your intake of animal-based products, even a modest reduction of red processed meat can lower the risk of obesity. Yes, there are vegan foods sources that are high in fat too.

However, there are many different reasons why thousands of people are making the switch to a whole-food, plant-based diet to get rid of unwanted body fat.

A rich fibre diet is a lot more filling because your less likely to eat more calories than your body needs.  Also, fibrous foods are low in saturated fat.

A recent study from the University of Copenhagen shows people who ate patties made from fava beans, consumed fewer calories than those who ate patties made from pork.

Improved Skin

A plant-based diet allows for improved function of insulin and glucagon production.  Which controls your sugar metabolism, a suspected cause of acne. Insulin imbalance affects your skin’s sebaceous glands, which can lead to clogged pores, causing acne.

The antioxidants present in all the fruits and vegetables will help prevent the formation of acne. People who switched to a plant-based diet also reported less bloating and a brighter complexion.

Reduced Inflammation 

When you eat meat and highly processed foods it causes a spike in inflammation in your body. As a response to animal fat, our arteries are paralyzed and their ability to open is cut in half, and our lungs also become inflamed.

The long-term effects of continuing to eat highly processed meat can cause heart disease, diabetes, and other life-threatening illnesses.

Whereas, a plant-based diet is packed with phytochemicals (plant-based compounds) that include antioxidants, flavonoids, and carotenoids.  Which helps to reduce inflammation and protect the tissues from oxidation, which can damage them.

Plant-based diet

Improved Digestion  

Have you ever been told to avoid eating meat late at night? High-protein foods require extra time and energy from the body to properly digest and break down.

A plant-based diet, however, is not as calorically rich and is rich in fibre and healthy fats.

As most of us will know, a fibre-rich diet helps the body to function better!  A plant-based diet will also reduce, if not cut out most processed foods. And you’re much less likely to affect your digestion with meals that have been prepped at home.

Step-by-step guide to transition to a plant-based diet

Transitioning to a plant-based diet is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health.  We hope our article has given some ‘food’ for thought!  Think of your transition as a journey and not an overnight change.  It takes time to transition and gradually reduce and eliminate meat and animal products from your diet.

Step #1 Education 

Before you jump into a full-on plant-based diet, educate yourself.  As we’ve mentioned above, converting to a plant-based diet isn’t just removing the meat from your plate. 

It’s only going to be beneficial to your health if you replace the animal products with nutrient-rich whole-foods. 

Step #2 Take it one day at a time

When you are taking on a big change, it’s better to take it one step at a time.  Consider your starting point and whether it would be more effective to slowly remove certain foods or food groups rather than cutting out in one step.  In the beginning, keep it simple. 

Step #3 Find Recipes

Review the foods you can use in recipes and educate yourself on cooking new meals with new ingredients.  Look up some vegan and plant-based meals on the internet or buy a recipe book or two.  Enjoying our foods is both presentation and the taste and educating yourself on a variety of recipes will help with both. 

Step #4 Go shopping

So, you’ve educated yourself on the benefits and know the whole-foods you would like to include in your plant-based diet.  Now it’s time to go shopping!  Remember when you are initially transitioning, keep meals simple and batch cook these to help you keep on track. 

Make a shopping list if you are including new ingredients (herbs and spices!), then it’s easy to stay on track and ensure your meals are tasty and interesting. 

Step #5 Whole-foods

If your reasons for switching to a plant-based diet are to improve your health, then try not to replace meat with processed vegan products.  Increase the whole-foods in your diet and include these in your new recipes and methods of cooking. 

It’s important to consider the nutrients in your foods to ensure you have all the vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids to meet the daily requirements.  

Would you like to find out more about a Plant-based Diet?

 

Eating a whole-food, plant-based vegan diet, without the consumption of meat or dairy is beneficial for our health and wellbeing.

Vegan foods such as vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are low in saturated fat.

Even high-fat plant foods (such as avocados, nuts, and seeds), contain no cholesterol whatsoever, so a vegan diet is cholesterol-free.

A vegan diet is also packed with antioxidants and fibers which can enhance your health, your body, and muscle recovery.

Are you ready to switch to a plant-based diet? 

It’s been proven again and again you don’t need animal products to thrive.

Our understanding has evolved and in the process, we have come to learn that eating animals is no longer the necessity we once believed it to be.

People from all over the world are setting world records and becoming world champions on a vegan diet.  Is it now the time to explore the plant-based diet? 

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