Transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet is a great way to take charge or your health. Eating this way promotes healthy weight loss, reduced risk (or even reversal) of chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, and more. But change is hard (at first!). Here are 6 tips from the MamaSezz team to make transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet a whole lot easier.
Before we begin: make a plant-based diet really easy. Let MamaSezz cook!
Want whole food plant based meals dropped at your door, ready to heat and eat? Order the MamaSezz Get Me Started Bundle now.
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While setting goals is a great way to stay on track with your whole food plant-based diet, the most important thing you can do when making any lifestyle change is to keep an open mind — and hold onto your willingness to change.
It’s easy to get frustrated with yourself when you’re learning something new. And while it may seem simple to make this diet change, there may be challenges, especially at first. You will not obtain perfection. But guess what? That's OK! Progress, not perfection is a big time mantra here at MamaSezz.
Had a "cheat" day? Don't let it discourage you. Tomorrow is another day and sometimes it's best to take this lifestyle change one meal at a time. If "cold turkey" is too much for you, start by incorporating a whole food plant-based diet for one meal a day.
Need guidance? Here is a whole food plant-based meal plan for beginners — with easy plant-based recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Humor is the strongest tool you have. If you are hard on yourself, reprimand yourself, or feel like you are psychologically putting too much pressure on yourself, you need to take a step back.
When you eat the last bite or your baked beans and notice chunks of bacon at the bottom, roll your eyes, laugh and know you did your best.
If you scarf down a late-night burger because you just couldn’t help yourself, let it roll off your back. Laugh and think “wow! I must have been really hungry… next time I’ll pack a healthy snack.” (By the way, here are some tasty plant-based snacks to have on hand when hanger strikes!)
Confidence, a light heart, and determination go a long way here.
You can’t reach for the cookie jar if there is no cookie jar!
Considering going whole food plant-based? Do a pantry overhaul! You don't need to contribute to food waste. Donate processed foods if you want or finish them up. Then start restocking your fridge and pantry with whole food plant-based essentials.
Think fresh fruits, veggies, beans, non-dairy milks, whole grains, nuts and seeds. You’ll find that your plate will be more and more vegetable-heavy as you run out of meat, and this will help slowly introduce your body to a higher fiber diet.
Want to make it really easy to eat a whole food plant-based? Let MamaSezz fill your fridge with whole food plant-based meals, ready to heat and eat. Check out the MamaSezz Get Me Started bundle here.
Once all the BS (bad stuff) is out of the house, you will be more likely to reach for a healthy alternative when it comes to snacking… because you'll have no other choice!
It becomes quite empowering each time you can make a healthy choice for yourself, especially when temptation is a factor. For now, make it easy on yourself and hide the cookie jar.
When do we make our worst food choice? When we are hungry, or when we are emotional.
When you are hungry, your body craves calorie dense foods so you can store up on calories more efficiently.
This was a fantastic mechanism when we had to hunt and gather for our food, and didn’t know when our next meal would be. It also worked well because 940 calorie Cinnabons didn’t exist, and humans were only eating whole foods.
To summarize: don’t allow yourself to get so hungry to the point of desperation.
Tips on how to stay satisfied on a whole food plant-based diet:
- Never leave the house hungry. Either eat something before you leave, or bring a shake or snack with you in the car.
- Always have snacks on hand. MamaSezz granola is a great whole food plant-based snack option to keep your car, purse (if you have one).
- If you are at home and you feel hunger strike, EAT! Whole food plant-based foods are naturally lower in calories than Standard American fare and high in nutrients, to boot.
The best thing you can do is always be prepared. Whether it's batch cooking or getting MamaSezz whole food plant-based meal delivery, always have plenty of food on hand for late nights at the office, or those times where you just don’t want to cook.
If you’re going out to eat, learn how to order plant-based foods at any restaurant with these tips.
Check out some top plant based resources here. And if when do your own research, make sure to note the source. Peer-reviewed evidence backed by science is the way to go.
It's important to go into any big lifestyle shift with an open mind, a light heart, and a sense of humor.
- Make things easy - stock your house with MamaSezz ready-made whole food plant-based meals.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Do your best and strive for progress, not perfection
- Keep laughing. There will be flub ups and that's OK!
- Remove temptation. Get rid of your highly processed snack foods so you default to healthier options.
- Don’t let yourself get too hungry, especially when grocery shopping.
- Try batch cooking or MamaSezz ready-made meal delivery.
- Do your own research.
By Caroline DiNicola Fawley
Caroline is a plant-based chef, recipe designer, and whole food plant-based nutrition educator, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.