A whole foods plant-based diet is healthy, nutritious, and protects against a range of debilitating disorders including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. However, in a world where the majority of people are growing on the Standard American Diet (SAD), it can feel challenging to stick with it at time. If you've fallen back into familiar habits, take a deep breath, then get back on track with these WFPB diet tips.
Before We Begin: The Easiest Way to Get Back to your WFPB Diet
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First, Let Yourself Off the Hook
Some days, life gets in the way and temptation lurks, causing you to fall off the plant-based wagon, whether this means adding butter to your mashed potatoes over the holidays or relying more heavily on processed vegan snacks. Before I offer up some tips for restarting your healthy habits and getting back to your WFPB diet, I ask you first take a deep breath and remember progress, not perfection. All is certainly not lost and sometimes it's two steps forward, one step back. That's OK. Onward!
7 Ways to Restart Your Healthy WFPB Diet
1. Meal Plan and Batch Cook
Planning and cooking your meals at home dramatically reduce the possibility of falling back into familiar less healthy habits. Having prepared meals for each week will make you less reliant on snacks and convenience foods that don't line up with your healthy goals. Dedicate a day in the week for making a weekly meal plan and grocery shopping, and another day for meal prepping. Your healthy food will be waiting for you patiently in the refrigerator, and you will be less likely to reach for the takeout menu.
Need help getting started? Check out this Easy Meal Plan for WFPB Diet Beginners.
2. Remember Why You Started
Everyone has a different reason for starting their WFPB diet. Whether you are doing it for your health, the environment, or the animals, it's important to remember and reinforce your reasons every day, to remain aligned with your goals. Read books, watch documentaries and speeches, and believe in yourself and your determination.
3. Connect with Others
Being surrounded by like-minded people is an excellent way to keep yourself accountable and share new ideas (and delicious plant-based recipes) with your community. You can also buddy up with someone in your family or circle to keep each other motivated and help when temptation (and donuts) knock on your door.
Need some online support to help you stick with your WFPB diet? Join the private MamaSezz Heart Beet Club on Facebook here.
4. Keep It Simple
Not every meal in your WFPB diet needs to be complicated. Leave complexity to five-star chefs and focus on keeping it simple. Basic meals can be elevated to delicious levels using simple ingredients combined together in the right way. Throw some beans, quinoa, avocado, and oil-free dressing in a bowl and call it a night.
Need some inspiration? Try these 5 simple plant-based recipes that take less than 5 minutes to make.
5. Remove All Temptation and Stock Your Pantry Right
It is far easier to stay away from junk food if it's not in your house. When cravings hit, your brain will likely choose the candy rather than the fresh fruit, unless the fruit is all that exists in your kitchen. Usually, when we are hungry, our decision-making process can stray away from the big picture, so go and fill up your pantry and fridge with plant-based staples like nutrition whole foods: fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds.
6. Get Inspired by Others
Nothing motivates more than seeing someone else reach your same goal (and make it look attainable in the process). This is why I love plant-based transformation stories! Get inspired by your community, discuss with, and congratulate those that have achieved what you are working for and watch your confidence soar.
7. Be Kind to Yourself
Coming full circle here but maybe the most important tip of all is to always be kind to yourself. You are a human, full of emotions and thoughts, and one "cheat" meal does not equal a failure. Neither does feeling derailed over the holidays. Instead, try to figure out what happened so that next time sticking with your WFPB diet will be easier. Was having to cook a meal from scratch after a long day at work the deal breaker? A lot of stress? Troubleshoot, forgive yourself, and make notes for the future.
- Falling back into familiar habits does not mean you failed at your WFPB lifestyle!
- Want to get your WFPB diet back on track? Meal plan, remember your why, connect with others, keep meals simple, stock up on healthy food and remove temptations, get inspired by others, and always be kind to yourself! You can do this.
Rafaela Michailidou is a Vegan Lifestyle Coach, and a freelance health and wellness content writer, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.