It’s National Food Month, which I am really excited about!

I LOVE eating and I LOVE food. People are always surprised to hear me say that when they learn that I live a plant-based lifestyle. It wasn’t always that way and I have learned a lot about it over the past two years. If you are someone who is curious about this way of eating then this post is for you.  

First, when starting anything new, there are obstacles and challenges that always come up, no matter what you are starting. Adding on a whole new way of eating can be one of the biggest challenges you will face. After all, the food we consume has most likely been a habit for several years, and we all know habits are hard to break.

I was there just 3 short years ago. I had back pain so incredibly painful that it took me out of my normal routine for about 3 weeks. That pain is essentially what led me to change my diet.  I knew food could heal so I took matters into my own hands. Breaking my old habits was the first step to overcome. Now that I have established a plant-based diet my life has improved for the better. My back pain is gone, I have more energy, and an added bonus is my skin looks great!

Below are some easy steps to take when wanting to eat a more plant-based diet?  Let’s get to it!

First, What is a Plant-Based Diet?

Whole food, plant-based diets are heart healthy, environment-friendly, lifestyle eating plans that celebrate REAL food and nourish your body. On a plant-based diet, you’ll focus on eating whole or non-processed foods and plants like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts.  The benefits are incredible!

Does this differ from a vegan lifestyle?

Yes!  A vegan diet focuses on eliminating all animal products from the food that is consumed to the clothes worn and products used.  A vegan diet could consist of potato chips, gummy bears, Oreos, and any other processed food but it doesn’t necessarily mean this way of eating is embracing the REAL food lifestyle like whole foods, plant-based diet does.

I am not saying that a vegan can’t be whole foods, plant-based or vice versa, but the two do not mean the same.


Where Do We Start?

Read up on scientifically-based books. These are my favorites:

Join Facebook communities to help keep you motivated and accountable if needed.  I run a group called ‘How to Shop, Prep, & Cook Your Way Into a Healthy Life’.  I am always sharing healthy recipes, ideas to stay on track, and food prep ideas. Or, search around to find a specific interest to you.

I Have My Clients Start With 3 Easy Steps:

  1.  Don’t give up meat completely if it is something you love.  The goal is to eat less; think 90% of plants, 10% meat or animal products.

Here are some easy and delicious recipes to start with:

Easy Veggie Breakfast Hash 

Loaded Sweet Potato Fries 

Roasted Potatoes with Herb Pesto 

Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl

  1.  Do what works for you. A gradual staged transition will be the most effective path for some while others will want to go at it at once.  Different personalities will seek different paths. If you do decide to gradually change, then I suggest start changing one meal a day.  Start at breakfast, then lunch, and eventually get to dinner.
  1.  Want to go all in? Let’s create a meal plan for you. Start here with my free 7 days worth of meals provided for you.  Focusing on one week first – not anything beyond that. This is a marathon, not a sprint.  After the 7 days, start to add in your favorite recipes and research more. You can use Pinterest to search ‘Plant-Based’ recipes and you can find a ton that will suit your preferences

How to Manage the Grocery Store?

When you’re shopping at the store, it is time to get picky with the labels.   Before buying anything, here is what to look for:

  •   A short ingredient list
  •   Real ingredients you can pronounce
  •   A bunch of real food that doesn’t have ingredient labels.

Avoid and/or minimize foods that:

  •     Have a long ingredient list
  •     Contains anything that says ‘low-fat’, ‘fat-free’, ‘sugar-free’, etc…  these will contain nasty chemicals and lots of added sugar.
  •     Contains animal products like meat, dairy, or eggs
  •     Contains refined ingredients like enriched flour, bleached flour, sugar, and canola oil.

The important thing to remember is this is not a habit that will happen overnight.  Take it day by day and with little steps – they will eventually add up to some big and awesome leaps.  You’ve got this!

Cheers to National Food Month!


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