How do I get started in a plant based diet? This is likely the first and biggest obstacle you will face. At first, eating this way it seems very restrictive and limiting. But it doesn’t take long to figure out that starting a plant based diet is much easier than it sounds.
When you first start our breaking plant based, you need to make sure you actually enjoy the foods you are eating. Face it, if you do not enjoy it, you won’t stick to it. So the key in the beginning is to find five to ten whole food plant based meals that you love and just stick with those for a couple of weeks.
Remember, your meal choices must not have any animal products in them. No dairy. No meat. No eggs.
For me, this is what I stuck to for two weeks (and still enjoy fairly regularly).
Green Smoothie – Every morning for breakfast I enjoy a delicious smoothie. I typically stick with frozen berries, a banana to sweeten it, and plenty of spinach and/or kale. I will usually sprinkle ground flax seed in for its many health benefits. (Make sure you use ground flax. Whole flax seed will pass right through you.)
Burrito Bowl – Whole grain brown rice with black beans, corn, pico de gallo and hot sauce. This is a staple for me. I honestly never get tired of it.
Pasta and Marinara – The key here is to use a whole grain pasta, which is available at all grocery stores now. Jarred marinara is fine, look for a brand with 50 – 70 calories per serving. This means it has less added junk like sugar. I also usually add a can of crushed tomatoes.
Big Salad – Load up on tubs of fresh salad at your grocery. Add beans and corn to make them more filling. Also add whole grain croutons if you like.
Modified Stir Fry – Whole grain brown rice, steamed veggies, soy sauce. Packed with fiber and nutrition, inexpensive as all get out.
Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich – Yeah, it has some added sugar, but on nice whole grain bread it is so satisfying. It has helped to keep me from being hungry plenty of times.
Tortilla Chips and Fresh Guacamole – Again, the chips are not the best thing for you, but they are a heck of a lot better than what you would have eaten. I stick with a lower sodium brand and make sure I limit myself to the 12-15 chip portion size listed on the package. You should be able to consume a big bowl of fresh guac and have a few chips to spare.
The above meals were literally a life saver for me. I stuck with them for several weeks, and still do to some extent. To this day l have a smoothie every morning and I still enjoy a salad for lunch. I honestly crave both of those things, when I used to crave bacon and eggs and a burger. You will find that after a few weeks, your tastes will change as well.