5 Steps Towards a Plant-Based Lifestyle

It’s no secret that eating more fruits and veggies is healthier than a more meat-centered way of eating. Whether it be for ethical, health, or environmental reasons, more and more people are realizing that they feel so much better once they start eating more plants. Even if you’re not going fully vegan or vegetarian, trying to figure out how to add plants into every meal and love it may be a bit challenging. Here are a few things to try out in order to stay inspired and full of yummy plants!

Find a cooking class that is either vegan or vegetarian. It’s a great way to learn new cooking techniques as well as fun new recipes. You get to try out the food and see if it is something you can add into your daily menu. A good place to start here in San Diego is at Bastyr Clinic where they offer monthly cooking class at a very reasonable price! http://bastyrclinic.org/about/cooking-classes/events

Subscribe to a Vegan/Vegetarian Magazine. Magazines are so much fun! They always seem to get me in the mood to try something new with their amazing photos and fun facts on why certain foods are good for you. It’s important to stay inspired and try new things, and a new monthly magazine will definitely keep you in the know. Some of my favorites are, Simply Gluten Free, Food network, & Veggie-full.

Incorporate one new vegetable a week into your daily menu. When I wanted to start a more plant-based diet I noticed that I was using the same old vegetables that I always used, and it got boring. I had to experiment with other veggies to broaden my horizon, so I tried a bi-weekly produce delivery service to spice things up and to support our local farmers. Farm Fresh To You allows you to customize your box of produce or you can get a mixed box which forces you to try new produce. You’ll be surprised at how many plants become your new fav! Try preparing the same veggie two different ways, three for extra credit! https://www.farmfreshtoyou.com

Start meal planning & meal journaling. I think most of us have all tried and failed at meal planning at some time or another. IT IS HARD! It’s time-consuming and I’m a picky eater so if I don’t feel like eating something that I planned to make I will make something else or go out to eat, and then my food goes bad! Ugh, waste of time AND money! But don’t be so hard on yourself, it takes time to build up enough meals breakfast, lunch, and dinner that can be your go to quicky meals. That’s why meal journaling is a must!!!! Write down at least a months worth of what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then when you start your meal planning you can reference your meal journal, cookbooks, new magazine, pinterest… Plan to try new recipes on your days off and crockpot meals on your crazy days. Your meal journal reminds you of all your ideas and recipes you tried throughout the month and will make it easier for you to plan for the weeks ahead. You will see a pattern will start, like my family gets sick of tuna salad really fast so I make sure I only make it once a month, and we’ll definitely have pasta at least once a week. Make sure you write down where you found the recipe so you can reference it again without the hassle of looking through all of your resources, it will save you a lot of time!
TIP: Jot down in your meal journal if your kids liked it… believe me it will save you at least one nights headache!

Find a Food Blogger thats plant-based. So I have a ton of bloggers that I follow because they come up with some amazing things to eat, foods I would never dream of combining to make wonderful things to eat. And that’s the point, let someone else do the creative thinking on what and how to make and you just follow the steps and sit back and be inspired. Here are a few of my favorite plant based food blogs… Hummusapien, Well Vegan, Neurotic Mommy, One Green Planet, and of course I will be sharing all my favorite plant-based recipes on my site Rootsofwellness.com!

Happy Cooking, Happy Health

Melissa