my best advice for going plant based

My Best Advice for Going Plant Based

Going plant based is a big shift for most of us.

If your current way of eating involves a lot of pre-packaged food and takeout like mine did, it can be hard to imagine where to even start.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right advice and support, you can go plant based with confidence.

Here’s my best advice:

1. Take your time

When you go on a diet, your first step is often to clean house and get rid of all the foods you won’t allow yourself to have while on it.

You plan to follow the diet 100% perfectly for a set amount of time.

And it’s a lot of work and stress when you go about it this way.

You’re buying all new ingredients. Cooking all new recipes.

Most of what you would normally eat is now off limits.

Within a few days you feel like you’re failing because something comes up, you can’t do your meal prep like you planned to, and you end up hitting the drive through again.

Usually, after a week or two of this, you start to lose motivation. Maybe something stressful happens, maybe you just get sick of eating bland chicken and broccoli day in and day out.

So, what’s the alternative? Give yourself the gift of time.

I know it feels urgent and like you need to lose the weight or fix your health issue right now. But unless you’ve been given strict orders by your doctor, the path to your best health is a marathon, not a sprint.

Instead of going on a diet, what you really want to do is change your diet – and it’s a journey.

Taking your time and incorporating healthy habits step by step over time will be so much more manageable, allow you to keep your sanity, and give you a much a better chance of getting results that last.

2. Prioritize progress over perfection

If you’re a recovering perfectionist like me, you already know it’s a trap.

Of course it’s good to strive to be and do your best, but it quickly becomes toxic when you can’t be happy with anything less than an imagined ideal.

Being caught up in perfectionism keeps you in a place of constantly falling short of whatever image you’re holding in your mind. Constantly striving and rarely sitting back and appreciating how far you’ve come.

The truth is that if you could be even 1% better today than you were yesterday, and do that most days, you’re way ahead of the game.

When I teach my clients to go plant based, acknowledging and celebrating progress is part of the process.

By focusing on your progress, you allow yourself to feel gratitude for what you’ve accomplished, rather than disappointment and guilt over what you haven’t.

3. Find what works for you

If you’re a member of any plant based Facebook groups, you may have seen people getting run out of the group for eating an egg or a piece of cheese like I have.

Or maybe you’ve experienced random people commenting on that egg or slice of pizza you ate because you shared that you wanted to go plant based.

For many people, plant based is equivalent to vegan – meaning no animal foods whatsoever – but that’s not true for everyone. And it doesn’t have to be.

All of us have a reason for going plant based. Maybe you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, maybe your doctor recommended weight loss for pre-diabetes, PCOS, or fertility issues, maybe you’re lactose intolerant.

It’s important to find balance with your reason in mind. For some people, going 100% plant based is what makes sense for them considering the kind of results they want.

Others may eat totally plant based most of the time, but they aren’t strict about it when eating out or on special occasions.

Still others may eat fish or other animal foods once in a while as part of their regular diet.

The main thing to keep in mind is that eating more plant foods is a worthy goal for most people, whether it’s 100% of the time or not.

By taking your time, focusing on your progress and ditching perfection, and finding what works for you, you’ll finally start to see the long term results you’ve always wanted.