Set intentions. Find your why.
The most important thing when making a change as big as your diet is to find your fuel, your “why”! Go deeper and understand the reason for your desire. What will be your reminder and reason for initiating this change? In times of doubt, what will fire you up and empower you to continue the journey? As for this particular journey there are several “whys”. Let’s go through a few!
It has been recorded several decades ago as well as recent research stating that meat is a type 1 carcinogen. This equates to cigarettes or even hard drugs. Meat could be considered a drug due to the short term and long term damage it has on the body. The saturated fat, hormones, dense tissue and flesh, toxins, antibiotics, and more that your body is not able to handle. Any and all of these with accumulated consumption can leave your immune system weak, digestive system clogged, and lifespan lowered. Your body can heal from and tolerate many damaging health choices, however it’s an uphill battle when the body is in debt or surplus.
Many will critique “all you eat are carbohydrates as a vegan”. Well, you do eat carbohydrates, but only in their purest form. We’re talking about doing this the right way, the way that science talks about. Not processed foods to simply avoid meat! Potatoes, beans, pasta, whole grain breads are all good for the body to retain as energy. After all, carbohydrates are the root of energy, transformed into blood sugar for our bodies to use on a day to day basis.
Any plant you eat will have loads of nutrients your body craves! Calcium, magnesium, iron, protein, fats, and fiber etc are all found in plants. There are 20,000 different plants to indulge in and they ALL have these benefits. Eating a plant based diet will melt unhealthy fat off your body, clean out the gut, boost the immune system, decrease disease and cancer risks, increase energy, and promote a longer life.
Aside from the astonishing personal health goals we can achieve from a plant based diet, adopting this lifestyle saves the animals from being genetically modified and mass produced. When demand decreases, we see this trend decrease too. We are the only species that consumes another animal’s milk. Meat is completely unnecessary as animal’s only the middle man. Plants are the only source that converts nitrogen into amino acids to then be consumed as protein. Animals eat plants, we eat the animals. If you want direct forms of protein try kale, beans, grains, potatoes, and lentils. The lives of another intelligent being is not worth the health risks to yourself or the murder of their bodies.
Over time, the consumption of animals has increased due demand, restaurants and supermarkets growing all over the world. Why is a burger cheaper than a salad? Simply because the meat that is overproduced and synthesized to our convenience is faster and more readily available. We are now seeing the detrimental effects that mass meat production has on our environment. These enormous amounts of methane gas destroy the atmosphere and change our climate. This results in hurting species in the ocean after releasing bacteria that the ocean absorbs. Eating seafood supports mass fish farming, which ends up catching species the fishers were not intending on catching such as dolphins, sharks, other fish, crabs, snails and more. It starts with what is on your plate, and the industry demand that your plate is related to. That is the impact you can make that lasts a lifetime and saves lives AND saves yourself.
Find your favorites recipes.
Plant based does not mean eating dry leaves. You can make any dish vegan.
Quesadillas? Vegan cheese made from Diaya (cheesy, ooey and gooey)
Calamari? Fried coconut meat with a paired vegan aioli
Paella? Veggie load!
This is your opportunity to taste test and seek new alternatives to the cravings your body has. You do not have to give up milk in your cereal, simply switch to plant milk, doesn’t everyone prefer almond milk now anyway? All is readily available.
In this advanced age, there are more alternative milks, cheeses, meats and products than we can even digest! Ha.. Luckily we are all exposed to these products just not the awareness of them actually existing!
Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest and Google provides you with your plant based alternatives in just a few minutes.
You can find the Vegan Chef of this article on IG @theturmerictimes
On your grocery list you will find what you need to ADD in your lifestyle diet rather than strip away. Overtime, you will naturally align your morals with the products and your habits change one by one. It seems crazy now but in the long run there will come a time you are completely satisfied with plants and alternative products.
This step is highly encouraged as that is what our human kind runs off of! Support is everything to us. It is what influences our decisions and keeps us going in the direction we are going.
Finding a plant-based friend will help you immensely in this journey. We all need someone we can bounce ideas and motivation off of!
Not only having physical support but social media support as well! I encourage lots and lots of support from all angles. Be open about your transition!
Here is a list of people I suggest following if you are on instagram and want daily facts, motivation, and inspiration.
First, me: @theturmerictimes
SO many more… These are the accounts I personally use as support in my life. They keep me informed and constantly raise my plant based standard. These accounts are athletes, activists, doctors, influencers, cooks, and inspirational stories. If no friend or family member wants to contribute to this change with you or does not seem to agree, do not worry. There is an entire world out there standing with you. That world includes other people, animals, ocean life, and the planet. You should be so proud of yourself!
And if that still doesn’t work, you can DM me and we can be friends!
Like stated before, support influences decisions. Some will not be so supportive and instead will question this decision. It is so important to know the facts!
You can easily retain this information by watching documentaries, listening to podcasts, or reading books.
-What the Health
-Farm to Fridge
-Eating Animals, Jonathan Foer
-The China Study, T Colin Campbell
-Foods that Fight Pain
-A Change of Heart
-Plant Proof Podcast
-No Meat Athlete
Alright! You have everything you need to make this change. Put it to life!
Integrate more plants and substitute dairy, meat, and eggs. Watch your health and body transform. Even your tastebuds will change and become more sensitive as what you are eating is pure forms of plants.
Going out to eat? Consider checking out HappyCow to find 100% vegan or vegan option places. I also suggest calling the restaurant ahead of time to see what is available. (tip! Side menu is the best to order from… practically make your own dish!)
- Try new things. Keep it fresh. Don’t stick to one recipe as eventually you will get sick of it. Try raw foods, cooked foods, roasted, sautéed etc. Try a new veggie and fruit every time you grocery shop! Keep your palate rotating.
- Incorporate nuts and seeds to dishes like salads, stir fry, or pastas. This helps that extra boost of nutrients and crunch.
- Be wary of the alternative meat, dairy, and egg you buy as THAT is what will hike up the grocery bill. Sticking to all or mostly produce, you will automatically have your bags be double the size and the bill the same if not lower!
- Organic organic organic!
- Support those local farms with pure, clean, pesticide-free soil. After all, organic is getting cheaper! All about supply and demand.
- Organic is better for your health and the earth. Keep those harmful chemicals out of your body and out of the ground.
- Eat the stalks and ends of the produce you normally would throw out. EX: Skins of the potato, stalks of the kale, rine of the orange
- There are SO many nutrients in those parts of the plant that gets tossed. If you are making a smoothie or soup, might as well blend that up!
- Take it slow, You are human and no one is perfect. Making the effort is what matters.
- Rice and Bean bowls are cheap and highly nutritious. Add some avocado, sautéed onions and peppers, cilantro, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, corn, tomato and lemon juice. VOILA! There is the perfect meal. Protein, Iron, Calcium, Fiber, Carbohydrates, Antioxidants, Amino Acids, Omega 3 and more!
- Ask for help! The world is here to help you. People are here to help you. I was taught this at a very young age, “you never know the answer until you ask” At the grocery store “hi, where might I find vegan cheese?” At the restaurant “Hi, I am vegan, May you suggest some things off the menu that I can have?” (I always reiterate no egg, dairy, or meat)
- At home dinners I suggest making one dish that is easy and yummy that qualifies as a meal if the host is not making anything plant based. I suggest a vegan Chili !
- Do it right. Just because you are vegan does not mean you are the healthiest. There are fortunately and unfortunately vegan versions of all the junk food and indulgent items you can think of. Incorporate plants as much as you can when you think you have to use an item. EX: if you want a cheesy sauce do not use an alternative cheese from the store, Put soaked cashews with onion powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and salt in a blender and make the yummiest cheese sauce ever.