Keong Saik Road, afterglow by anglow, Photo by abillion on Unsplash
It's 2022, and you want to start eating a plant based diet.
Whether you have tried before, or this is your first time, this guide will provide you with some easy tips to get started, as well as some hacks for maintaining the diet when you find yourself wavering.
But before we begin, this list caters to a wide audience of eaters. Feel free to read through the article in its full, or use the list below to jump to sections that you think are the most relevant to you.
- Plant Based for Beginners
- Why do People Eat a Plant Based Diet
- Easy ways to Start a Plant Based diet
- Why a Plant Based Diet Can Fail
Plant Based for Beginners
Plant Based refers to a diet comprised of mostly, or entirely, plant based products, such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, beans, and grains. The definition varies from source to source, as some argue plant based is a synonym for Vegan, where others contend that plant based is a movement about reduction of animal protein (meat, eggs, and dairy), not elimination.
Plant Based eating is an enjoyable, exciting meal option when you know where to go and what to eat, and in the future, that will only get easier. In the next ten years, plant based food will grow by 500%, meaning there's never been a better time to get started.
Why do People Eat a Plant Based Diet
Let's get this right off the top, people eat a plant based diet because it's tasty, wholesome, and nutritious. By virtue of cutting out fried meats and rich dairy products, it is healthier than the average diet.
Increasingly people around the world are adopting a plant based diet because of concerns they have around sustainability, climate change, and health. The early vegan movements were motivated by a concern for animal welfare and the ethics of consuming animal by-products, but in the last few years this has shifted as the concern around the sustainability of animal farming has grown.
In an attempt to subvert the impact animal farming has on climate change, people are choosing to eat diets that are both good for them, and great for the environment.
Some of the reasons animal farming is negatively impacting the environment are:
- Animals require a lot of food and water to grow to maturation
- Animal farming takes up a lot of space
- Animal waste (and methane) is a huge contributor to climate change
Choosing a plant based diet is an easy way to eat green.
Easy Ways to Start a Plant Based Diet
The easiest start to a plant based diet, is eating food that has plant based built into the cuisines culinary fabric. In these dishes, every spice, texture and protein is exactly as it should be. In Indian and Thai cuisines, fully vegan meals are common, so finding a delicious plant based meal is easy.
If you want to eat plant based, but want to stay in cuisines that are familiar, then swapping to plant based meat is an option. In recent years, ingredients that are designed to replace existing animal based options have flourished. The most well known is the raft of fake meat brands (Impossible, Omnimeats, Beyond Meat) that are appearing as substitutes in fast food chains all over the world.
The third avenue for eating more plant based, is to learn how to cook with high protein, plant based products like lentils, legumes, beans and soy based products. This is an option for the daring cook who is looking to expand their horizons.
Cooking plant based at home is a solution for people who like the plant based movement, but who do not like the highly processed nature of plant based meats.
Why a Plant Based Diet can Fail
There is no shame in falling out of any diet, because food is not only a great source of nutrition, but of comfort.
Most of us grew up eating meat at home. If we have a comfort dish in mind that our parents would make, it was most likely a dish that contained animal products. Whether this was a bolognese, a chocolate cake, or festive dumplings, animal based ingredients are everywhere.
The important thing to remember, is that breaking a diet is not only common, but a good chance to reset. If you scold yourself for falling off a diet, you're less likely to get back onto the diet, because not only did you fall off it, but you've then persecuted yourself for doing so.
If you ever fall off any diet, do so willingly, and without persecuting yourself. By loving yourself, you're more likely to get back onto the horse and enjoy the diet again.
Making the change can be as simple as swapping one meal at a time. Food is super important to us, and not just because of nutrition, but for wellness. Sometimes, we just want to eat whatever we want, and feeling like we are compromising will be a guaranteed way to make sure we do not upkeep a diet.
At the heart of adapting to a new diet full time, is the assuredness that every craving, and every desire, is a plant based desire.
Looking to try a new way of eating amazing vegan food? Look no further!