Last January I posted Scared Straight which talked about my December 2016 Netflix binge-watching of health documentaries. (You can read the article here. ) In early March, as many of you have read, I pulled the trigger and challenged myself to eating a mostly plant-based diet for 30 days. It’s now January 3rd and I’m on day 307. So I guess you could say it was a successful 30 day challenge.
It’s not been a hard transition, but there have been bumps and challenges. Luckily many cookbooks abound, there are a lot of podcasts, blogs and Facebook groups dedicated to this type of eating. It’s been helpful to have resources, places to go to have questions answered and get recipe ideas. I think I picked a good year to adopt this way of eating. It’s becoming more acceptable, more mainstream and, well, less weird.
There are a few things that make transitioning to this way of eating easier. Here are some tips that you should know ahead of time.
- Find an Expert. Read the research and do some homework to figure out if this makes sense for you. Some of the Gold Standards in the industry are Dr. Esselstyn’s research (http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/), Dr. Neal Barnard (https://www.facebook.com/NealBarnardMD/), Dr. Greger (https://drgreger.org/). Check out Forks over Knives too (https://www.forksoverknives.com/).
- Find a Plan. You can do this on your own but why re-invent the wheel? Forks over Knives has a good plan, the No-Meat Athlete as well as Rich Roll all have planners and info to help beginners. Just a caveat, I like to follow athletes that are plant-based because of the energy requirements for endurance sports. Your needs may vary.
- Find Your Way to the Interwebs. If you’re on Facebook type “plant-based eating” into the search bar and watch the recommendations pop up. Not everyone will be your cup of tea but you can definitely get some great resources.
- Find People Who Cook Yummy-Looking Things. Here are my favorites. The Buddhist Chef, Oh She Glows, The Beaming Baker, BOSH!, The Engine 2 Cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance and VegNews (magazine).
So you’ve checked it out and still not ready to take the plunge? Or maybe you just need to know what you can implement right now that will improve your nutrition but won’t require a complete overhaul? Or you have no desire to cut out meat or dairy but want to eat a little better?
If you do NOTHING else, eat more greens, veggies and fruits. What’s more? Double or even triple the amount you’re currently eating. Fresh or frozen greens, veggies and fruits are nutrient dense, full of fiber and water and are low in calories. You get a big bang for your buck. So to speak.
Questions? Need more info? Let me know.
Now go run!