PLANT-BASED AND SANE

Last updated on June 12th, 2020 at 09:06 am

Good news, amigo! If you’re already eating plants such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits, you are partly plant-based already! And in order to switch the plant foods to animal foods ratio in favor of plants, what you’ve got to do is include more plant foods. Easy peasy!

But how do you adapt a plant-based diet without losing your sanity in the process?

You do it GRADUALLY. Believe me when I say going a hundred percent vegan over night can make you lose your nuts marbles. Especially if you go to extreme lengths, such as as adapting a hundred percent raw food or fruitarian diet. Medically speaking, this would take a major toll on your body in the long run. I digress. This is a different problem.

The gradual approach to eating plant-based is helpful because it can be tailored to where you’re at today in regards to knowledge and skill level. Not to mention what your taste buds find acceptable.

Small changes stacked on top of each other generate a ginormous stack over the course of weeks, months, and years. And sticking to these changes lead to habit formation.

Photo: Edgar Castrejon

ANIMAL PRODUCTS

An important question that emerges for many of us is “should I stop using all animal products at once?” Meat, dairy, honey, leather, woll, etc. I certainly didn’t. And I haven’t. I’ve tried, but it’s been tremendously challenging in the long run.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, right? I used to think I had to quit using all animal products in order to be a good human being. I didn’t point fingers at meat eaters (okay, maybe just the over consumers who insisted on always having meat). But that little voice within kept blaming me for not eating perfectly in regards to animal welfare. The trouble with trying to be morally perfect in too many areas at once, not acknowledging where we are at in our process, is that our motivation and willpower start to wither. Consequently, we start reverting back to our old ways, ditching this new approach altogether.

On your journey towards a more compassionate lifestyle, trying to better yourself in various aspects, you need to invite patience and self compassion with you. Change is a process; change is not a switch. Implementing major changes to a diet or lifestyle, requires reflection and trial and error. As I am writing this, a sneaky little voice keep saying “Well, that’s not helping the animals at all” and “What about compassion for all animals?” […] But if you leave out self compassion, you better set your table for a tea party with your friends demoralization, guilt, and blame.

Give yourself credit for all the constructive things you are doing today, as well as the less constructive actions you could have done but instead refrained from doing.

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ALL THE PROS

This is your WHY. Why should you switch to a more environmentally sustainable, animal kind, and healthy eating regimen? Do you care about animals more than your taste preferences? Could your health benefit from it? Write down all the pros you can come up with and put this list somewhere you can see it everyday.

Photo: Brianna Santellan
Write down all the pros you can come up with and put this list somewhere you can see it everyday.

ACTION PLAN

Failing to plan is planning to fail, and this is why you need an action plan. Don’t skip this step! The action plan will convert your vision and overall goal into behaviors that’ll turn into habits over the next couple of weeks.

Having a plan is in fact fuel for your motivation.

Add 1-2 items to your action plan the first week. For example: Start drinking half a cup of soy milk every day. Soy milk looks like regular moo-milk, but tastes differently. This is why I recommend trying out a small portion at first. Plant-based alternatives will taste much different than animal products. But don’t worry if your taste buds don’t fall head over heels at first. In time you’ll get used to them – and you’ll love ’em!

EXAMPLE OF A LIST

  • Start drinking a small amount of plant milk every day
  • Add another fruit a day
  • Try out a new recipe this week
  • Have a meat-free dinner this week (they don’t have to be vegan)

LAST WORDS

No matter how busy you are, adding more greens and plant-based items to your diet doesn’t have to complicated. Don’t wait any further. Write down the first steps of your action plan today!

Written by Justin