If you're thinking about going plant-based, you might feel overwhelmed. In a world with so many options, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Luckily, you don't need to transition into a 100 percent plant-based lifestyle from the moment you make your decision. Every little bit makes a difference.
Whether you're trying a plant-based lifestyle for your health, ethical reasons, or just for fun, you have plenty of options. Here are some tips on making the transition a little easier to manage.
1. Make gradual changes
You don't need to become plant-based overnight. For some people, this is a recipe for disaster. It's entirely valid to focus on small, short-term changes. For example, switching your protein sources away from meat, or switching out your milk for a plant-based option. Making small changes on a consistent basis can help you stick with it.
2. Evaluate what you already buy
You'd be surprised at how many things are generally plant-based to begin with. Many breads, bagels, nut butters, pastas, types of rice, beans, and so on fit into a plant-based lifestyle without any extra effort or special brands. Figuring out what you already buy that will transition into this lifestyle with you can help make the process less overwhelming.
3. Talk to your doctor
Checking in with your doctor is a great way to make sure you're good to start a new dietary lifestyle. Asking about blood work can also help you check in later, to see if you need to have more or less of anything, start taking a vitamin, or so on.
4. Invest in reusable containers
Arguably, this isn't a necessity, but it's a great step to being more eco-friendly. It's also convenient; if you know you can easily pack your own plant-based snacks or meal, you don't need to worry about finding options while you're out.
5. Learn how to meal prep
Meal prep is sometimes stereotyped as being all about preparing meats ahead of time, or cheese-filled casseroles, but many vegetables and plant-based proteins actually work great for meal prep. Learning how to cook beans in bulk (a slow cooker is great for this), and how to roast vegetables in a sauce you love, makes it really easy to have staples ready and waiting for you in your fridge each day.
6. Get into the habit of checking menus before hand
Pretty much everybody enjoys going out to eat, but unless it's a vegan restaurant, options can be limited. Checking menus while making plans saves everyone time and awkwardness later. Aside from the restaurant's menu, checking places like Yelp and Instagram can be a quick way to see what other plant-based people eat, or what substitutions they made to make their meals easy.