I was exposed to a plant based diet and its health benefits at a young age. The town where I grew up still has a small produce store that sells organic and seasonal produce. We ate out occasionally as it was expensive and my mother prepared our meals at home. Our diet was made up of tasty Mexican food, fruits and salads.
Struggling With Weight Gain
As I grew into a teenager my weight became a struggle and I started to diet. So started my frustration with losing weight. This never ending battle would last years. It wasn’t until I started eating a plant based diet in 2010, that I gained control of my weight without feeling deprived and hungry.
Wake Up Call
While doing research on the benefits of a vegetarian diet, I read about the inhumane conditions that animals endure from birth to slaughter; the abuse and neglect horrified me. As a result, I decided to stop eating animal products and immediately saw the weight melt off. In three months I lost 25 pounds which I have kept off.
The Benefits of a Plant Based Diet
Eating a plant based diet has benefited me in countless ways, following are some of the immediate benefits you will expwrience on a diet rush in fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Mental clarity
- Better digestion
- More energy
- Weight loss
- Improved sleep
- Brighter, clearer skin
- Environmentally friendly
- Humane, animals don’t have to suffer to be your next meal.
When I saw the changes I wanted to share the benefits with friends and family, and did so without regard for their resistance. Thankfully I have relaxed my dogmatic ways, as I now realize that although I feel my best eating a plant based diet, not everyone feels as I do. Eating a plant based diet made up of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables will change your body in radical ways. Eating fresh, energy and life giving food will nourish your body in ways that processed, package food cannot. Choose to eat life giving foods today!
How to get started
Get clear on your intention to make a change, why do you want to start eating a plant based diet? Being clear will help you stay on your path as you face temptation in the days ahead.
Clean out your refrigerator and pantry and toss any unhealthy and processed foods. No need to have any foods that may be tempting as you transition to a plant based diet.
Read as much as you can before getting started, this will help you prepare before beginning on your journey to health and vitality. I bought several vegan and raw based diet books to get an idea on recipes and ingredients I would need.
If you use social media, I suggest finding accounts that resonate with you and follow them for ideas and inspiration. I follow a few accounts on Instagram as well as blogs.
Make a shopping list with everything you will need. When I started I would buy enough for a week; you will modify as needed.
This is a time of discovery and adventure. Think about all of your favorite meals and come up with healthy, plant based options instead. Remember to use spices, herbs and interesting fruits and vegetables to add flavor and texture to your meals. Preparing ahead will save you time and you will always be prepared with snacks or a meal. I can’t stress this enough, think ahead if you will be out of your element in order to be prepared. Carry a small bag of nuts, banana or apple in case you get hungry.
I tend to drink smoothies for breakfast, but also enjoy a bowl of fresh fruit. The ultimate treat is an açaí bowl from my local smoothie shop.
Lunch is a simple but delicious salad. Salads are light and nutritious. Gone are the days when I would return to work after a heavy lunch and almost fall asleep at my desk.
For dinner I prefer to eat a light meal. Vegetable tacos (see previous post), sautéed veggies on a bed of quinoa, or a salad are my go to’s for dinner.
Ditch the packaged, processed snacks, which provide a temporary feeling of satisfaction; however, they offer very little in the way of vitamins and minerals. Find new and innovative ways to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables as snack options.
As you try new meals and start to feel and see the benefits of a plant based diet, you will know you made the right decision to start taking care of your body. Don’t get discouraged if you have small hiccups, this is normal. Learn from your experiences and continue to nurture your body with life giving plants and vegetables.
If if you have any questions or comments please leave them below. I am happy to answer any questions, if there is anything I can do to provide you with support, don’t hesitate to reach out, I look forward to helping you get started!