Are you considering a plant-based diet but don’t know where to start? This blog series is for you! This series will discuss everything you need to know about transitioning to a plant-based diet. This first post will cover the basics: what veganism means and how to prepare for the switch. Stay tuned next week, where we will discuss the common barriers to making the transition to veganism and how you can overcome them.
When most people think of veganism, they associate it with a white, middle-class lifestyle. However, the roots of veganism run much deeper than that. Veganism has its origins in several cultures, especially in Africa and Asia. It is deeply rooted in the principles of justice and equity. Arab philosopher and poet Al-Ma'arri was one of the first to adopt a vegan diet for his health and beliefs about the transmigration of souls and animal welfare. In recent years, there has been a growing movement of people of various cultures choosing to embrace veganism to reconnect with their cultural heritage and fight against the systemic injustice being perpetuated by the meat industry. Introducing veganism to more people can create a more just and equitable world for all.
The modern wave of veganism started with The Vegan Society in 1944 as a dietary-based movement that soon shifted to an animal rights group. The beauty of veganism and a plant-based diet is that it is accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or belief system. Whether you are motivated by animal rights, environmental concerns, or simply want to improve your health, plant food can be incorporated by anyone. And with more and more businesses like ours offering vegan options and alternatives, it has never been easier to make the switch.
What are the differences between being vegan and plant-based?
While we often use the terms vegan and plant-based interchangeably, there are some subtle but significant differences. First, let's define each phrase.
Veganism is a lifestyle that abstains from animal products, including eggs, dairy, and honey. Vegans also avoid clothing made of wool or animal leather or lifestyle products such as shampoos and soaps that may contain animal derivatives. On the other hand, plant-based or plant-predominant eating refers to a diet that consists primarily of plants but may include small amounts of animal products.
Vegans may be more animal rights-based. They are often very intentional about every aspect of their lives. Plant-predominant eaters are often inspired by similar motivations. What's common among vegans and plant-based people is that they are environmentally conscious and choose food made of plants for health and well-being.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to be vegan or plant-based is a personal one. Both choices can have pros and cons, so it's essential to consider your motivations for making the switch and what will work best for you.
Going Plant-Based: Find your WHY and pick your HOW
One of the best things about plant food is that it can be tailored to fit any lifestyle or need. Whether you are looking for more energy, wanting to improve your skin health, or just wanting to eat more plants, there is a plant-based diet that can help you achieve your goals. However, before making the switch, it's crucial to find out why you want to transition.
- Are you looking for more energy?
- Do you want to improve your skin health?
- Do you want to cut down on meat because of how it makes you feel?
- Are you doing it for the animals, the planet, health reasons, or all of the above?
- Do you have any food allergies or sensitivities?
Answering these questions can help determine which plant-based diet is right for you.
There are a few different types of plant-based diets. The three most popular plant-based diets are the whole-food plant-based diet (WFPB), the raw vegan diet, and the 80/20 plant-based diet.
What Is The Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet?
The whole foods plant-based diet is a diet that consists of whole, unprocessed plant foods. This includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. With WFPB, foods can still be cooked, boiled, marinated, and baked, which sets it aside from the raw vegan diet.
What Is The Raw Vegan Diet?
The raw vegan diet is a plant-based diet that consists of natural, unprocessed, uncooked plant foods. This diet is often recommended for people looking to detox their bodies or improve their health, but it does not suit everyone's palate, lifestyle, and digestive pattern.
What Is The 80/20 Plant-Based Diet?
The 80/20 plant-based diet is a plant-based diet that consists of 80% plants and 20% animal products. This diet is often recommended for people looking to transition to a plant-based diet but isn’t quite ready to commit to a 100% plant-based one.
Going Plant-Based: Tips From The Experts
Plan a smooth transition!
If you'd like to transition to a plant-predominant diet, we suggest personalising the 80/20 diet to an 80/10/10 diet! What we mean by this is - eat 80% plant-based food, 10% animal products, but replace the other 10% with mock meats that are equally (if not more) delicious and are healthier and kinder!
For example, add some of these plant-based and vegan tender juicy steaks to your shopping list if you are having a BBQ. Our talented chefs handcraft these and then let them marinate them for 16 hours before grilling them. You can put them on the grill for a short while to heat them up, and they are ready!
Maintain a motivation journal
It often helps to keep a personal journal about your food. This will not only help you to find your motivation but also help you to track your progress. A journal will also help you be accountable and stay on track.
Some things you may want to include in your journal are:
- A list of the reasons why you want to transition to a plant-based diet
- Your favourite plant-based recipes
- The challenges you have faced while transitioning
- Your progress (e.g., how you are feeling, changes in your energy levels, skin, etc.)
- What you are grateful for
- The foods you have tried and liked (and those you hated!)
- A list of the animals you have saved by transitioning to a plant-based diet
What to expect and how to prepare for making the switch
One of the biggest challenges people face when transitioning to a plant-based diet is giving up certain foods they love, such as cheese and chicken. If you are someone who loves these foods, we recommend replacing your meat with plant-based alternatives like this schnitzel and brisket. This way, you can still enjoy the foods you love while eating more plants. With some of these delicious alternatives, people may not even feel like they have made a transition! It's simply like changing the butchers you buy from.
Another challenge people face when transitioning to a plant-based diet is meal prep. If you are used to eating out or grabbing fast food, transitioning to a plant-based diet requires extra effort. Meal prepping or ordering nutritious, prepped meals can help you keep to your goal.
Finally, one of the biggest challenges people face when transitioning to a plant-based diet is dealing with social pressure. If you have family or friends who are not supportive of your decision to eat more plants, it can be challenging to stick to your goals. Our best advice is to share your journey with those around you - the more they understand where you're coming from, the more people will support and encourage you. We will speak more about these barriers next week.
The switch to a plant-based diet is a big decision, but it doesn't have to be daunting. We hope this blog post has helped you feel more prepared to make the switch. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to message us on Facebook.
Next week on the blog...
Next week we will discuss some common roadblocks people face when transitioning to a plant-based diet and how to overcome them. For example, does eating plant food mean you will hardly be able to eat out again? How do you deal with family or friends who are not supportive of your decision? We will also be giving some tips on how to make plant-based eating more accessible. Stay tuned!