A plant-based diet is one that focuses on foods that come from plants. This means eliminating the amount of animal-based ingredients, dairy, and proteins you usually consume.
If you’ve been eating a certain type of food for most of your life, then transitioning to a new way of thinking about food might be challenging. To help, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things you can do to make your plant-based journey easier:
1: Remember why you’re doing it
Whether you’re doing it because of the Veganuary Challenge, for your health, ethical reasons or to protect the environment; it’s important to remind yourself what motivated you in the first place.
2: Find a few recipes that you love to eat
3: Meal prepping and planning helps you stay focused
Once you’ve chosen your favourite recipes, it might be helpful to plan your meals week by week. Also, by preparing meals in advance, you’ll always have something on hand when hunger strikes. Remember to slot in some easy-to-prepare recipes for the nights that you’re especially busy, like mongolian meatballs and rice or pea protein mince tacos from Fry’s which are delicious, nutritious and really satisfying.
4: Keep your kitchen stocked with meat replacements
Keep your kitchen prepped with all the necessary ingredients to make the meals you’ve planned for the week to ensure that you stay on track! Make a list of the basic products you need to build meals such as burger patties, meatballs, chicken nuggets, mince and sausages. Fry’s makes ALL these meat replacements you need for your familiar recipes. Find them in the frozen section at your local grocery store.
5: Snacks are important
During the first few weeks of figuring out your plant-based journey, you might still feel hungry even though you’ve already eaten. A lot of people tend to forget the importance of protein in their diet.
6: Simplicity is key
Plant-based cooking can be quite simple. You can make quick and easy meals with just a few ingredients, which is why these cookbooks and recipes are handy! Plus perfection isn’t the point; progression is, so keep it as simple as possible.
7: Don’t forget to check labels!
Always check the labels on everything that you buy. You might accidentally buy something that could hinder your progress. It’s also important to note the ingredient & nutrition panel on the products you buy to ensure you’re getting enough protein and fibre!
8: Always be prepared when you’re going out with friends and family
Your friends and family might not be on the same journey as you, and that's okay. Always have something prepped for social gatherings. If you’re invited to a braai, you can always bring your own boeries, burgers and chicken-style nuggets to snack on. Your friends will enjoy them, too! Don’t forget that you can still enjoy your own version of garlic bread, potato salad, bean salad and even braai broodjies! South African restaurants are really good these days about providing plant-based options on their menus. Check out John Dory’s, Spur and Panarottis for a few family-friendly options. Psst: Enjoy FREE vegan swops at Panarottis during their #PanasVeganuary! John Dory’s is also team Veganuary with mouth-watering options!
9: Find your people
You are not alone! There are millions of people around the world who are probably experiencing the same feelings that you are, so find them! There are great community groups on Facebook that you can join to look for advice or even just to chat! Try the We Love Veganuary Facebook group for just that.
10: Don’t be hard on yourself
It takes time to build a routine and to get into the swing of a new lifestyle. Don’t overthink it, take it day by day and remind yourself that it's okay to slip up sometimes. Nothing happens overnight.