How do you transition to a more plant-based lifestyle? (Q&A)
Transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle can be super challenging, especially if you feel like you can’t cook well or are intimidated by the whole lifestyle. And I’m a firm believer in “a little is better than nothing” so this is no different.
I got a bunch of questions when I called myself “part-time” vegan last week.
Today’s Q&A came from 2 people:
Laney: I saw your post the other day about being “part time” vegan and I sort of feel the same way! I try to eat healthy but feel like it’s impossible to give up cheese and stuff like that altogether. What would you recommend to someone who wants to get closer to plant based?
Cassondra: Can you give some pointers on transitioning to a more plant based lifestyle. I am a terrible cook, and eating healthy for me is salad and chicken or fish like every day. I want to lead a more meat free life but it’s a tough move to make. Maybe some other people are in the same boat as me ?
I really love this question. Like a lot.
I do eat meat/cheese/egg/fish sometimes and I try to do so responsibly. In small quantities, we buy humanely raised, pasture-raised, etc, because the way animal products are produced in factory farming in such massive, wasteful quantities is beyond deplorable. My personal moral compass really tells me that that’s one of the great mistakes humanity is making (along side plenty of others, sadly). It’s important that we take care of the Earth & have respect for the beings on it.
That said, I leave room in my diet to accommodate for experience and socializing. And I know a lot of you are like me in that you may want to put a dent in the fight against poor practices by changing some of your own habits without giving up everything at once.
Here’s a few tiny changes you can make in the direction of plant-based/more responsible consumption without giving up everything at once:
1.) If you’re used to eating meat every day, cut back to 3 days a week. Or 4 days. Or simply implement meatless Mondays! Every little bit counts, and not only for the environment, but for your own well being, too.
2.) Eliminate one thing at a time. You don’t have to go cold turkey! I started with cheese & milk. I WANTED to cut that out to see if my skin cleared, so I did it and it really worked. I cut cheese altogether and then swapped dairy milk with almond or hazelnut milk. Next came sugar, then came red meat, then slowly I reduced poultry, fish, and eggs, too. Start with something you actively WANT to give up.
3.) It’s expensive to overhaul your pantry, so if you can’t afford to go all organic and pasture raised, etc, don’t stress! Pick one thing to make better. One of the least expensive changes is to switch to organic eggs that come form farm-raised chickens. At most this adds $2 more to your grocery bill and it’s worth it. I know eggs are not plant based, but like I said— these are little ways to get you closer.
4.) An example plant-based 3 meal day: avocado toast with lemon juice & tempeh bacon, OR simply a classic bowl of oatmeal. Have a big spinach salad for lunch with roasted chickpeas, tons of veggies like beets, peas, mushrooms and sprouts. For dinner grab a veggie burger and roast some potatoes. Or make a giant pot of meatless chili for the week.
Side note: I actually asked you guys for your favorite plant based meals and you sent me TONS! So I’m gonna make some, photograph them and share them on the blog (with proper credit of course!) to highlight your talent & creativity. So stay tuned bc I’ll share some more resources on the food front soon!
Over to you! These are things I did which helped me get closer to plant-based. What small changes did you make to your lifestyle that carried a big impact?