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Transitioning to a Plant-Based Lifestyle

 

Lots of people are aware that it is beneficial to have less meat in their diet. It is for this reason that veganism and the plant-forward trend are on the rise. Recent statistics show that 7.9% of Australians identify as vegan, with an additional 13.7% identifying as “part-time” vegans or vegetarians who sometimes eat animal products. However, making the transition to a plant-based lifestyle is no easy feat. It requires dedication and an understanding of how to sustain the new habits you are trying to form. That said, making the switch can have plenty of benefits that range from improved health to environmental sustainability. Here are some steps that might help you to make the transition and maintain it!

 

Motivation

To create a shift in habits eating less meat and more plants in this instance there should be a healthy motivation to start with. Motivation can vary from person to person, and may include wanting to live a healthier life, environmental benefits or animal welfare. However, motivation alone is not enough. For a new habit to stick you need to make it obvious and attractive, * and you need to create an environment that helps and motivates you to stick to your new habits. For example, when you buy fruit and veggies place them in the fridge where you see them. You are more likely to grab these foods if they are right in front of you. Place the food that you want to stop eating in a less visible place where it takes more effort to get to it. Order yourself food from a vegan meal-kit service, so you already have 3 or 4 meals ready to go for the week. It is convenient and will help you from falling back into your usual routines.

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*James Clear writes about this in his book Atomic Habits

 

Start Small

The key to making any lasting habit change is starting small and being consistent. For instance, if you’re used to having beef as your main protein source, try swapping it out every second day with lentils, beans or tofu. By the way, did you know that peanut butter is also a rich source of protein? Other steps can be to start ordering a soy latte instead of your cow’s milk latte and to use nuttelex instead of the regular butters. Slowly making small incremental changes can help you feel more comfortable and make you feel positive about your plant-based journey. You will notice that your animal intake will reduce quite quickly. But don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed by this process. Remember that any progress is progress regardless of how big or small it may be!

 

Get Educated

While Google searches are great for quickly finding information about any topic, there are also several books available that specifically focus on transitioning into a plant-based diet. Some of my favourites are Fiber Fueled by Will Bulsiewicz, How not to Die by Michael Greger, and the Proof is in the Plants by Simon Hill. These books examine the evidence base for why we should all eat more plants. It can work highly motivational to read about the benefits and research done around adding more plant-based food into your lifestyle.

 

Set Goals

Goals help keep us motivated throughout any journey we embark upon. When it comes to transitioning into a plant-based lifestyle, start by setting manageable goals like eating fewer animal products each week or increasing the number of meals containing only plant-based ingredients each week. Having 3 plant-based meals a week for instance is a very realistic goal, especially when you have a vegan meal-kit service at your disposal. These goals should be tailored towards helping you reach your ultimate goal of becoming more fully plant based. Don’t forget to reward yourself once you hit your milestones. Whether that’s taking yourself out for dinner at your favourite vegan restaurant or buying yourself something nice afterwards—positive reinforcement helps drive motivation! 

 

Positive Impact on Your Sex Life?

Yes, it is true! Some studies have suggested that adopting a plant-based lifestyle can lead to improved sexual health—but what does the research actually say? It turns out that consuming more fruits and vegetables can help boost libido levels due to increased blood flow provided by these nutrient-rich foods. Additionally, eating a balanced diet has been linked with higher levels of testosterone among men (which can also help improve sex drive). Finally, some research suggests that following a vegetarian or vegan diet may reduce cholesterol levels which can improve one’s overall cardiovascular health—and better heart health often translates into better sexual performance.             

Get Support

Having people around you who understand what you’re doing and want to achieve can make all the difference. Whether that’s family members, friends, co-workers or online communities—surround yourself with people who are supportive of your efforts and can help hold you accountable when things get hard. Even if they don’t follow a vegan/plant-based lifestyle themselves, having someone who understands why you’re doing what you’re doing will make your journey a lot easier (and more enjoyable!). 

 

Positive Impact on the World

When it comes to sustainability, there’s no denying that plant-based diets can have a tremendous positive impact on our world. Choosing to incorporate more plants into your diet not only reduces your carbon footprint but also helps to conserve resources like water and land used for raising animals for food production purposes. Did you know it takes 3,000 litres of fresh drinking water to produce 1 hamburger? That the meat and dairy industry use 1/3 of the world’s fresh water supply? And that 51% of all the global greenhouse gas emissions comes from. By comparison: all our transportation combined (road, rail, air and marine) only make up 13% of emissions. (Source) So, if you’re looking for ways to make a positive impact on our environment, reducing your intake of meat and dairy should be high on your list!

 

Conclusion  

A switchover towards a more plant-based lifestyle can seem daunting at first, but with some research and dedication, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Start small and build up gradually while always staying informed and setting achievable goals along the way that help keep you motivated throughout the process. Remember there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to transitioning into this lifestyle. Take your time, don’t rush things, and do what works best for YOU! Doing so will help ensure that a plant-based lifestyle becomes part of your life instead of just another passing trend. Good luck!

With Love,

Jimmy