Three months ago my life changed dramatically when I decided to try 100% Plant Based eating. Since then, the changes I’ve experienced have been nothing short of incredible.
What started as a seven day commitment, is now a lifestyle and protocol I am completely passionate about.
Since going plant-based I have dropped 23 pounds of excess weight (without a focus on weight loss), my energy has vastly improved as has my endurance during exercise. My business focus is much better and most of all, my state of mind is fantastic.
All results of eliminating a few things from my diet and adding in other important foods like lots of greens, veggies and fruits, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds.
Yet, despite the changes people see me experience, it’s amazing the assumptions they make about this type of eating. Even people who don’t know me have an opinion.
Many people assume I eat nothing but salads. Others think I am on a crusade to convert everyone to this type of protocol and immediately defend their “right” to eat meat and processed foods with comments like, “I’ll think of you when I’m eating a big serving of bacon.”
Although I would love for more people to understand the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, such as reduced inflammation, improved overall health, energy, compassion for animals and on and on, people come to their choice of embracing this type of lifestyle at their own speed.
What Does It Take?
Let’s look at what it takes to eat a clean, plant-based diet. First, don’t see this as a diet in the usual sense of the word. With most “diets” there is a start and an end.
The start is when someone decides they want to lose a certain amount of weight, often for a special occasion. Weight lost and special occasion over, most people go right back to how they ate pre-diet.
On the other hand, many people start a plant-based protocol for ethical reasons such as compassion to animals. For them, there is no stopping. They want to be compassionate all the time.
Although I claim to be an advocate for the well-being of animals, compassion for animals was NOT my #1 reason when I first began.
In my case, I desperately wanted to reduce inflammation in my wrists and fingers. After much research for natural ways to reduce inflammation, plant based eating was mentioned over and over.
These claims were not fabricated at all. Within two days of eating 100% plant based the inflammation completely disappeared and has not returned… at all.
My Reasons For Plant Based Have Shifted
The more research I’ve done in the last few months about what it takes to get a steak on one’s plate, the more committed I am to compassionate eating. I doubt I will ever eat any meat or dairy again. If you have not researched the treatment of animals that are used for food, please do. You are likely to be as shocked as I was and continue to be. Check out the Stuff You Gotta Get section of my blog. There are excellent videos (Fork Over Knives is great) on this very subject and they are FREE.
Change Your Mind, Change Your Diet
Eating clean may seem like a simple notion but adopting the lifestyle itself can prove challenging for most. The greatest challenge is the thought that you are giving up so much. Yet, as is evident from my results, you gain much more than you lose.
Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, plant-based proteins, and whole grains become the staple of your diet. Meanwhile, you reduce your intake of large amounts of processed sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, refined grains, additives, and preservatives. I advocate a protocol with no processed foods whatsoever.
Making such a change can be daunting. Upon transitioning into clean eating, it is highly likely you will encounter a few bumps in the road. A big bump has to do with others criticizing your choice and feeling entitled to tease you.
The first question most people ask is, “How do you get enough protein?” When you eat a balanced, whole foods, plant-based diet you get more than enough protein. Often, people are eating way to much protein on a SAD diet (Standard American Diet) But as with other areas I’ve touched on, that will be for another post.
Easier Then You Think
The good news is that clean eating doesn’t have to be a difficult task. After all, this way of life is all about eating the healthiest of food groups. With proper tips and a clean eating playbook in hand, you can successfully navigate the bumps to reach the other side.
Here are five tips on how to start eating clean today.
1. Start with a Single Meal or Go In All the Way
Some people are okay with committing to a complete change. That was the case for me. For others, jumping in all the way may not work.
If you are not one to commit completely, avoid making sweeping changes to your diet right away. Consider this; it may require a full year for you to make the transition. Instead, make gradual changes to your eating habits by starting with a single meal. According to Prevention Magazine, breakfast is an excellent choice for initiating your move to cleaner eating. Begin by removing processed meat like sausages and replacing it with two eggs or ditching those sweet cereals for a fresh fruit bowl with unsweetened almond milk covered with two tablespoons of chia seeds and flax-seeds.
2. Plan Your Meals and Cook Your Own Food
Consistently planning your meals is the best first step you can take. This plan becomes the basis for your shopping list and what it is you will consume for the week. It also helps you to stay on track. Use the plan to introduce new foods into your meals slowly and as a method to gradually remove the bad stuff.
Next, cook your food as much as possible. The only way to know what’s in your food and about to go into your body is to prepare it yourself. This action will enable you to feel confident in the fact that you are keeping with your new standards for clean eating. Research meals that fit the clean eating lifestyle. Sites like eatingwell.com and cleaneatmag.com are fantastic sources of information. YouTube university also offers a wealth of videos with clean eating recipes.
If planning to eat out with your friends, do all that you can in advance to prepare for the experience so that you can stay on track.
3. Keep Your Produce in Stock
One of the most significant components of clean eating is fruits and veggies. Make sure you stock up on your fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables will provide you with much-needed fiber which plays a critical role in reducing inflammation in the body, lowering cholesterol, and managing heart disease.
Quit Counting Calories
When you eat plant-based you actually don’t need to count calories. However, you want to avoid too many fats derived from nuts and avocados. A single serving of each will give you plenty of healthy fats in your diet. But too much can sabotage your success.
4. Avoid the Scale
It’s amazing how “scale” obsessed we have become. Some people weigh themselves several times a day when changing their eating habits. This can backfire on you due to your weight fluctuating throughout the day.
Again, if you take on a plant-based protocol and are 100% honest about how you eat, you WILL lose weight, but not if you obsess with the scale.
I weigh myself no more than once a week. This is huge in shifting the reasons you are on this type of protocol. And, you are likely to see significant shifts in your weight by doing this.
5. Find a Supportive Community
With a lifestyle change like this, support from others is absolutely essential. The reason 12-step programs are so effective is because of the support. With so many social media choices, there is plenty of support. I belong to several Facebook Groups and lead my own group. The ability to connect with others who are as committed to plant based eating as I am is critical.
Do whatever you need to do to achieve the outcome you seek.
These are just five tips to help you start eating clean today. Every step you take towards clean eating will bring you closer to a healthier way of living in mind, body and spirit. Make your experience a positive one. Your body will thank you.
7 Day Reboot
Ready to give it a try, but not ready to commit for life? If you said yes, then the 7 Day Plant Based Eating for Health Reboot is perfect for you. We start on January 1st and go for one week. You will be amazed at what WILL happen in as little as 7 days when you commit 100%.
To receive updates on the 7 Day Reboot, simply subscribe at the top of this page and/or join the Facebook Group. You’ll be glad you did.