Transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight, but here are some simple ways to start making healthy changes now:

  1. Quit dairy by finding a milk replacement you like: soy, almond, coconut, and cashew ‘milk’ are sold in most grocery stores. 
  2. Use online resources to find support for your new lifestyle. Try Forks Over Knives or Running on Real Food 
  3. Stock up on vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. But I Could Never Go Vegan, Isa Does It, and Oh She Glows all give veggies centerstage. Cookbooks will show you how delicious and simple eating a plant-based diet can be.  
  4. Try a tofu scramble, pumped up with sautéed veggies and spices instead of scrambled eggs. In baking, egg substitutes are easy to find. 
  5. Make your own salad dressing. It’s quick, easy, less expensive and healthier than a store-bought version. Experiment with nut butters, different oils, vinegars, tahini, herbs and spices both fresh and dried, mustard, garlic, and miso to find a recipe you love. 
  6. Plan and prep your meals for the week. Write the meals on your calendar in advance, shop for those meals, and make a prep day on Sunday to get a head start on the week ahead. Getting ready in advance means meals come together quickly and without a fuss. Forks Over Knives has a great guide to meal planning, and even offers a cooking course. 
  7. Be prepared. We often make poor food choices when we’re very hungry, and a way to avoid this is by having a backup plan. A piece of fruit like a banana, a baggie of almonds, chopped veggies with a mini-container of hummus are great, portable snacks. 
  8. Don’t forget to hydrate. Often when we’re feeling hungry, the real issue is dehydration. Be sure to drink 8-10 glasses of filtered water daily.  
  9. In this day and age, substitutes for your favorite animal-based foods are readily available and taste better than ever before. Experiment to find your favorites! 
  10. You can still eat chocolate. Most chocolates don’t contain any dairy or animal byproducts, so if you’re wanting to avoid them, you’re in the clear.  

Above all, enjoy your journey to better health for both you and the planet! You don’t have to be perfect. The point is to focus on whole foods and how wonderful you feel by eating a plant-based diet.