Being plant-based is a lifestyle change. Lifestyle changes are hard and take a lot of time. It's important to be honest with yourself and your abilities.
Below are some points to help make your journey a positive and pleasurable one.
1. Focus On Addition Not Subtraction - Focus on adding healthy foods to your diet before focusing on removing the unhealthy foods. For every unhealthy food that you eat, try to find something healthy that can compliment it. Practice this mindset until it becomes a habit.
If you happen to love strawberry frosted donuts, try to get a plain donut and add fresh strawberries on top. If you love to eat fried foods, try pairing it with a fresh salad or an avocado. The first step to a healthier lifestyle is to start eating as many fruit and vegetables as possible. With everything you eat, try ADDING something healthy.
You will start to FEEL the benefits of being healthy and become addicted to that feeling. THIS IS WHAT MAKES BEING HEALTHY EASIER OVER TIME.
2. Make Sure You're Feeling Good - Nothing will be sustainable if you're not happy with the results. There are many ways to enjoy your favorite foods by finding the healthy alternatives.
For example, I really love ice cream and frozen yogurt but my body hates dairy. I discovered thing like "nicecream" and learned that I could simply blend frozen bananas, add honey and cinnamon, and get the same satisfying feeling that I'd get when I eat a bowl of ice cream. I also freeze and blend fruits with coconut milk often and satisfy the cravings.
I also really love carbs. I've fallen in love with plantains and the million ways to eat them because they fulfill my cravings for breads and pastas. I don't eat bread and pasta nearly as much as I used to.
The hack is to find healthy foods that make you feel just as happy as the unhealthy ones.
3. Customize - Find healthy foods that you already like/tolerate and focus on eating more of those. We often get inspired by other people's health journies and believe we should eat everything they're eating just because its healthy but that's not how health works.
What works for you will not work for everyone, and vice versa. If you don't like carrots, it will be very hard to enjoy carrot juice. Find YOUR health-personality and develop an intimate relationship with yourself. Its okay to use someone else's journey as inspiration, but it should never be copied and pasted.
4. Edit Your Social Media Feed - We scroll through social media for hours each day. An easy way to find inspiration is to follow as many health food pages as you can. That way, you'll be absorbing lots of healthy information and learning new/fun things to do with your food with minimal effort.
I personally believe in editing your social media to the T. What you consume for hours each day is important. You can easily learn a bunch of new things solely by editing your social media feed
Never ever ever guilt trip over "breaking your diet". Remember, being healthy is a lifestyle change. Its not a diet. Doing crash diets every few months will burn you out and have adverse effects on your body.
Start slow, be realistic and nourish your body with what it wants and needs.
Whatever way you decide to start your health journey, congratulate yourself on honoring you mind, body and soul!