Tips to Stay on the Plant Track
Many new regimens begin with gusto, only to be abandoned because old diets die hard. Here are some expert tips for eating well over the long haul.
“Find plant-based options at your favorite restaurants, and be open to new flavors. I promise you, your taste buds will change,” says April Murray, dietician and author of The Everything Pegan Diet Cookbook. To keep the momentum and inspiration going, follow plant-based chefs on social media, she adds.
When switching to a plant-based diet, some miss the rich, fatty flavors found in meat, says Ben Pook, co-author of So Vegan in 5. “The trick we found is using ingredients rich in umami, which is a flavor commonly found in meat. One of our favorites is miso paste (fermented soybeans), which has an intense savory taste. We often add it to stews, pies and even pastas to deliver more depth of flavor. Soy sauce and porcini mushrooms are also a great substitute.”
“Sustainable change doesn’t happen overnight. If not sure what to cook, start with one big salad a week. When you get the hang of that, add in something else, like prepping snacks from scratch. Small things add up over time,” says Leah Webb, author of The Grain-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free Family Cookbook.
“Seek out loved ones who share your food values and nurture those relationships. You might be surprised how many people around you are also quietly trying to achieve similar goals,” says Ocean Robbins, founder of the Food Revolution Network.
“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves when we first switched to a plant-based diet. Shopping for vegan food and eating out at restaurants felt very overwhelming, and we found ourselves spending hours checking food labels. We’ve come to realize that veganism isn’t black or white and encourage others not to worry about making mistakes along the way,” shares Pook.
If we can’t resist temptation on occasion, that’s okay too, Murray says. “That one unhealthy meal won’t undo all the hard work you’ve put in. Get right back on track the next morning. Positivity is key.”