Take the Veg Challenge This Month!
If you’ve been wondering about trying a plant-based lifestyle on for size, today is the perfect day to give it a try. What have you got to lose? (Besides possibly some extra weight and a few points on your blood cholesterol or blood pressure levels.) I encourage everyone—no matter what they’re eating style—to take on a more whole foods, plant-based lifestyle.
One of the best ways you can decide if you want to make a change in your eating style is to try a challenge—just try it for a finite period of time, whether it’s one week, two weeks, or one month. Just do it!
My 5 Steps for Taking the Veg Challenge
1. Decide what your goal is and commit. If you’re a slow starter, perhaps you’d like to try a month of Meatless Mondays. Or maybe you’d like to give 2 weeks of eating vegetarian a spin. Maybe you want to give a completely plant-based diet a try for a whole month. Just make a decision, and go for it.
2. Set your kitchen up for success. Once you make a commitment, make sure you’re supporting it in the kitchen. I’ve got plenty of tips in The Plant-Powered Diet and Plant-Powered for Life that will guide you in the right direction. Here are a couple of cheats:
• Stock your pantry with plant-based, shelf-stable foods, such as whole grains, dried and canned beans, nuts and seeds, nuts and seed butters, spices, and herbs. You can create wholesome, plant-based meals out of these ingredients in a jiffy.
• Fill your frig at least once a week with healthy, fresh, plant-based foods to enliven those plant-based dishes, such as seasonal fruits and vegetables, tofu, seitan, and plant-based milk.
3. Plan wisely. For your first week you might find it especially helpful to jot down a menu for your lunch and dinners. On your busy nights, try simple meals, such as tofu stir-fry with brown rice or black bean tacos. But choose a couple of nights when you have a bit more time to try a new recipe. This will inspire you to get creative and enjoy the delicious flavors of plant-based foods.
4. Plant-based offerings in your neighborhood. Take a few minutes to scope out the plant-based offerings in your neighborhood, such as your local natural food store, vegetarian restaurants, or restaurants with lots of plant-based options. Plan a visit a couple of times your first week to keep it fun.
5. Create good ole’ standbys. It’s easy to eat plant-based, when you have your go-to favorite, wholesome meals that make you feel content and satisfied. Some of mine include steel cut oats with seasonal fruit, cinnamon, hemp, walnuts and soy milk for breakfast; kale salad with white beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts for lunch; and a veggie BLT with tempeh bacon, tomatoes, lettuce and plant-based mayo for a weekend meal.
When you’re done with your challenge, take stock of how you feel and look. Is this something you’d like to move forward with? If yes, go for it! I’ll help you in whatever way I can. Take a moment and let me know how you’re doing on your Veg Challenge this month by leaving a comment on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
For more tips on plant-based eating, check out these blogs: