7 Ways to Help You Transition to a Plant Based Diet

There benefits of eating a primarily plant based diet are tremendous. But, that doesn’t go without saying the initial transition is a smooth and seamless journey. Whether your reasons for eating plant based are health, sustainability, or animal rights related, we’ve got you covered with ways to make your transition as smooth, easy and delicious as possible!

Strive for progress instead of perfection

We start with this one because it’s the most important part of transitioning to a plant based diet. You know the saying “nothing happens overnight”? People often get frustrated when making the transition because hey, it’s not as easy as some Instagrammers make it look.

Strive for progress and don’t beat yourself up when you don’t reach perfection. If you accidentally ordered your latte with whole milk, or just can’t resist stopping at your most favorite burger joint on your summer trip, don’t fret! This doesn’t mean it’s all downhill and you should give up on eating plant based all together. If you need to, start small by including one extra serving of veggies and one less serving of meat per day!

Pick up some new cookbooks

“But it’s so difficult to make plants taste good.” Say what?! Think again! There are overwhelming amounts of delicious plant based cookbooks and food blogs out there. Here are a list of a few we love that make cooking with plants extremely tasty and easy:

Look to friends for advice!

If you have friends who are vegan, vegetarian, or have experimented with plant based diets, try asking them for their most helpful tips. You can ask advice on finding delicious restaurants with plant based options, what they grocery shop for, or their favorite recipes to cook at home!

Additionally, whether it’s a business lunch, a friends birthday dinner, or a date with your significant other who has been dying to try out the new steakhouse in town- if you find yourself in a situation at a restaurant with no plant based options, don’t fear! These restaurants often serve cooked veggies and a grain or starch with their dishes and if you tell the chef you don’t eat meat or dairy, they will most likely to be happy to put together a nice and nutritious plate for you.   

Educate yourself

If health is a reason you’re switching over to a plant based diet, make sure you’re educating yourself on how to receive adequate nutrients in your diet. The right plant based diets can look different for everyone, so do your research and experiment with what works best for your body.

This Beginner’s Guide to a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet is a great resource to get familiar with incorporating more plants into your diet!

Read labels

It’s common for people switching to a plant based diet to go to their local grocery store and immediately grab foods with labels that read “vegan” or “all natural” We don’t blame you, they can be deceiving! However, these labels don’t always mean the ingredients are clean! Be sure to steer clear of  ingredients you can’t pronounce (these are generally artificial chemicals that do damage to your health) and do your best to stick to a whole foods diet.

Stock your pantry

Plant based diets get a bad rap for being overly expensive, which is one of the biggest reasons people choose not to adopt them! What people aren’t always aware of is how actually inexpensive plant based diets can be.

One of our biggest tips: SHOP IN THE BULK BINS! Buying pre-packaged beans, nuts, and grains will cost you at least a few dollars extra, so shop smart and save money by scooping these items out of the bin and storing them in airtight containers in your pantry. Also, stock up on fruits and veggies that are in season. In season means fresher, more nutrients, and less expensive.

Meal prep

The beautiful thing about plants: You can easily prep them to taste amazing throughout the entire week! Meal prepping is a helpful tool for those who are on the go or have little time throughout the week to cook full meals.

A sample look at a week of meal prep

Try roasting a plethora of veggies such as broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, and carrots with olive oil, herbs and spices. Then cook a pot of quinoa water. Next, warm lentils with salt, garlic and paprika over the stove. So you don’t get sick of the same combo throughout the week, you can be super versatile. Stock your fridge with hummus to dip the veggies as a snack, add the lentils with some avocado and salsa into a coconut tortilla, or enjoy the quinoa warm with almond milk or Koia (for a protein boost) and berries for breakfast. Voila – you have successfully meal prepped!

How to Survive on the Go

Whether you’re pressed for time, on a road trip, or catching a flight and have limited options for a healthy plant based option, be sure to carry and good snack option. Bars, shakes, and nut butter packs are great for throwing in your purse or backpack and are becoming more available in gas stations, airports, and grocery stores (which we think is pretty awesome!). When you know you’ll be in transit during lunch or late afternoon, stash Koia in your purse to ensure you’ll have a plant based option at the ready. Koia’s boost of plant based energy with 18g protein, healthy fats, and fiber will keep you satisfied and energized throughout the duration of your journey.

There you have it. The transition to a plant based diet doesn’t necessarily mean an easy one, but we hope these tips will help you throughout your journey!

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