There are countless ways to transition into a plant-based diet (vegetarian or vegan). Most people can benefit from adding more plants to their diet, but if serious about a lifestyle change most people can't do it with a "cold turkey" switch.
Whether you want to become vegetarian or vegan, most people need to gradually ease into that style of eating. Smokers cannot quit smoking overnight. The same is with our diet and palate. We have biological cravings that our body is adjusted to, especially if older. If are are 35 and were raised eating meat, this means you lived nearly 100% of your existence eating meat or dairy (minus the nursing infant years of mother's milk / formula).
These three steps I use to help my clients who want to transition - Add, Replace, Eliminate to adjust to a pallet switch.
-First: Add Produce to Meals
-Second: Replace the meat Protein / Dairy / Simple Carbohydrate Sources
-Third: Eliminate the Remaining Meat/Dairy sources once Palate is Adjusted
There is no timeline for each step or zone. Graduating from one step to the next is an individual process.
While eating your normal diet, this is the time to start adding produce to meals. This doesn't necessarily all have to be raw produce, but just adding produce to cooked foods aides the palate adjustment. It adds bulk to the meal so some less meat / simple carbohydrate will be less consumed. In the video above I share examples of how to add produce to meals.
Most people today eat too many simple carbohydrates. If transitioning for health reasons, this is the time to start replacing to healthier choices as well as gradually replacing meat / dairy sources. An example of this is to replace brown rice with white rice. Another example is if you eat cereal, can you switch from cow milk to almond milk. Soy meat products have a different taste, even something like chickpeas is an ideal replacement for chicken. This stage is a gradual process.
Once your palate is adjusted and feel comfortable eating plant-based foods, this is the time to eliminate the remaining meat / dairy sources, or foods that no longer serve you from your diet. I explain more in the video above.
How have you transitioned into a plant based diet? What worked for you?
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com