If you’ve been thinking about going meatless and diary free, but just don’t know where or how to start! These hacks will help you get started.
1. If you are still eating flesh food and are accustomed to having it 3 times daily, try to gradually start to reduce your intake until you are able to only consume flesh food once a day. Eventually reduce your consumption to 3-4 times a week then 1-2 a week. Replace flesh food with meatless options such as: Portabella mushrooms, or nut meats, beans, lentils, chick peas veggie burgers,almonds, cashews, and walnuts. There are a few brands that offer meatless options that have the consistence and flavor of chicken and burgers but these are highly processed but can be used as a bridge until you began to make your own. (Eliminating red meat and pork should be the first focus).
2. Replace cow milk with almond, rice or coconut milk try them to see which one you like best. Nut milks come in different varieties, original, vanilla and they range in sweetness, I prefer to make my own or use the original 60 (Sometimes I mix almond and coconut milk together, depends if you like a thin or thicker mouth feel).
3. Incorporate 3 fruits a day (breakfast/lunch/snack) and 5 vegetables. Prep your fruits and veggies so you have them ready when you want to snack and place them in containers or ziploc bags.
4. Nuts and seeds are a great source of plant protein and help keep you full. I measure out a quarter cup and snack on them throughout the day or pair them with fruit for a quick snack.
5. Oatmeal, steal cut oats, or oat groats mixed with nuts like walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or chia seeds combined with banana, blueberries, or strawberries or other fruit are nourishing, delicious, and filling. All of these can be prepared hot or cold. If you choose to try them cold they will require soaking. When I am in a hurry I use a 1/2 cup of rolled oats, with almond milk, nuts,raisins and fruit prepared in a maison jar, after a few hours the oats are soft enough to eat.
6. Substitute bacon and eggs with scrambled tofu and vegan sausage. (I consider tofu and vegan sausage bridge foods, meaning they are still processed but they are not the flesh of animals and eventually you will be able to make your own sausage).
7. Smoothies are great anytime, get creative with them. A good base can be spring/purified water, coconut water, nut milk, or 100% juice with kale, spinach, arugula, mixed greens, collard greens or cilantro, add berries, bananas, peaches, pineapple, or mixed fruit. Add a few dates if you like your smoothie really sweet.
8. Lunch/dinner enjoy meatless tacos ,burritos,veggie burgers, vegetarian pizza, spaghetti and so many other entrees can be served meatless. (Try lentils, black beans, veggie crumbles,and mushrooms there are a variety of beans and legumes).
9. Add grilled vegetables to salads top them with with plant proteins
10. Don’t be afraid to be creative take other recipes and make them into your own. There are countless vegan options, you don’t have to be confined to eating salads and beans and rice. Have fun on your journey to a healthier you!