Eating a plant-based diet is essential to long term health and wellness, but in a world that implies animal foods are the only source of “high quality” protein and one that makes vegans out to be wimpy hippies, I find some people I offer health coaching to have a hard time staying motivated on a 100% plant-based diet. With most restaurants and fast food joints offering quick, animal-based foods instead of plant-based options and food companies adding milk, cheese, or some type of dairy derivative to their products, I completely understand why and how people feel challenged to eat plant-based.
Even if you’re fully aware of all the easy-to-eat vegan foods on the go or you understand how simple it is to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet, cravings can hit out of nowhere. And sometimes, family and friends may tempt you to have animal-based foods.
No matter what the reason is, you need motivation to stick with a plant-based diet, so we have some simple tips you can take advantage of. These tips are great for anyone, even those of us that believe a plant-based diet is the easiest and most enjoyable way to stay healthy and happy for a lifetime.
1. Remember Your Reason
If you’ve already made the decision to stop consuming animal products, what made you go plant-based? Ethics? Health? Remember how strong the motivation was in the beginning and your reasoning for it. Draw back to that emotional state you were in and remember those feelings you felt. That cheeseburger or clogging container of dairy yogurt doesn’t look so tempting now, does it?
2. Don’t View It As a Diet
If you started a vegan diet just to try a trend, I strongly urge you to delve more deeply into the benefits of a plant-based diet, along with evidence that supports its standpoint. I realize many health minded individuals say it caused health problems for them or perhaps promote an animal, “primal” way of eating, but there is so much research that proves eating-plant based is the best option. Don’t eat vegan just to be trendy – do it for a solid, proven reason or for ethics. Health wise, read up on how you can use plant-based foods to meet all your dietary needs. Whether it’s protein, calcium, iron, vitamin K, CoQ10, magnesium, vitamin D or DHA, you CAN get what you need from plant-based sources.
3. Remember Your Ethics
Speaking of ethics, consider the way animals are treated as nothing more than items to savage. Even circus animals are abused and treated poorly, and more animals suffer abuse than we may ever know. Consider what it takes to get a living animal to your actual plate, and if you don’t already know how that happens, these films can help you out. Also remember how our actions can impact the environment – check out these 5 Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet that Have Nothing to do with Health and Another Study Confirms That Plant-Based Diets are Great for You and the Planet!
4. Watch Eye-Opening Films
Speaking of films, everyone should watch food documentaries whenever they can. I’m incredibly fond of Food Inc., Vegucated, Forks Over Knives, Food Matters, and Earthlings. You can watch many docs online for free on most video websites like You Tube, Netflix, Amazon Video, or the actual websites themselves. Here are some other documentaries you should check out.
5. Read a Book
Books have been one of the most motivating things for me as a vegan. I constantly read a new book as soon as I finish another. Kathy Freston, Alicia Silverstone, Gena Hamshaw, Angela Liddon, and Kathy Patalsky are all some of my favorite vegan bloggers and authors. Other books I love are: The Engine 2 Diet, Forks Over Knives, The China Study, Thrive, and all those by Dr. Neal Barnard. Sometimes we need motivation from others, along with insight and new ideas when we get stuck in a rut. Our website is also one of the most inspiring places for me to remember why I chose this lifestyle in the first place. Hopefully, it will be for you, too!
Be willing to change your current routine if you need to or try new things. I’m always up for trying new produce, new forms of protein, new healthy fats, and new products that enhance my vegan diet. I also love relishing in all of the local, organic produce I can and am constantly seeking new recipes. Nothing makes me more motivated to eat plant-based than to see a fridge full of plant-based foods!
How do you stay motivated on a plant-based diet?
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Great blog post! I have been a vegetarian for a little over one year and a brand new vegan of one month. I love seeing this article and the positive encouragement to keep motivation!!