Eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet is one of the best decisions anyone could make for their health and well-being. And though it may seem intimidating if you’re new to this awesome lifestyle, you have nothing to fear. Eating plant-based is truly so easy, and you actually have more variety from plant-based foods than you do from animal-based foods. The produce department alone has many more options than how many animal-based options exist. Plus look at how much plants glow with color – it’s a true sign of just how awesome they are for your body and how full of life they really are.

But we can’t live on fruits and veggies alone, right? You’ll definitely need to add in some other plant-based foods to get enough nutrition, calories, and variety into your diet. Here are some simple ways to do that all day long without too much fuss at all.

1. Start Your Day with A Smoothie (and Juice if You Can)

Starting your day out on the right foot is a great way to begin the day as a plant-based eater. While smoothies aren’t the only healthy option you have, they are a fast, delicious way to start your day that will teach your body to crave plant-based foods. You can keep your smoothies as simple as you like or make them more complex. For tips, tricks, and recipes, see our Smoothies page for all the inspiration you could ask for.

If you have a juicer, even better! Green juice and a green smoothie make a great way to start the day and give you vitamins, minerals, and live enzymes to flood your body with plant-based goodness before the day begins. Here is a guide to juicing, some delicious recipe ideas, and some simple tips for juicing newbies. 

2. Get Friendly With Whole Grains

Some people do not tolerate grains. However, if you do, get friendly with them as much as possible since many are incredibly healthy for you. Oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, and millet all make awesome breakfast ideas, side dishes for lunch, dinner time staples, and they’re also very affordable when it comes to keeping meals inexpensive. They can also be used as a healthy alternative to make vegan baked goods instead of opting for refined flours.

3. Use Plant-Based Milks

Though I know homemade almond milk is a healthier choice, the truth is, I’m a busy gal and don’t have time to keep fresh on hand all the time (nor the money to do so.) So I pay close attention to what non-dairy milks I buy and choose brands without harmful additives like carrageenan. Plant-based milks are a lifesaver in the kitchen! I use them in smoothies, baked goods, oatmeal or other porridges, sauces, stews, desserts, or as a post-workout refreshment over ice with some cinnamon. Learn to love non-dairy, plant-based milks for their taste and versatility. Just be sure to choose those without sugar whenever possible. Plant-based milks are a great source of non-dairy calcium, with many containing more than traditional dairy milk (and none of the harmful side effects!)

4. Don’t Forget That Plants Contain Protein

Most people do fine with the idea of eating more fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds, but for some reason, they tend to worry about protein consumption on a plant-based diet. There are so many easy, nutritious protein options when it comes to eating a plant-based diet. Don’t buy into the myth that plant foods don’t contain enough high-quality protein. Try out these 10 protein-packed vegan lunches and even opt for a few as a dinner entree. You can also make your own protein powders for smoothies instead of opting for animal-based options or pricier vegan choices at the store.

5. Know How to Eat and Live Plant-Based

When learning to eat a plant-based diet, be sure you know what resources are available out there. This won’t only help motivate you to eat plant-based, but will also give you the knowledge and confidence to do so without second thought. If you need even more motivation to eat a plant-based diet, here are some ways to stay inspired for a lifetime.

Also, don’t forget when you go grocery shopping to stock up on all the best, nutritious vegan essentials. Keep healthy staples in your pantry and learn to make quick and easy meals for busy nights or days when you’re constantly on the go.

Your Plant-Based Eating Challenge

Are you ready to feel awesome? Go plant-based today and join the rest of us on a mission to live a kinder, healthier, and more sustainable life! Try eating meatless for one week and see how much better you feel. Then give up dairy, eggs, poultry, and fish week by week after that or even all at once if you can. Eating plant-based comes with so many health benefits that you’ll likely wonder why you didn’t make the switch sooner.

Need more motivation? Check out some of our favorite videos on the benefits of going plant-based!

Image source: Potato Noodle and Green Bean Salad With Chive-Dijon Vinaigrette