Shifting to a Plant-Based Lifestyle Can Be Easy and Enjoyable, Here’s How!
The global pandemic in 2020 opened our eyes to a major reason we as humans should move more toward a plant-based lifestyle. Scientists, animal advocacy organizations, and the media all reported on the increasing risk of future zoonotic diseases coming from factory farms, and a survey showed that Americans ate less meat during the pandemic.
1. Take It Slow.
At Vejii, we believe a completely vegan lifestyle is awesome, but everyone’s got to move at their own pace. We recommend you work up to having an 80 percent whole food, plant-based diet, and consuming what you’re used to the remaining 20 percent of the time. If 80 percent of the world ate this way, this would heavily reduce our reliance on the animal agriculture industry for food, benefiting the animals, the environment, and our own health.
2. Get Support When You Need It.
You don’t have to do this on your own. You can visit a naturopathic doctor who’s familiar with a plant-based diet, get help from nutritionists, dieticians, or food coaches, download apps like 80/20 Plants, search for resources, retailers, and vegan directories, and get inspired by following and listening to plant-based bloggers, influencers, and podcasts.
3. Make It Easy.
It’s common to think that going from where you are to 100% plant-based is difficult, and it takes time. EASY is the key word, and it means starting where it’s easiest for you. Don’t care for milk much? Switch to oat or a different nut-based milk with your breakfast cereal. Swap a beef burger for a plant-based one. There are likely at least a few plant-based burger patty options available at your local grocery store, and many restaurants offer plant-based burgers now too. If chocolate and ice cream are your weekend staples, try out different brands that don’t use milk. You’ll find swapping out certain ingredients in your favourite foods is not only possible but also easy AND better for you.
4. Make it Fun.
Tapping into a community that values a plant-based diet or vegan lifestyle can help you feel you’re not alone. There are vegan meetups and festivals around the world. Search Meetup.com or your local area to see what’s available. Some meetups organize events at restaurants, which is a great way to try out several dishes and support a local business.
If you like to cook or need to sharpen your knife skills, take a class on cooking plant-based or watch chefs on YouTube. What’s great about eating plant-based is you don’t have to follow recipes to the T—you can always adapt them to your preferences. For example, there are different ways to make plant-based macaroni & cheese, or scrambled “eggs.”
If you enjoy fashion and beauty, explore brands using synthetic or plant-based materials instead of ones relying on animal products. There are a lot of innovations happening with plant-based leather, for example. In time, more options will become available to mainstream consumers.
5. Make it Sustainable.
Our biggest tip on keeping up the lifestyle is to remember your values. Eating plant-based and committing to it is a long-term commitment, and your “WHY” can be a powerful way to keep yourself inspired and not revert to old ways. A few final ideas:
If you’re the only person who eats plant-based in your family or group of friends, be the one who brings the staple vegetable entrée.
Invite people to come to a meetup or event with you.
Continue following inspiring vegans on social media or subscribe to their newsletters.
Share the dishes you make (or order!) on your own social platforms.
Have fun browsing your local grocery store or online for plant-based options of your favourite foods, wardrobe items, and other personal products.
Hire a professional to help keep you on track. Encouragement is a good thing!
Be confident in your values, and in how YOU live the plant-based lifestyle—we’re rooting for you!