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5 Things to do Before You start a Whole Foods Plant-based Lifestyle & Nutrition

Did you know that whole food plant-based nutrition is the future? from vegan athletes to celebrities to everyday people are now looking to eat a plant-based diet and live this as a lifestyle. We know you’ve watched about it on a Netflix documentary (Cowspiracy, What The Health, The Game Changers, etc.) or elsewhere, and you might want to try it. However, you probably don't know where to start off with your journey. Let’s discuss a few tips to take in mind before you start this nutrition and lifestyle.

1. Analyze yourself and your current situation.

Honestly, you are the only one in the world who can make this decision and truly knows yourself! If you are compassionate with animals, you care about the climate change in the world, or perhaps you or someone you know is suffering from a chronic condition (which was my case); these reasons may help you get motivated to take the first steps. Take some time to realize things that are going on with you and the ones around you, and be mindful of what you serve on your plate!

2. Why do you want to change? (Your Purpose).

We’ve met people from different cultures and all of them with similar motivations. We decided to adopt a plant-based nutrition to prevent illness, and after reading that the world health organization has classified processed meats as a group 1 carcinogen ( we decided to stop meat consumption starting in October 2018. From our personal experience, after the first 6 months of having whole food plant-based meals, we already experienced positive changes in our bodies.

An example of this was that all the acne on our skin was notably reduced, and constipation became a thing of the past for us. Nevertheless, as we’ve researched more about this nutrition, we became aware of the several dangers that animal agriculture and the dairy industry are putting into our planet.

Additionally, as animal lovers, we felt very sorry to learn the awful methods farmers use to raise and kill animals. In the spiritual world, they say you need to create good karma for life, and cruelty-free nutrition is a great way to begin. Always remember that the food you eat has an energetic influence on your body. If you think that food is only there to fill up your stomach and please your palate cravings, you better start opening your mind.

3. Make a list of the food you eat daily and cross-mark animal protein/dairy products/processed food.

Relax, I know this might be all you eat! The Standard American diet is full of it. However, try to focus on the other options while playing your favorite music in a quiet space where you can sit some time alone. You're about to make a BIG change in your life, so you need self-awareness for it!

Take a pen and paper, and write down a list of the most common meals you prepare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Be detailed when you list all the ingredients, do not miss a single thing! Once you come up with a list, start cross-marking the following:

· Butter, cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream, soy, whey protein, and any product that contains dairy.

· Fish, eggs, red meat, chicken, turkey, and any source of animal protein.

· Ham, bacon, sausage, soda, cereal, chips, and any other processed food.

Making a list will help you realize you’re eating habits. If your list has very few marks, CONGRATULATIONS you are on the right path!

4. Pick a day of the week when you will only eat plant-based meals (ONE DAY ONLY)

You must live one day at a time or at least that’s what people say. Take this quote as your inspiration when starting your transition into a Whole food plant-based lifestyle. As with any goals in life, you need to start by taking baby steps before you become a pro at it. So, as a suggestion, you can start by picking one day of the week to eat only veggies and fruits until you are finally ready to do it for a weekend, and then go try a full week. I remember I started with Vegan Mondays. If you go to social media, you will find a campaign with the hashtag meatless Monday; this hashtag has encouraged many people to not eat animal protein on Mondays. Create a strong mind-body connection if you want to make this lifestyle change. Reduce the amount of animal protein you eat on one plate or try by substituting animal protein for your favorite veggie ingredients, mine is avocado, mushroom, black beans, and plantain!

5. Breathe, read and practice!

Do not forget to breathe and focus on your goal! This is a fun process and so will be your meals when you start learning how to prepare new recipes. I usually do a search on YouTube for vegan meal prep and I have found great recipes, also look up some inspiration on Instagram.

Sometimes, I spark my own creativity in the meals I cook. Going plant-based has integrated family more since we must think together and make choices as a team. Every night we plan what we will make the following day, so this is another positive thing about going plant-based. Finally, do your research and read as much as you can until you feel confident in yourself to do it. You will find great information in documentaries such as Cowspiracy, Food Matters, Heal, and What the Health, just to name a few, and the best book for me is The China Study.

I hope this information helped you figure out how to start your whole food plant-based lifestyle & nutrition. I am sure there is more out there to learn, and I believe anybody with the right interest can do it. This is just a little inspiration and I wish you enjoy this lifestyle. Like and share these tips to help others!

Author: Veronica Araujo

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