11 Baby Steps to Ease Into a Plant-Based Diet

Start slow Spectral Design/ShutterstockJust jumping into any new habit can be tricky. If you're currently a heavy meat eater, you don't have to go cold turkey, says Andrea Nordby, head chef of Purple Carrot, a plant-based meal kit company in Massachusetts. Instead, Nordby says to swap out two meals per week with a plant-based recipe. "Slow and steady wins the race, and you are more likely to enjoy the process of going plant-based if you don't rush right into it," she says. Add more greens YuliiaKas/ShutterstockAdding a large salad to your day is another tip from Nordby. "It's easy to avoid meat products when you add in one huge salad to your day," she says. After all, greens are among the 10 healthiest vegetables. "Instead of packing or buying a sandwich for lunch, try a super veggie packed salad chocked full of leafy greens, legumes, crunchy vegetables, and a dollop of hummus to keep you full and help nourish your body." Consider a salad mid-day. "Try a salad for lunch each day, and I promise you won't even miss your go-to turkey sandwich. Pretty soon you'll be naturally eliminating meat without even knowing it," Nordby continues. Change the proportions on your plate Instead of having meat with vegetables, have vegetables with meat, says Elizabeth Klodas, MD, FACC, a cardiologist in Minneapolis, MN, and chief medical officer of Step One Foods, a company dedicated to helping patients minimize their dependence on medications through strategic dietary changes. "This can not only move your closer to a plant-based diet but also reduce your calorie intake," says Dr. Klodas. "That adds up to big results over time: 100 calories per day is 10 pounds in a year. "The best part? You're still eating the foods you love but you're just adjusting the amounts," she adds. Make breakfast shine "Changing breakfast into a concentrated, high-quality plant-based food occasion is a great strategy," says Dr. Klodas. "Think oatmeal with walnuts, cinnamon and blueberries, or a...

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