How to Transition to a Plant-Based Diet in 4 Weeks
It is no secret that meat consumption is not the healthy practice we once believed it to be. For years, we have been told that we need more protein, and protein comes from eating animals. The meat industry’s grip on Washington has consistently overshadowed new scientific studies encouraging a decrease in meat consumption. The American Dietary Guidelines have remained relatively stagnant in order not to disrupt the whopping $894 billion industry.
Nonetheless, the facts have leaked out from under the woodwork and the plant-based lifestyle is becoming all the rage. Among many everyday benefits like clearer skin and less bloating, a plant-based lifestyle boasts lower rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Nonetheless, Americans still eat 270 pounds of meat a year on average. The average Bangladeshi eats 4 pounds a year.
So, how do we solve this massive problem of overconsumption? We believe one step at a time. Here is our 1 month plan that will ease your body and mind into a plant-based, vegan diet.
Week 1: Start out with one vegan meal a day.
We find that breakfast is one of the easiest meals to switch up. Why weigh down your system right when you wake up when you could fuel your body with plant-based lean protein, complex carbs, and superfoods? At Thistle, all of our breakfasts are vegan, even on the meat plan. This is not an accident. Common breakfast items like bacon and sausage have been shown to contribute to cancer growth as well as a larger waistline. Not exactly the best way to start your day. We offer everything from tofu scrambles to acai bowls to overnight oats with berry chia jam — it doesn’t get any better than that.
Week 2: Cut back on the meat component in every meal.
As Americans, we tend to think that meat should be at the center of every meal. Whether it’s a big steak with a small side of veggies or a large grilled chicken breast atop a caesar salad, the animal protein tends to be at the forefront of our meals. At Thistle, we never include more than 3 ounces of meat in our meals. We want plants to take center stage. While Americans have been told that they’re not getting enough protein, in reality, plants have enough protein to nourish our bodies. Eating plenty of legumes, whole grains, and fresh vegetables will provide you with proper nourishment for a healthy body and mind.
Week 3: Make it easy for yourself.
It’s important that delicious vegan meals and snacks are available to you — especially in moments when you’re hungry or a craving hits. Always pack nourishing, plant-based snacks in case you find yourself in a place where there aren’t vegan options. It’s also fun to learn and experiment with vegan recipes! Going vegan is the perfect excuse for cooking at home more often. Familiarize yourself with great vegan cookbooks, local vegan restaurants, and farmer’s markets. And when you’re out to eat, you’ll discover new delicious dishes that you wouldn’t have ordered before.
Week 4: Only eat meat on special occasions.
Becoming vegan cold turkey can be hard for some. Why? Veganism is not necessarily accepted by all friend groups, families, and restaurants and being 100% plant-based can be difficult at times. If you need to ease into it, that is totally ok. The first step is committing to being vegan during alone time. No plans on Monday night? Then that’s the perfect night to stick to the diet.
Week 5: Go all in — and enjoy!
Instead of thinking of veganism as a restrictive diet, reframe and think about all that you’re gaining — veganism is delicious, good for the environment, and good for your body. What’s not to like?
Interested in trying out a Thistle meal plan? Use the code GOVEGAN for 20% off your first order!