5 tips on how to eat more plant-based foods

Incorporate more fruits, vegetables and whole grains with these top tips from nutritionist Bethan Hamilton

5 tips on how to eat more plant-based foods

So, you’ve decided to go vegan – now what? it’s not necessarily easy to limit your intake of meat and dairy products, but it can yield several benefits including a gradual increase in energy and improved heart health. So, to make the transition a bit more bearable, get started with these simple tips.

1 Focus on the positives

It’s helpful to think about the new plant-based foods you’ll be including in your diet instead of focusing on what you may need to cut down on. This can prevent a mindset of deprivation and enable you to concentrate on what you’re gaining from this new experience. Start by including one plant-based ingredient per day. For example, add an extra side of veg to your evening dish or make a veggie chilli, packed with chickpeas and butternut squash. Give ‘meat-free Mondays’ a go, and if you like it, increase this to ‘tasty veg Tuesdays’.

2 Prep your meals

Meal preparation at the weekend could be your saving grace. It will take away the stress of late-night rummaging for dinner inspiration, and you’ll also prevent any food going to waste, saving you time and money. Try using leftover butternut squash to make a risotto for your weekday lunches. By doing so, you’ll have a delicious midday meal from Monday to Friday. Planning ahead will also stop you from reaching for the takeaway pizza menu.

3 Switch-up your snacks

Snacking is a common habit to keep hunger at bay, but there are a lot of tasty, plant-based alternatives that you can eat to combat those cravings. Try carrot sticks with hummous, roasted nuts and seeds or even something as simple as a piece of fruit. Bethan says: “I also highly recommend dates dunked in a bit of peanut butter – it’s delicious!”

4 Get Inspired

Follow bloggers, subscribe to a magazine or treat yourself to a brand new cookbook. There’s a huge variety of recipes that will inspire you to get into the kitchen and make meals from scratch.

5 Socialise

Getting your friends and family on board with your new diet can make the process a bit easier. Invite them round for a chickpea curry, cook-up a new dish together or head out to a restaurant and try a delectable meat-free meal. You’ll be able to share your experiences and possibly get them to switch their dietary habits, too.

Credit: Bethan Hamilton, national educator and nutritionist for Vega

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