“The lion is a great meat-eater, and he is called the king of the jungle. But no animal can match the elephant, a complete vegetarian, for pure strength.” -Yogi Bhajan.
Chances are, if you’re here reading this blog, you’re at least curious about how you can eat fewer animal products, less meat, and consume more fruits and vegetables.
Maybe you’ve been flirting with the idea of going veg for some time. Maybe you have a veggie friend, have never really liked meat all that much anyway…. or, maybe you’ve just been doing your research.
Whatever the reason, this article is designed to help you find the most effective method for you to become more plant-based, based on your personality!
Well suited for: the moderators, the stitch-in-timers.
Tips: For you lovely non-extremists, I recommend the “crowding in” philosophy. What this means, in a nutshell, is that you just start adding in more fruits and vegetables, hence there will be less room for the animal stuff. You could start with Meatless Mondays and then, after a few weeks, add in a “Flesh-Free Friday.” 🙂 If you’re a moderator, I highly recommend a gradual approach so that you don’t freak out and/or feel deprived. Here are some delish menu ideas: coconut-lentil soup, chili/cornbread, mushroom stroganoff. (This is also a great approach for those who have highly judgey and/or carnivorous friends who want you to like, “be like everyone else, okay?” and you want to just quietly try this out for yourself. This approach is totally stealthy and can unfold unnoticed if that’s what you’re shooting for.)
Well suited for: the all-or-nothing types, the extremists, the kind for whom a taste of honey is worse than none at all.
Tips: If you’re a go-gettin’ kind of soul, and once you commit, you’re doing it — the best tip for you is preparation. First, decide how long you’re going to try this out. (Structure will help you to stay on the bandwagon.) I suggest you start with 21 days because this is how long it takes to form a new habit, or, if you’re into round numbers, 30 days. Chances are that you’ll start to feel amazing and do it longer, but you need a jumping off point. Second, educate yourself on why you’re taking this leap, (here’s a great article with lots of resources to motivate you, ) and prepare by researching a bunch of yummy recipes. (Here’s a brilliant article on how to make almost any dish meatless.) Third, RID your house of anything resembling animal product processed for consumption! If it’s there, you’ll be tempted. And lastly, tell your close family and friends that you’re doing an “experiment” to see how you feel and perform on a plant-based diet and that you’d like their support. People are generally cool and understanding… especially when they have been forewarned and included.
Well suited for: the logical, scientific kinds.
Tips: You need to understand cerebrally why you’re doing this, so you need to prioritize knowledge above anything else, which will help you to commit.
Recommendations: Watch the documentaries Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, and read The China Study, The Kind Diet, and Diet for a New America. (Want more? Of course you do, you scholastic genius. Here you go.) Once you’ve mentally processed the myriad reasons to transition toward a more plant-based diet, I suggest you create a structure for yourself, taking into account your character traits. This could look like, say, a scientific experiment with daily weighings and measurements to track, or simply a day-to-day plan that seems sagacious* and feasible for you.
*Knew you’d like that one… 😉
Now, due to the fact that we humans are in fact rather complex, it’s possible that a combination of 1 and 3, for example, may be your ticket to success in eating more plant-based. This is where you have to just self-assess and commit to the strategy that seems to suit you best.
Please keep in mind that the way to go veg isn’t just omitting the animal stuff, it’s learning how to feed yourself well and better. Meaning, if you usually eat your salad with chicken, during your transition period, why not throw on some grilled veggie patties? It’s important to think about how to create a balanced and satisfying meal and not deprive yourself! Why not try out beans and lentils? They are not only incredibly good for you, but also filling.
So, wait… what about soy?
Glad you asked. Thanks to the bully Monsanto and their egregious crimes involving seeds and farmers, practically all soy has been GMO’d. I’d suggest you strive to keep most of your soy intake to fermented sources, such as miso and tempeh.
Should you need some further motivation or food for thought, print out the following bullet points taken from 3HO, and carry them in your planner/wallet/purse:
To your continued veggin’ out,