5 beginner tips to start a plant-based diet

5 beginner tips to start a plant-based diet

Greens, please

Text: Janice Sim

Here's to filling up your plate with better, healthier options

As much as we love ourselves a good slab of skirt steak, all the signs are pointing to skewing your eating habits to a plant-based diet. You won't just get more protein, iron, fibre and essential vitamins; you can also cut back on excess saturated fat and even do your part for the environment while you're at it.

But with everything in life, you should never go cold turkey — instead, it's all about baby steps while easing yourself into a newfound diet. Certified living foods chef, Sandra Lim (@theveggiemaiden) dishes a few golden tips for every beginner to kick start a plant-based journey. Slowly but surely, this could be the timely transition your body needs this year. 

1. Make food swaps

Start by converting some of your meat based recipes to a plant-based one. For example: replacing chicken with tofu by whipping up fermented soy (tempeh) in a stir-fry, or switching up dairy milk with plant-based milk.

Plant-based diet

2. Add more legumes, pulses and vegetables to your meals

Adding more of these nutrient-dense whole grains and vegetables help you feel fuller and curb the urges to reach for meat or processed foods.

3. Surround yourself with plenty of healthy, minimally processed, plant-based snacks

Instead of reaching out for heavyweight choices when you're feeling peckish, having a bag of mixed seeds and nuts handy will help you steer clear of temptation. 

Plant-based diet

4. Start with a plant-based breakfast

Starting the day right with a nutrient dense breakfast of chia oatmeal and a cup of green smoothie will keep you sated with sustained energy levels throughout the day. This can also inspire you to eat healthier for lunch and dinner. 

Plant-based diet

5. Pay attention to how you feel

When you start upping your intake of plant based foods, you will start to notice the increase in your energy levels and your mood. By focusing on the positive aspect of a plant-based lifestyle, it helps to motivate and reinforce the reasons for starting a plant based diet in the first place. 

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