Building Strong Habits to Eat Healthfully

Building Strong Habits to Eat Healthfully

When introducing such drastic changes to our lives, as changing the core dietary habits and lifestyle by going vegan, it may seem difficult to cope with changes. There may be multiple challenges people that try to change diet can face. Among those are social pressure, lack of knowledge, availability issues, or even drawbacks to the comforting foods we knew and loved for so long.

It may all seem overwhelming. Luckily, there are several proven ways we can deal with the changes, so transition becomes as smooth as it possibly can.

Focus on Identity vs. Result

Why did you choose to follow the vegan lifestyle? What was the reason you decided to make such a drastic change?

Knowing and reminding yourself of the “why’s” is essential to sustaining changes you are trying to implement in life.

No matter what is your driver for change, tying this choice to your identity vs. focusing on the end result will make a huge difference.

It will be way easier to stick to your resolutions in a challenging situation if it is connected to your values. Return to your “why” every time in doubt or having difficulty in sticking to your resolution.

Focus on Identity vs. Result to build strong habits

Make the change small and stick to it daily

If you find it challenging to make a drastic change in your diet, start with small steps. Instead of cutting out all animal products from your meals, and keeping what’s left, take a proactive approach to this topic. Take a look at your usual meals and think about how you could change them to vegan version, research new easy, quick, and filling recipe ideas to add to your go-to recipe list, create a meal plan upfront. Take one easy step at a time and make sure to stick to it every day. Once you are confident about your habit, take the next step towards a sustainable vegan lifestyle. Make sure not to overwhelm yourself with too much change to deal with at once.

Example of step by step change plan:

  1. Identify your usual daily/weekly meals and spot animal products included in those meals;
  2. Replace animal products to plant-based alternatives (e.g., milk to plant-based milk, prepare ‘meaty” meals with soy meat, get plant-based burgers and sausages and give a try to vegan cheeses);
  3. Start introducing more plant-based products to your meals. Focus on getting plant sources of protein (e.g., beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, etc.), while researching new vegan recipes. Check out our simple and delicious vegan recipes here).
Make the change small and stick to it daily to build strong habits

Create a friendly environment

The environment plays a massive role in the formation of our habits and over the decisions we make every day. We may not always recognize the power it has over our lives. So do a favor to yourself by creating an environment around you that supports your change. You will be surprised how much easier it will become to choose the right thing.

Firstly, start by simply changing what’s in your fridge and pantry to plant-based foods, focusing on whole foods. Secondly, discover new delicious recipes and cook at home. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available today, including vegan food blogs, youtube, and Instagram feed as well as lots of cookbooks!). Finally, surround yourself with people that support your change, whenever eating out, research if the venue has veg options. You can also carry with you some nuts as a quick reach-to snack, in case you find yourself starving on the go.

These little tweaks will make the change long-lasting and much easier to stick with.

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