continued from this awesome post. Here’s the re-cap:
Address addictions and other challenges
What to eat
So, where are we…. W? Yes, W…
What to Eat
Planning and preparing your meals might be one of the most important things you can do to ensure success on this awesome journey to a healthier you. This is an excellent resource for a more in-depth explanation than we will provide here, so go check it out when you get a minute.
The skinny on the meal prep:
1. Inventory your on-hand food and supplies, and go from there. Food waste is for sissys. Waste not, want not, go Green, and all that jazz.
2. Decide on your meals. Think about things like where you’ll be eating (Is there a way to heat things up? Somewhere to store cold items? Does it need to be manageable while driving?), how much money do you have to spend (do you need to check sales and coupons before you shop?), are you prepping for more than yourself, etc.?
3. Once you decide on the meals, and consider your eating/storage circumstances, make your shopping list. Be sure to double check your inventory at home!
3. Do your shopping, wash your produce, and prep that mess into a beautiful array of healthy, easy-to-manage delicious-nutritiousness. We will have an extensive post on meal prep coming up soon, worry not. Things like what items keep well, how to store all the different kinds of produce, what can freeze, etc. will all be covered. For now, the Healthline resource is adequately decent. We certainly don’t want to complicate things so try to stick to easy recipes.
We all have different reasons for adopting a whole food plant-based way of eating. Think about what yours are. Are you planning to lose weight? Reset your body with a detox from processed food or irregular eating habits? Heal or prevent cancer, autoimmune, or chronic diseases? Decrease inflammation and improve lab values? Overcome food addictions? Make healthier skin and hair? Whatever the reason(s), write them down, and try some of these easy, corny things to help you along:
*Make a visual aid to help you stay on track while you’re still working on adapting to the change. A notecard on the refrigerator with your goals on it, or a picture of something that pertains to your goal on the pantry door will go a long way in making the transition easier.
*Make a focus board. Yes, it’s silly AF. It works though.
*Keep a journal. Write in that thing. Write all the milestones met, progress made, future ambitions and plans, and anything else pertaining to your goal. Set aside 10 minutes a day to do that. Maybe keep it in the bathroom- we all know vegans spend a good 10 minutes a day in there…
In an ideal world, we would all be healthy and living the vegan life, right? 😉 Well, we’re not there yet, but food choices should never stand in the way of socializing. As veganism is becoming more and more prominent in our culture, the acceptance and accommodation of it in social settings has grown exponentially. The days of the Hermit Vegan are no more. So, you’ve got options.
*If you’re going out to eat with non-vegans, check online to see if your preferred places are vegan friendly. If so, pick a few things you’d like to ask about when you get there.
*If they aren’t, and you’re not shy, pack your whole meal, or at least the things you could foresee being an issue (like dressings, condiments, extra protein if they don’t serve any like seeds or nuts to put on a salad).
*Ask your non-vegan company to go on an adventure to a vegan restaurant and try something new (Happy Cow, Vegman, or even Yelp can help with that)
*Pick things to do that don’t involve food.
*Cook for each other instead. Again, Pinterest is a gold mine.
Whatever you do, don’t make it a big deal, because it truly isn’t. If people don’t support you, perhaps reevaluate your closeness to them.
This is exactly as it sounds. Get rid of the things that might interfere with your goals.
Look through your pantry and check labels. Does anything have any of those sneaky sugars, oils, or Franken-gredients? Those things need to go.
Is there anything in there that when you open the package, you can’t seem to put it down? That needs to go too, even if the ingredients are ‘healthy’. It’s unhealthy to not be able to put on the breaks, and could be a sign of something deeper than plain ole’ snacking and might need addressed. I mean *really* go through the house and see to it that these temptation items are not going to get in your way. They don’t necessarily need to be thrown away. They can be donated to a church or a shelter, or given to a friend. Look at it this way- the only reason to keep the stuff around would be to torture yourself. You’ve already made the decision to not have those things. Why invite them for a sabotage sleepover?
Some Tips to Eliminate Temptations
So, what if you’re at the office and there is a bunch of crap? Or, at a party? Try some of the following tricks:
*Do NOT skip meal prepping. Going to work empty handed is just asking for trouble. If you are prone to forgetting to grab your lunch, put a sticky note on the door. One step further would be to keep healthy snacks at your jobsite or in your car. Pistachios, dried fruit, and some of these products are all WFPB and keep very well.
*Keep a healthy snack with you. A Lara Bar is a WFPB product and it’s quite sweet. A tangy key lime pie bar could hold the cravings at bay while others indulge in what you know is best to avoid.
*Stay hydrated. Carbonated water is the bomb. It keeps you full and acts like soda in the texture and experience.
*Another seemingly corny, but very effective practice, is to give yourself a pep talk with some positive self-talk. You’d be surprised how many people do this (and that’s because the stuff works) so don’t feel weird. Do it in a journal or in front of a mirror. Whatever works, but just be nice to yourself and reinforce the progress you’re making by avoiding unhealthy things.
Eating wisely will undoubtedly be easier by implementing some of the tools of the E.A.T.W.I.S.E. prep, but here are a few more tips that have proven helpful to so many:
*Never forget, this is NOT a diet. It is a way of life. And, it’s not entirely about you. Your healthy choices for yourself have a ripple effect to positively impact so many others. Animals are saved, the world is cleaner, and people are happier and healthier because of you.
*Drink water! And lots of it! If eating WFPB is a big change for you, it may also be a big change in the amount of fiber you’re taking in. Getting backed up is not fun. At all. Water has a myriad of other benefits too. It keeps you full, cleanses your system, keeps your skin healthier, and much more. Set timers if you need to, but just do it.
*Stay social with others of like minds. Find vegan Facebook groups in your area, or look for local meet-ups and potlucks. Make friends, exchange recipes, have dinners and meal swaps. Check the boards at your local health food stores. There’s so much to do, and more and more of us to do it with every day.
*Maybe meal exchange with someone else; especially if you’re the only one in your family kicking’ it WFPB style, and they are in theirs as well.
*Stay motivated: if you’re feeling less than enthused some days, take some time to watch What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, Cowspiracy, Plant Pure Nation, or Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue. Youtube some success stories using some key words like “cured with vegan diet”, “lost weight with whole foods”. Or, you could check out some of these amazing books:
Perspective is everything. Gains over pains. Thinking in a positive manner by focusing on the gains (health, energy, karma, etc.), rather than lamenting or focusing on the pains (foods you ‘cannot have’) will make or break this awesome experience for you. Where the mind goes, energy flows. When you focus on having more energy because you’re putting quality fuel in that machine of yours, you will have more energy. When you think about the unwanted pounds that you’re losing with positive emotion and intention, your body will be that much more inclined to let those pounds go.
I hope this two-part guide has you feeling confident and ready to Eat Wise. If you missed part one, click here to check that shiz out.
You’re an amazing person doing amazing things for the world, and it does not go unappreciated.
Drop a comment below to let us know how you’re doing, and please share this post if it helped you at all!