While the health benefits of adopting a vegan diet are plenty, the thought of never again digging into another bison burger, steak, or grilled cheese for that matter, may be daunting to some. Contrary to what our mind often want us to believe, trying out a new diet does not mean lifelong limits or the destruction of food freedom. Adopting a plant-based diet for a month, like any other of the three levels of diet, can serve a valuable purpose. Many studies have shown that the absence of meat in a diet may cause a lighter tummy, better digestion, clearer thinking, a fuller wallet, greater feeling of connection, and a stir of ethical values in the heart. One month of experimentation should leave anyone with a clear grasp of whether or not these studies hold true for their unique body mind.
“…But the steak,” collectively sigh all the skeptics.
Forget about having a life without your current favorite foods. That will never happen if you don’t want it to. The goal of eating vegan for a month is to experiment with energy levels, digestion, food creativity, explore some of the messages your body may have been sending you, and hey – maybe even save some money in the process.
For anybody considering a month-long Vegan Diet, here are 5 beginner’s tips to keep in mind while enjoying a plant-based diet adventure.
1. Embrace change.
2. Include the sugar, salt and spice.
3. Prepare in advance.
4. Make sleep a priority.
5. Don’t over-think it.
There’s something very powerful about our thought process, especially when it becomes obsessive; it’s strong enough to motivate you into (or out of) a number of situations. Spend enough time pondering why a vegan diet may be beneficial and then move on, focusing on only those reasons that matter most to you, and be sure to include a healthy dose of realistic expectations. If the first restaurant outing was slightly difficult than any previous dinner, just use that knowledge to know what to do next time. Spend that extra minute picking out a restaurant that may be more appropriate for your new food style, without sacrificing the taste and delicacy of a dish. If you find your energy dips for a long period of time during the day, consider the number of calories you’re taking in. Without the caloric density of animal products you might need to up your game. Be open to enjoying larger meals and more snacks and then reevaluate. Don’t throw in the towel because it might take a little extra preparation, but also be aware of when it becomes too much preparation. And always be willing to invite pleasure to the table.
Changing your relationship with food and nourishment takes time. By the way, this is some of the same key great material that we dive into in our premier online program for the public – Transform Your Relationship with Food™.
The key with beginning a vegan diet is to, first: expect change and second, be prepared. Always put Mind Body Nutrition first and make happiness a priority. One month may or may not be enough time to know whether a plant-based, vegan diet is your long-term dietary soul mate, but there’s no harm in trying it. Enjoy the time spent making a nutritional change and use that knowledge to decide what will be on the meal plan for day 31.
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014
P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our FREE information packed video series – The Dynamic Eating Psychology Breakthrough – you can sign up for it HERE. It’s a great way to get a better sense of the work we do here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. If you’re inspired by this work and want to learn about how you can become certified as an Eating Psychology Coach, please go HERE to learn more. And if you’re interested in working on your own personal relationship with food, check out our breakthrough 8-week program designed for the public – Transform Your Relationship with Food™ HERE.