If you’re thinking about converting to a plant-based lifestyle, the whole thing can be very daunting. Radically changing your diet and starving your body of food types that it is used to overnight is almost impossible, not to mention the fact that it would make you miserable. The way to make a big change is to take small, manageable steps in the right direction. Just look at me. A year ago, after watching Planeat, I decided to make a change and switch from cow’s milk to soya milk. Now, I eat an almost completely plant-based diet, I avoid all the foods that I’m allergic to, I don’t drink caffeine, I exercise regularly and I’m feeling healthier and fitter than I ever have in my life. 400m hurdler Ruben Tabares wrote a great article about the training benefits of a whole food diet. In the article, he explains “It’s a matter of changing one thing at a time until it becomes the norm. It takes about 100 days of doing something before it becomes ‘natural'”. Someone also once told me that if you taste a food 30 times, you will grow to accept it. Whilst there are some foods that I don’t think I’ll ever grow to like, nor do I want to (marmite springs to mind – I’m definitely in the Hate camp), I do find this fact to be true.
The Planeat and Forks Over Knives websites both have great ideas for making small changes in your diet and the way you think about for, like Meat Free Mondays. Look for ways that you can make vegan choices in your local area as well. Here in South Wales there is a really good booklet that you can pick up in vegan-friendly cafes and restaurants all over the city. ‘Vegan South Wales’ lists loads of vegan options in South Wales, from restaurants to health food shops, all categorised by area, so wherever you are you know where you can find something to eat. I carry mine with me whenever I’m out, and it’s so handy. It saves so much time, especially when I’m eating with people who aren’t vegan and I don’t want to appear fussy. Other areas of Wales are covered in separate booklets, and all the information is available on their website.