Have you ever considered going on a plant-based diet? There are many factors you may want to consider. Here are seven things that will help you along the way. These tips will help you decide if going on this 30-day plant-based challenge is for you. Also, it will help you navigate how to be successful if you decide to do so.

Research supports the fact that plant-based diets are very effective at decreasing your chances of developing a chronic illness. In addition, this diet can diminish the effects of a pre-existing chronic condition.

1. Health history and deficiencies

One thing that is very important to remember is to consult with your healthcare practitioner before embarking on any new diet, especially if you have any pre-existing ailments. I would recommend getting your bloodwork done at the beginning of your plant-based journey (or 30-day challenge). Once you’ve begun, consider having it checked again about four months later, if you decide to continue this way of eating. That way you can ensure that you are getting your recommended amount of macro and micro-nutrients within your diet to avoid any deficiencies. 

2. Identify your weaknesses

This is a big step. When you realize the potential barriers to your success on the plant-based diet, you will be well prepared ahead of time. One weakness for me that I had to identify at the beginning of this journey was sweet treats and chicken. Those would be the culprits of my downfall every single time, so I knew I had to properly prepare for any weak moments of wanting to relapse during the challenge. Your weakness may be ice cream or potato chips or a peach milkshake from Chick-fil-A (I used to love those beyond measure!), and that is okay.

The only thing you need to remind yourself is that there is a time and a place for everything, and the time is not now. Finding adequate replacements for the things you love will make the process that much easier. For example, if you normally love eating potato chips, try making some potato wedges at home to fulfill that salty craving from time to time. It really can be that simple with the proper plan in place before starting a life-changing diet plan like this one.  

3. Identify a definite start date for your 30-day challenge

Speaking of a 30-day challenge, I am challenging YOU, yes you to go on a 30-day plant-based challenge and watch your health transform before your own eyes. When I first went plant-based, this challenge was the catapult for it all. I set out to eat a diet that consisted of 90 percent plants, and 10 percent animal products. At the completion, I ended up letting go of dairy, processed meat and meals, and a few different kinds of meat and poultry. 

4. Plan ahead and meal prep

This is the biggest word of advice I can give you for going on a plant-based lifestyle journey. Prep, prep, prep! That will make your life so much easier, and save you so much time! I typically will purchase my groceries for the week on Saturday, the weekend before, and then prep all of my food on Sunday. This way I ensure that my husband and I are eating healthy plant-based options for our weekly meals and occasional snacks.

In our household, we use the Pyrex glassware set. It is of such good quality and very durable, we can put our meals, fruits, and pre-prepped vegetables in them. This tip has been one that has changed the game for my husband and I. No more unhealthy impulse eating! We call that a win.

5. Switch up your plant-based recipes weekly

Another great tip that will help make the transition into a plant-based diet seamless is finding good recipes to switch it up. I have been able to find some really tasty, and affordable options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, even some healthy snack options. Pinterest is a great resource for some great recipes you can try. Also, try visiting your local bookstore and/or library to find plant-based cookbooks to help you along the way. They will become your best friend during this journey. 

6. Keep a journal of how you feel

This is a good way of working through those feelings you have during the first few weeks of switching your diet. Think about it, you have just changed your entire style of eating specifically for those on an American diet, and it will be a drastic shift. Give yourself grace along the way because you may have some hiccups and it may get ugly. But, remember, that is OK. As long as you get up, keep going, and strive toward the ultimate goal of living a plant-based lifestyle everything will work out.

Journaling is an outlet that allows you to voice your concerns, anger, disappointment, even joy, happiness, and satisfaction with every day of this challenge. I have been journaling for over 17 years, and I can honestly tell you that it has been the best outlet for me. So I would say it is definitely worth a try as you take on this challenge and new lifestyle. 

7. Finish strong, and remember that moderation is key! 

Last but not least, you have to remember that moderation is so important. This will not be an easy transition if you expect everything to go perfectly from day one. There will be ups and downs, but remind yourself that it is okay to get up and keep pushing forward. This journey will turn into a lifelong decision if you decide on that, so you want to have a mindset that sets you up for long-term success. 

When you make it through the 30-day plant-based challenge, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. You have just completed something that most will not even dare to do. Congratulations! You have now unlocked a new level of healthy, well-rounded eating that will benefit your state of health in the short and long run.

Have you decided to go plant-based? How did it turn out for you?

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