This blog started as a journal for my own personal journey to a whole food plant based diet. The last 6 years have brought me to so many wonderful places, so many ah-hah moments, breakthroughs, and revelations. Boundaries busted, goals achieved, and lots of humble moments to learn from. I would like to share with my readers, especially my new readers, an abridged version of the things I have learned. There’s an abundance of reading material, YouTube lectures, and even plant based conferences. But surely you can’t attend all of them, certainly not at once. So if you were to ask me today, “What’s the most important?” or “Where should I begin?” Here is what I would tell you:
1) Read a good plant based book. Here are my favorites:
The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall. A wonderful A-Z guide for going from Standard American Diet (SAD) to a whole food, plant based diet.
The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss by Dr. John McDougall. This one goes a step beyond – ok for transitioning from SAD, but designed for those ready to jump all-in, right away. Great for those already vegetarian or vegan, and wanting to optimize health.
The Pillars of Health by John Pierre. Focuses on establishing and maintaining balance in your life. Knowing what to eat is great, but with all the social, emotional, and mental pressures pulling you in other directions, it’s challenging to stay the course. This book will guide you through.
2) Understand what Whole Food Plant Based means and make a list of your favorite plant based foods. Focus on all the things you can and should eat in great quantities and you’ll soon forget about those things you may think you can’t live without.
3) Eat a salad every day. Make your salads interesting, large, and satisfying, and they could become your favorite meal of the day! Check out Chef AJ’s 9 S’s for chopped salad. It was a game changer for me. Here’s a quick demo video of just how to do it.
4) Watch Doug Lisle Ph.D.’s video The Continuum of Evil. If you have ever wondered if you can succeed in making the transition to a plant based diet, or if you have tried and struggled, this video is a must-see.
5) Watch a plant based documentary. There are plenty to choose from but I really like Forks Over Knives and Eating You Alive for a broad overview. They’re so packed with information, it’s great to take notes while you’re watching.
6) Find Support. You are not alone! If you want to take control of your health, spare animals the plight of factory farming, and reduce your carbon footprint, you are not alone. If you want to lose weight and reduce your risk factors for chronic disease, you are not alone. It will feel like you’re swimming upstream a lot of the time, perhaps most of the time. But there really is an abundance of resources and support out there to help you succeed. Use it! Find plant based friends at a conference, make new friends in a Meetup group, and surround yourself with people who will help you succeed. This is SO important. Chef AJ’s Ultimate Weight Loss Program stands out because of the huge focus on ongoing support. Check out my success story on this program if you need some inspiration.
7) Just start – wherever you are. Don’t wait until you know everything to get started. You’ll never know everything! Some people like to make the switch overnight, cleaning out the pantry and fridge, and restocking with only WFPB foods immediately. Others get so overwhelmed by this thought that they become paralyzed with fear, put it off for a better time, and just never do it. If a gradual transition works better for your personality, take small steps. Add in a salad a day, add more vegetables to your meals, and fill up with your fridge with WFPB foods so you have healthy options at your fingertips. Do that and you’re already on your way.