By, Mark Reinfeld, Intent
It is important for those who care about our environment to look at the impact their food choices have on the Earth’s limited resources. Here are five suggestions for those wishing to include more plant-based foods in their diet as a way to go green.
1. Go Slowly. It took years for you to develop your current eating habits. Most people are not willing or able to make radical changes overnight. Many times when people do make drastic changes, they find themselves falling back to old ways when the going gets tough. (Some people are of course ready to go cold Tofurky – only you can decide!)
2. Create a plan. Take a look at where you are at and where you would like to be. You can approach this in several ways. You can commit to having one vegan day a week for a month. Then go up to two days a week the second month, three days a week on the third month…(you get the idea) until you arrive at your desired outcome. Another way is to have vegan snacks for the first month, vegan snacks and breakfasts for the second month, vegan snacks, breakfasts and lunches the next month and so on. An even more gradual approach would be to have one vegan meal a week for the first month, two vegan meals a week for the second month… Make the changes at a pace you are comfortable with.
3. Choose wisely. Remember the importance of feeling satisfied at every meal. Look for vegan alternatives that come close to the taste and texture of the foods you are craving. There are many plant based products on the market now that can make this a delicious transition for you.
4. Educate yourself. It’s extremely helpful for sticking to your convictions to learn about the full impact our food choices have upon our health and the health of our planet. Check out the following books for starters: Vegan Fusion World Cuisine, Diet for a New America, The China Study, and The World Peace Diet.
5. Be gentle. Please don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself falling back into old ways of eating. Simply accept and acknowledge that it takes time to retrain your body and mind to eat in new ways and remind yourself why you are exerting the effort. Stick to your plan as much as possible.
Next page: A meat-less Shepherd’s Pie. This is a hearty main course from our book Vegan Fusion World Cuisine that will satisfy omnivores and vegans alike.