There are so many reasons for deciding to transition your family into a plant-based diet.
In the age of information, it is becoming harder and harder to stay ignorant to the fact that meat (especially red meat) and dairy is simply not healthy when eaten in the quantities of the standard western diet.
More so, society is beginning to awaken to the scientific fact that a plant-based diet that is high in greens and legumes and low in animal products, has been scientifically proven to lower the following:
- risk of heart disease and cancer
- low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (the bad stuff!)
- blood pressure
- rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes
So when first talking with your family about transitioning to a plant-based diet, hold strong to the facts: to be serious about ones health and the environment means to significantly reduce ones interactions with animal products.
Interested in reading some in-depth and comprehensive long-term research on plant-based diets and disease? I highly recommend reading Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD’s The China Study (affiliate link). This book is largely what helped me convince my “meat and potatoes” husband to adopt a plant-based way of eating.
Everyone is on board but where to begin?
Setting your family up for success is especially important if you have skeptics or picky eaters. Your first week of meals is like a job interview and you want to have your game face on! When your family is used to eating meat with every meal, removing the meat from even one meal a week can be a huge adjustment at first. I highly recommend starting with a “meatless Monday” and allow yourself and your family the time to get used to meals that don’t include meat. Over time, slowly increase the amount of days in the week where you reduce your meat intake.
Does your meal have “Umami”?
Umami is the taste sensation that makes food taste savoury. When you’re looking to please someone who is used to consuming meat and dairy with their meals, this is the taste sensation that you are looking to fill for them. In a traditional diet this taste sensation is largely achieved through meat products. However, there are lots of ways to achieve this taste sensation with a plant-based meal.
Some examples are:
- fermented foods
- nutritional yeast
- toasted nuts and seeds
- savoury spices
- vegetable broth
Ultimate Meat Alternatives:
- extra firm tofu
- black beans
- green lentils
Reduce your dairy = Reduce your waistline:
Excitingly, plant-based dairy has come a very long way and be found in the health found isles of most major grocery stores. I have tried a ton of products and these are some of my favourites:
- Tofutti Sour Cream
- Daiya Cheeses
- Daiya Dairy Free Desserts
- So Delicious Dairy Free Desserts
- Almond Milk – any brand
- Cashew Milk – any brand
Are dairy substitutes going to taste exactly like the “real deal”? Absolutely not, but they taste excellent in their own right. The key with any big diet change is to focus on all the amazing, colourful, and healthy foods you are adding to each meal, rather than focusing on what is absent.
Plant-Based Recipe Round-up:
Here is a collection of some of my favourite plant-based recipes that are a huge hit with meat-eaters. Give them a try!
Questions about transitioning your family into a plant-based diet? Talk to me in the comments and I’d be happy to help!