The good news is that eating a starch-based, low-fat, whole-foods, plant-based diet gives immediate results, from feeling better to losing weight. The bad news is that a lifetime of mental conditioning may drive you crazy when you pass by your favorite restaurants from your meat-and-dairy days. Sometimes the smell of cheeseburgers and barbecue can send any stalwart practitioner of a plant-based lifestyle into a momentary lapse in judgment.
It’s nice to be able to go shopping for a new pair of exercise leggings because you lost weight, and it’s true that your taste buds adapt pretty quickly to give you the full enjoyment of the greater variety of flavors you experience with well-seasoned whole foods. But how do you stay strong? Here are a few tips to help you on your plant-based journey.
Follow a Podcast
From the Rich Roll Podcast to Rip Esselstyn’s Plant-Strong podcast and beyond, there are weekly broadcasts for every plant-based taste. The measure of a useful podcast is whether it helps you feel inspired to keep strong with your lifestyle decisions. A good podcast will have awesome guests on a regular basis to discuss new ways of looking at the subject of diet and nutrition, and you will start to feel an affinity with the host over time. If neither of those measures are working out for you, it might be time to look for a different podcast to follow. Sometimes vegan and vegetarian podcasts are useful, too, although their practitioners often advocate a diet that is higher in fat consumption.
Subscribe to a YouTube Channel
There are so many YouTube channels out there today. And, anytime a segment of our culture begins to gain traction, there are people who will create a channel on the subject. The plant-based movement is no exception. In addition to channels for your favorite podcasts, there are venues for recipes, exercise, and the science behind diet and nutrition. If you’re looking for a plant-based YouTube channel to follow, try Plantiful Kiki for what-I-eat-in-a-day-style recipes, and Jane Esselstyn’s videos that she films with her mother Ann. For science videos, subscribe to Mic the Vegan or VegSource. An added bonus of watching plant-based videos on YouTube is that you will start to receive suggestions for other videos to watch based on your viewing history.
Read a Few Books
Books on the whole-food, plant-based diet are another useful tool to help keep you inspired. A few, like The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and The Starch Solution by John A. McDougall are foundational books that will help you understand why the diet is beneficial. Cookbooks build on these foundations; there are cookbooks from the McDougalls, the Campbells, and the Esselstyns to help you prepare and eat delicious plant-based meals. The variety of cookbooks is varied; while some are geared towards advanced-level cooks, others are designed to be easy for beginners to use. A great book for plant-based inspiration is called My Beef with Meat by Rip Esselstyn, who also hosts the Plant-Strong podcast and founded the Engine 2 brand. The first half of the book deals with the science of the plant-based lifestyle; the second half is a cookbook. You get science and recipes all in one convenient location – and this is not uncommon in books in the plant-based category. It’s almost like getting two books for the price of one!
When you eat a low-fat, plant-based diet, you benefit from losing weight naturally. However, regular exercise is recommended for all humans, even plant-based ones. The saying that you have to spend energy to gain energy is true, and regular moderate exercise will help you with your commitment to the lifestyle. You could try yoga, cycling or crossfit; however, if you preferred, you could just go for a long walk along the beach every day.