Health | April 30th, 2023
4 Simple Steps to a Plant-Based Lifestyle
By: Shari Ryant
One of the most important things we do as humans is eat. Whether desserts for enjoyment or dinner for family bonding, food consumption is a basic necessity for survival.
With the news constantly having updates on what is good for you, FDA approved or on a recall list; it can be hard to find healthy foods for our bodies. It can be even more challenging when one prefers a more plant-based lifestyle.
According to foodrevolution.org, “In 2020, plant-based dairy and meat sales were over $29 billion and were projected to increase to $162 billion by 2030.”
Step 1: Research
With starting any new journey, one must know precisely why they want it to change and where they want to end up. The first step is figuring out what type of diet you want.
Do you see yourself as a vegan, cutting out all animal-derived products? Or vegetarian and leaving room for some dairy consumption? Or maybe you would instead increase plant-based intake with small portions of meat. Either way, figuring out what you want to eat is crucial.
Rahsaan Corbin II, a 4th-year computer engineering student at Florida A&M University, has been a vegetarian since January 2021. He shared how the change came about and how it has impacted him positively.
“I didn’t have too much of a reason, however when it came to eating chicken it always made me feel tired and sluggish after eating it which slowed my productivity down.” Corbin said. “It has helped me feel better with how I feel throughout the day when it comes to energy levels, as well as physical health when it comes to acne showing on my face which is good.”
Step 2: Experiment
Cutting out meat cold turkey (no pun intended) can be challenging. The instant changing of one’s diet overnight can lead to doubts resulting in a failed attempt. Going slow and incorporating new options into your everyday life is essential.
Trying vegan snacks, new restaurants, or fruits and vegetables, you’ve often overlooked are ways to merge your old eating habits with your new plan. An important reminder is not to feel pressured to put an exact label on your new diet.
A junior transfer student at FAMU, Baron Germaine Jr., began living a plant-based lifestyle two years ago. He believes the key to cutting out meat is to transition slowly.
“I would tell people who are transitioning or want to transition to start off by taking one meat at a time, for example, take out pork, then slowly transition to take out beef and keep working your way through,” said Germaine.
Step 3: Stay consistent
Doubts almost always come with any new significant life changes. It’s easy to get discouraged and want to run back to old habits. The best thing to do is to stay consistent and remember why you wanted to transition your diet.
Finding your original motivation can help eliminate any desire to give up. Another way to motivate could be finding a community with similar food interests. Surrounding yourself with people with the same goals as you is the quickest way to reach them.
Step 4: New Beginnings
Before you know it, you’ll wake up one day, and someone will be asking you for advice as they begin a similar journey. Your old eating habits will feel like a faint memory, with all old cravings fading.