How to Start a Plant-Based Diet

Are you trying to eat healthier and just feel lost?  Do you wonder how you are going to even start a plant-based diet? Do you feel frustrated with trying to figure out which nutritional experts you can trust? Are you concerned about your health and want to get started NOW?!

So, you’ve made the decision to start a plant-based diet, what now?

Getting Started - Working Out

Before beginning a diet change, check with your doctor. After my back injury, I started with small goals (that’s how I came to write Small Bites, Big Results: A Common Sense Guide to Weight Loss), I focused on ADDING rather than subtracting.

I began to add more vegetables and fruits into my diet and didn’t eliminate anything except soda. I used to drink a 2 liter a day and it didn’t matter if it was regular or diet. Thankfully, I haven’t had a soda in twenty years, but that was the only thing I denied myself.

Aim for 8 to start a plant-based diet


So, if you are ready to start a plant-based diet, I suggest “Aim for 8™”. That means eating 8 different vegetables and fruits every day. It doesn’t have to be an entire portion when you’re just beginning. It could be 3 baby carrots, an apple, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/4 onion, 1/4 bell pepper, 5 cherry tomatoes, 1 celery stalk, etc. You get the idea.

When you begin to incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your diet, your body begins to feel nourished, crazy cravings begin to subside, and you will crave more healthy foods.

That is ONE THING you can do TODAY to start a plant-based diet. Another thing you can do is set a goal. If you hang around here long enough, you’ll learn I’m a goal person. If you don’t have a goal and focus on it, you will stay exactly where you are and since you are HERE at Intentionally Eat, I’m assuming you are ready to get healthier.

You have to decide what your goals are, and they need to be attainable and realistic. Don’t be a Sunday Sally and promise yourself you’ll workout every day for three hours a day, eat 1200 calories, and drink 8 glasses of water – starting Monday. You know you won’t, so don’t set yourself up for failure. Make a promise to yourself that you will keep.

Use my SMALL BITE method to help you set realistic goals:

S – Specific – What exactly do you want to achieve? i.e. I want to lower my cholesterol.

M – Motivational – Can you envision your goal? How would achieving it make you feel?

A – Action – What action are you going to take to reach your goal? i.e., start the 5 Day Reset.

L – Likely – Is it an achievable goal? Are you likely to stick to the 5 Day Reboot?

L – Let it happen – Don’t fret and worry about it. Don’t worry about whether you should be “doing more”. Just work towards your goal every day and let it happen. You will reach your goal eventually (not in 5 days, but it’s a start) if you continue to make more healthy decisions than non-healthy ones.

Getting Started - Clock

It takes about a month to create a habit, so if you want help with healthy meals, you can take advantage of the Meal Plans, really commit, and see the results. Give it time and focus on yourself.

Not 100% plant-based yet? You can tweak the recipes to suit your desires, however, you will experience more benefits if you fully commit. This plan will help you transition to eating and enjoying more whole foods, which could lower your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, risk of diabetes, and risk of some cancers. There is NO downside to eating plants and this meal plan will help you discover that fact.

What’s next for a plant-based diet?

Sticking to a healthy lifestyle can be challenging and confusing. You can receive the help you need to commit and reach your goals in the Private Facebook Group. This community is here to help you succeed. Feel free to share highs, lows, questions, tips, or recipes. We’ll cheer you on.

Remember, this is a lifestyle – not a diet. Intentionally Eat and make it a Small Bite!