In Part 1 and Part 2 of our Plant Based on a Budget Series, you learned the reasons to choose more plant-based meal options in your week, and how to easily save money doing so. In Part 3, we want to offer you our tips for success. Whatever your goals are – from incorporating one plant-based meal per day to having plant-based options all week - we’ve got you covered.
Here’s the thing, creating new habits can be hard, especially when old habits are so hard-wired in your brain. Trying new things can be uncomfortable, but the more you practice new habits, the easier they become to stick to over time. Eventually, they become so automatic that you have changed your lifestyle. We break down our top steps to succeed at changing your diet to be more plant-based for good.
1) Get clear about your ‘why.’
Take a few minutes to really get clear about your reasons for wanting to choose more plant-based meals. Better yet, write them down and put them somewhere you can see them as a reminder. Are your reasons for health, sustainability, ethics? Do you want to reconnect with the flavors of plants? Feel lighter in your body? Any reason, no matter how unique or mundane it seems, is a good reason. Connecting to your personal ‘why’ will help you to see the bigger picture as you are making day-to-day decisions about food.
2) Make it easy.
Instead of trying to overhaul everything all at once, pick out one or two reasonable plant foods or plant-based meals to incorporate this week. Instead of immediately cooking 21 new recipes, are there meals that you already cook that you can upgrade with plants? A side salad, veggie soup, or a handful of spinach in your morning smoothie might all be good places to start. If you really want to make it easy, outsource some of the weekly preparation to Splendid Spoon. We can hook you up with ready-made breakfast smoothies and delicious soups for lunch to get you through the week.
3) Find a middle ground.
Let’s face it... we're immersed in diet culture all around and are programed to believe in quick fixes and instant results. For many of us, this translates into jumping onto the next diet craze… and then falling completely off when we are tempted by that birthday cake, or bowl of candy in the office. If this resonates with you, try this alternative: seek progress with your diet instead of perfection. Instead of taking an all-or-nothing approach, what is one thing that you can do this week to add more nourishment to your meals? This middle ground is where lasting lifestyle change happens.
Here at Splendid Spoon, we aim to support you in creating healthy habits, which is why we offer different levels of support with our weekly menus. You’re given the freedom to choose your own dinners (as well as some suggestions of great plant-based recipes for you to try!), so you can find the best approach that works for you.
4) Have a backup plan.
For when you get home from work late, when your child forgets their soccer uniform, or when you have to run an extra errand. You had planned to cook a certain recipe tonight, but now don’t have the time and are hungry, tired, and tempted to get take-out. Then, you remember the Splendid Spoon soups in your freezer. Pop some out, defrost, reheat, and a nourishing dinner is on the table in less time it would take to run through the drive through. Some other backup options that we love include:
- Freezer meals: Have your own soups, casseroles, or other easy-to-freeze recipes to keep on hand for emergency lunches and dinners.
- Batch cooking: Make a double batch of your favorite entrée on the weekend to reheat during the week.
- Nutritious, convenient items: A bag of pre-washed salad, a package of ready-to-eat falafel or marinated tofu, and a vegan salad dressing will get you a ton of plant nutrition in no time at all. Take it up a notch by topping a salad with sliced avocado, hemp seeds, and nutritional yeast.
When it comes to meal planning, plan for the unexpected as well – this is a win for your health and your budget!
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