Incorporating plant based foods slowly is better than a radical change to your diet.

Before you eliminate whole food groups from your diet, think about how you currently eat and how many changes your desired diets will require.

There are different types of plant based diets and some are more restrictive than others. Unless you have a medical condition calling for a radical change, you might want to consider a progression so that the changes are sustainable.

Diet is really about lifestyle not deprivation. Feeling deprived all the time is not positive and at the end of the day, you’re trying to do something positive for your health.

Eliminating dairy

Dairy for me was one of my latest changes. Cheese, yogurt and coffee creamer were staples in my diet.

Finding a replacement for coffee creamer was the hardest part because nothing tasted the same or as good. Creamy morning coffee is something that I loved.

After weeks of taste testing different products and reading reviews, I realized that there is no perfect replacement. Knowing that seemed to make accepting a new coffee flavor easier.

Tofu is another food that requires an adjustment period. It’s a plain substance that can be added to a variety of dishes in place of chicken and dairy.

Evaluate and refresh your cookbooks

Start by evaluating your cookbooks for whether or not they’re going to support your new diet. Donate ones that you no longer use and treat yourself to a few new ones.

Five of my favorite plant based cookbooks

1/ The Whole Foods Cookbook

The Whole Foods Cookbook is my favorite cookbook because it steps you through the transition to a plant based diet and teaches you how to cook without a recipe. Think of it as your foundation for which you’ll build on.

2/ It’s All Easy

It’s All Easy is also one of my favorites because it makes cooking approachable. The author, Gwyneth Paltrow gives you options for making everything from scratch or purchasing parts of the recipe from your local grocery store. Recipes are healthy but many still include meat and dairy. Think of it as a transitional book.

3/ Eat Clean Play Dirty

Eat Clean Play Dirty is a new cookbook for me but I’ve already used it to draw inspiration for both increasing the nutritional value of things that I make all the time and new recipes to keep my diet flavorful and super healthy. It could support a “cleanse” if you feel the need.

4/Poilâne

Poilâne – The secrets of the world-famous bread bakery is also new to me. I love the idea of bread as an ingredient because it’s a great way to reduce food waste. Plus it gives me a good reason to shop my local bakery for fresh bread and to enjoy some of the French twists to avocado on toast. Talk about a non-guilty pleasure.

5/ Salad for Dinner

If you have read my golden rules for healthy eating, then you know salad is what’s for dinner when I haven’t eaten any vegetables throughout the day. It happens now and then. 

Dinner is my last chance to make my diet right for the day. I bought Salad for Dinner at one of my favorite shops in the San Francisco Ferry Building during the Saturday Farmer’s Market. If you get the chance, make sure you go to the market. It will make you look forward to having a salad for dinner.

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