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Kick Off A a Plant-Based New Year

By Chef Linda

Get healthy. Feel better. Live kindly. Save the planet…things many of us are thinking about as we walk, crawl, or leap into this new year. With so many things beyond our control, why not focus on what you can influence…a plant based new year! You do have the ability to nourish yourself and feel good. You can also make kind choices that cause less harm for other beings. And you can do you part three or more times a day to impact climate change.

If you’re thinking about changing how you eat…adding more plants and eliminating animal products, there’s never been a better–or more urgent–time to start. Confused about where to start? Let us help!

Make simple swaps.

plant based milkExperiment with alternative milk. Oat, soy, hemp, rice, almond, cashew, macadamia, coconut, and even flax–they’re all creamy, delicious, and cholesterol-free. Try a new one each week until you find your favorite. In cooking and baking, you’ll never taste a difference and for drinking, cereal, and coffee or tea, many people prefer the clean, delicious taste of these plant-based milks. 

Make substitutes for meat. We recommend a whole-food, plant-based diet as the best choice for health and wellness, but store-bought vegan meat will satisfy a craving or please a “mixed” crowd. Today’s alternatives are so good, you won’t be disappointed! Check out this article by LiveKindly on the top 11 vegan meats that taste better than the real thing.

Ditch the dairy. Try non-dairy cheese, yogurt, and butter. They’ve come such a long way, baby! You’ll be amazed at the taste, texture, and variety of these products. Brands like Violife, Kitehill, and Field Roast are among the top-rated. Visit websites for brands you want to try–you can often request coupons which makes sampling even more cost-effective. And most grocery stores have jumped on the bandwagon making dairy-free options more available and affordable.

Crowd it out. By finding more plant-based foods you love to eat and recipes to make them easily and deliciously, you’ll discover that you won’t have much room on your plate for animals or animal products. If eliminating meat, chicken, or fish altogether is intimidating, try doubling up on your fruits and vegetable servings and minimizing the portion size of your meat. Before long, you may realize you prefer the clean, light feeling and benefits of plant-based eating.

Veganize your recipes. With so many simple swaps and easy tricks, even some of your most cherished recipes can be enjoyed on a plant-based diet. We’ve got some tips to help.

Be prepared.

Borrow a book. Your local library’s shelves are likely full of books for vegetarian and vegan cooking. Peruse them all then take home one or two and try some of the recipes. It’s a great way to experiment without investing.

Buy a book. When you’re ready to buy, try our cookbook which has recipes from our classes and events or shop for books online. You’ll be able to read reviews and check out lots of options quickly. 

Google. Need we say more?

Stock your pantry. When you’re ready to get cooking, nothing makes it easier than having the right ingredients on hand. Read our post about stocking a vegan pantry and you’ll be prepared for anything.

Get a little help from your friends.

Look around. If you’re lucky enough to know people who are already vegan, tell them about your plans and seek their support. Consider your workplace, church, gym, and of course, your family and close friends. Many vegans are eager to share tips for success, favorite recipes, and give pointers on brands they love. Ask someone in the grocery store who’s buying a vegan product–they’re often more than happy to answer questions.

Finally, be kind to yourself. The fact that you want to eat more plants is a great way to start the year. Don’t give up because you fell off the wagon for a meal, a day, or even a week. Keep at it and before long, you’ll begin to notice a difference in the way you feel and in the foods you desire. The change in how you feel is a powerful motivator.

And if you have questions or need encouragement, reach out–we’re here to help!



Add Love + Stir, Tips, Tricks and Techniques, Vegan Lifestyle


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