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How to Transition to a Plant Based Diet

How to Transition to a Plant Based Diet

 

If you've decided to consider plant-based eating and are wondering how to start, you've come to the right place! Transitioning to a plant-based diet can be difficult at times, because our bodies and brains become accustomed and even addicted to eating more "pleasurable" foods, especially processed foods. In this article, we aim to teach you how to wean yourself off of processed foods, meats, and how to start moving towards a more plant-based diet. 

Step 1: Mindset!

This is a process that may be hard for some. If you are ready to commit to a healthy change for both you and the environment, you have to get your mind right first. Be ready to fight any initial resistance you face from your body not wanting change.

One major key to successfully implementing change is understanding your "Why."  You must be conscious of the effects of the dietary choices you make, and understand how everything you eat ultimately impacts your health and well-being.

Studies have shown that mood is elevated significantly after 8 servings of fruits and vegetables. Research found that going from eating no fruits and vegetables to at least 8 portions of fruits and vegetables boosted happiness the same as someone going from being unemployed to employed. This is why people who continuously eat healthy say it becomes easier with time. Eventually you will have more energy, be in a better mood, and crave healthy foods because it is what is natural to our bodies. Another study showed that by changing the way you perceive food, you can change your own cravings. For example, participants who were told to view certain craved foods as if the item had just been sneezed on, were able to train their mind to no longer desire the food they initially craved. This goes to show how important your mindset is in changing your diet. 

It will usually take time for you to begin noticing big changes in overall mood and cravings because you will be focused on the things you are mentally addicted to. Remember, the first two to three weeks are usually the hardest, so keep pushing everyday! 

Step 2: Planning/Meal Prepping

The best way to handle cravings is to have your meals ready. Hunger can be the greatest weakness and easiest influencer to reverting to unhealthy ways.

Step 3: Avoid the Aisles

While at the grocery store, focus on the produce section. When transitioning to a healthy plant-based diet, you will notice that you will do the majority of your shopping buying fresh colorful foods, that are all in the same area. Load up on whole foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts). All of your macronutrients can be found in these whole foods, so you will notice that your cravings will start to diminish once your body is being nourished. Remember, this is a process and will not happen overnight. Be consistent and it will get easier as time goes on.

Step 4: Protein! 

When transitioning to plant-based, the biggest initial question we often hear first is "Where will I get my protein if it isn't from meat?" This is a common misconception that protein only comes from meat. Consider that fact that all animals are composed of the things they eat, and humans eat primarily herbivores. This alone goes to show that protein initially comes from the earth.  Our DNA is about 99% the same as our closest living relative the Chimpanzee, who is a plant-based animal. Chimps have a diet that consists of only 3% meat and 97% plants, and build muscle naturally. Have you ever heard of someone getting sick after eating too many vegetables? Most likely, the answer is no. In fact, a well balanced plant based diet has even been shown to prevent and cure diseases. I am by no means a nutritionist, but I think it's safe to say that most people would be healthier if they transition to a primarily plant based diet.

Step 5: Learn what works for you

Each person is different and when making a major change in diet you are actually changing your life (for the better!) You will have to really be mindful of your body and mental state and listen to what your body tells you. Certain foods may give you more energy than others or simply taste better. If you are struggling with the change, we recommend tracking your habits and holding yourself accountable. Check out our workout programs which include consultations and meal plan examples and recipes that help transition you to a more plant based lifestyle. 

 

Wim Hof Deep Breathing Exercise

Wim Hof Deep Breathing Exercise

Breathing is easy, yet it is one of the most important functions we perform on a constant basis, and most of the time we do so unconsciously. The amount of oxygen that we inhale, influences the amount of energy that is released into our body's cells. On a molecular level, this greatly influences our chemical and physiological processes.

Wim Hof, also known as The Iceman, is a Dutch extreme athlete noted for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures. He has set Guinness world records for swimming under ice and prolonged full-body contact with ice, and still holds the record for a barefoot half-marathon on ice and snow. 

Throughout the years, Wim Hof has developed special breathing exertions that keep his body in optimal condition and in complete control in the most extreme conditions. The breathing technique is first and foremost premised on inhaling deeply and exhaling without any use of force.

To perform this Wim Hof Method of breathing, sit with a straight back in a comfortable position and take 30 quick, deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Then, take a deep breath and exhale; hold until you need to breathe in. Inhale again, as deep as you can, and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat as many times as you like. Check out a free mini class here.

According to the Wim Hof Method website, consistent practice offers many potential benefits, including:

  • boosting your immune system
  • improving concentration
  • improving your mental well-being
  • increasing willpower
  • increasing your energy
  • managing some fibromyalgia symptoms
  • relieving some symptoms of depression
  • relieving stress
  • improving sleep

If you are interested in learning more exercises to help you focus on mindfulness meditation and self reflection check out our Ape Fit Programs that will help transform your body, diet, and mindset.

Why You Need a Fitness Program

Why You Need a Fitness Program

I'm sure we can all agree that when it comes to fitness, getting up and doing something is better than nothing. Sometimes starting can even be the hardest obstacle to overcome. Although being active is probably the most important ingredient to staying healthy, specific goals are not easily reached without a plan of attack. A lack of direction makes it very difficult to improve and see the progress that you desire, so you desperately need a well thought out plan.

First you must develop muscle memory by being consistent. Without developing a particular skill, it becomes impossible to improve that skill. Further, there is no way to measure whether or not you have improved since day one without knowing where you started. This is why we have designed top-notch Fitness Programs (<---Insert Link) that will help you succeed based on your goals. Our programs are designed to consistently challenge your body in the most effective ways to meet your goals. Consistency and progressive overload in the right areas will force your body to adapt and improve so that you can succeed in reaching your specific goals! 

Beyond the workouts, you must also consider nutrition. Working out is great for relieving stress, building muscle, burning calories etc. but realistically it is only part of the equation. Both how you workout, and the food you eat should be tailored based on your specific goals. Working out on its own will most likely not provide great results, however the right combination of eating and working out is the key to reaching your goals.

Not all programs are right for every person and sometimes you may find that you have to switch up your training style or how you eat in order to see results. That is because everybody is different and reacts differently than others. The key is to remain consistent, and learn what works for you. Once you get in the groove of a consistent routine that you enjoy and focus on improving every session, you will begin to see results and reach your fitness goal!