How do I stop eating meat and animal products and adopt a plant-based diet?

Kathy Freston
Nutrition & Dietetics
There is a magic quality to willingness; when you are willing to be different, you don't have to know exactly what that looks like, but only remain open to change. When I was moving toward a plant-based diet, I said to myself, "I don't know how I'm going to find foods that taste as good to me as the steak and tuna fish that I love, but I'm willing to believe there might be some other foods that are just as satisfying that don't do that kind of harm. I'm willing to just try a few different menu choices when I go out, and I'll at least pick up a few new items at the grocery store that would fit in to my new world view."

Remember everything you've learned and seen. Every time you look at meat or cheese on your plate, even if you are still eating it, think about the process that went into making it. On my way to giving up animal products, I would try and see a quick visual of who the animal once was and what she went through before becoming the meal on my plate. That way, I was not in denial; I was aware. I did that enough times until it was just naturally distasteful to me, and the addiction no longer had a hold on me. I just didn't want it anymore.

Do not deprive yourself so that you end up going back to your old habits. Find delicious food and enjoy the old traditions you always had with family and friends. Substitute hamburgers with veggie burgers, hot dogs with soy dogs, chicken enchiladas with bean and guacamole enchiladas. Have your familiar looking meals but make (or order) them with better ingredients.

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