5 Keys to Going Vegan (Plant Based)

March 23, 2020

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Many people are shocked when they discover that I have been eating a 100% plant-based diet for over three years now.

The first thing they ask of course is, “how do you get your protein?“

Then “what do you eat?” and “how do you build your muscle?”

If you have any of these questions yourself, it’s all explained here.

None of these questions come as a huge surprise any more and honestly before I went vegan it was hard for my 290 lb former offensive lineman mind to grasp it myself.

This got me thinking of my experiences “going vegan” and how looking back on things it wasn’t as hard as I thought. If you haven’t read why I became vegan read here. If you have then you’ll remember that I failed the first time. By fail I mean I tried eating fully plant based for over a week and I literally felt like I was going to die lol. My failure actually was a blessing in disguise. It showed me that a plant based diet or any nutritional plan for that matter can’t be one size fits all. I needed to make a plant based diet work for me and not the other way around. Through these 5 keys I’m sharing with you, I was able to build a plant based diet that worked for me.

1. Transition

Even though I never devised a formal plan for my plant based diet I wish I had. It would have helped me gain perspective over how certain foods affect my body. I suggest that anyone planning on going plant based start by slowly eliminating food types from their diet over a period of time. For example week 1 eliminate beef, week 2 eliminate chicken, week 3 dairy products etc…. What this process does is let you see how your body feels after eliminating each food type. It also gives you time to adjust your plant based diet to cover any deficient areas you may experience. My biggest issue at first was always feeling hungry. Going from being a meat and potatoes eater to vegetables and grains didn’t match up. So every meal I ate would last an hour or 2 til I was hungry again. But all of this changed when I figured out how to eat.

2. How to eat?

There’s millions of articles on the internet with vegan recipes, snack tips and more. But what none of them told me is I needed to eat more food. When I switched to my plant based diet I didn’t realize how drastic my eating change was. Before this journey I never liked salads, and always mainly ate chicken, carbs and broccoli on occasion. So I knew I needed to approach being plant based differently than how I ate in the past. So I had to experiment to see what my body would respond to.

3. Experiment

Going into this experience if you don’t already cook, then you should learn. It makes experimenting and trying new things easier and much more interesting in my opinion. Plus you’re more likely to maintain your plant based diet if you know how to make a quick 15 minute meal. Luckily I have some experience in the kitchen (S/O to my Mom). The first thing I focused on was adding beans to my meals. They were great for the added protein and helping me feel full. After this I started to make a lot of stir frys and bowls filled with beans, vegetables and grains.These simple discoveries helped me finally feel full. And now I felt amazing.

4. Support

Having someone to go vegan with is definitely great if you have some doubts. It’s nice to have someone to go check out a new vegan restaurant and try food with. Having that support system can help to expand your knowledge of your diet through hearing others experiences. Remember you are not alone.

5. Judgement

Having someone to go vegan with is definitely great if you have some doubts. It’s nice to have someone to go check out a new vegan restaurant and try food with. Having that support system can help to expand your knowledge of your diet through hearing others experiences. Remember you are not alone.

Arien Smith

Arien is a web developer and personal trainer in Los Angeles, CA. He played college football at the UNC Chapel Hill, where he was a 290 lb offensive lineman. After graduating and moving to LA, Arien adopted a 100% plant based diet which he has followed for 3+ yrs. Arien’s interest include sports, tech, sci-fi, fitness, design and more.