I remember what a slow process it was when I decided to remove animal protein from my diet. As I gradually removed animal protein, I introduced plant protein. I spent a lot of my time recreating favourite meat dishes without sacrificing flavour. That’s the key. It takes time, trial and error. The slow “lean in” really is the most effective method of introducing a plant-based lifestyle. Don’t try to remove all animal protein within a set time. There are no hard and fast rules for how long the process takes. It’s a personal journey and should be one that is enjoyed and embraced at your own speed.
But what happens when everyone in your household isn’t on board?
I recently had tea with a friend who took the plunge and adopted a plant-based lifestyle. I was so excited for her, but she confessed it was difficult planning meals as her husband was not ready to join her. She was still preparing meat dishes to accommodate him and was not thrilled about it. When everyone in your family is not on board it can be difficult. If this story rings true for you don’t despair. There are ways around this so everyone can be happy. It will take time and some organization, but if you have your family “lean in” it won’t feel like such a huge undertaking.
Begin by making weekends completely plant-based. Choose traditional meals that can easily be made plant-based. Think of pizza, burgers, burrito bowls, nachos, wraps, or soups and don’t forget to include some ready-made snacks and desserts family members can easily grab. They will enjoy veggies and dip, hummus and crackers, cut up fresh fruit, muffins or cookies. These choices will allow for a slow introduction to a new lifestyle that will not leave your family feeling like they have lost all their traditional foods. Ask them to join you in preparing one meal. Involving family members in meal prep will give you the opportunity to have great conversations about why a plant-based lifestyle is important to you and why you want to share the experience with them. They will also be more invested in the meal and will enjoy it because they helped to prepare it.
Once your family realizes how delicious and easy plant-based can be they will be open to trying new and different recipes with you. With everyone happy and on board with “plant-based weekends” it’s time to introduce one more delicious meal during the week. Meatless Monday never tasted so good! Gradually you will have converted your kitchen and your family won’t miss any animal protein at all.
Remember you are not alone in this journey … I’m right here with you! So, if you feel you might “fall off the plant-based wagon” don’t beat yourself up. Drop me a question or a comment and I will be happy to give some advice or just be that cheerleader you need.
Stay happy and healthy,
PS: Email me if you have any questions or you need to chat. Love hearing from my Happy House Community!
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