5 Steps to Transition from Paleo to a Plant-Based Diet
I followed a strict paleo diet for about three years before making the decision to move toward a plant-based vegan diet. I’ve written before about my motivation for transitioning away from paleo and about the similarities between paleo and plant-based diets. This post is more of a ‘how I did it’ explanation of the specific steps I took in moving away from paleo and toward a plant-based vegan diet.
Despite the similarities between the two lifestyles, I found the switch to be more difficult than I anticipated, especially from a mentality perspective. One of the more challenging parts of the transition was overcoming the stigma associated with vegan diets in the paleo community. A lot of work goes into discrediting veganism in terms of both health and ethics, and it takes effort to undo some of that training.
I took the process in steps, starting with what I felt to be the most important and continuing with what I found easiest to digest.
Step One – Removing meat and dairy
Removing meat from my diet was not difficult for me, in large part because I spent most of my childhood as a vegetarian and I really don’t like meat. I always had to make myself eat it when I followed a paleo-type diet and thought meat was critical for health. Beef and pork were the first to go, followed closely after by chicken. I have had a dairy allergy for over 10 years, so removing dairy was also easy. I was still eating casein-free ghee, which I also removed at this point. This step was actually a huge relief. It felt like I had suddenly been given permission to stop eating these foods that I really didn’t like and that I felt guilty for eating. The fact that I could maintain my health without animal foods was an immensely freeing realization. (more…)
Carrot tops are one of my favorite ingredients, and unfortunately are very often thrown out. Rich in nutrients, and delicious, they are a great addition to many recipes. I use them in this dip to impart a rich green color and subtle carrot flavor. I have eaten this with a spoon as part of a meal, and with crackers as a dip. I also love to bring it on day hikes to eat with crackers and veggies. This dip is easy to make, with minimal prep, and uses only 5 ingredients.