Glen John Jones shares his tips for successfully adopting a plant-based diet (and yes, it’s OK to fail!)
1. Never let yourself get ravenous
To avoid eating anything and everything and potentially ruining your plant-based diet, keep yourself satisfied throughout the day with healthy snacks between meals.
Crunchy foods such as carrots, celery, and cucumbers are convenient and filling. Or try making your own hummus.
2. Don’t trust the packaging… EVER!
Be assertive when reading food packaging. It may be suitable for vegans without specifically highlighting this. Take the time to research other USPs (such as dairy-free) and always check the ingredients list to be double-sure.
3. Take a ‘food prep’ state of mind the night before
Take control of your nutrition because nobody is going to do it for you! Look at your upcoming schedule and think about your nutrition accordingly so you have time to prepare food in advance.
4. Bend the rules every now and then
Allow yourself to make mistakes and don’t put too much pressure on yourself initially. Think long term, as any corners you cut at this stage can and will be improved over time, as you gain experience and knowledge.
5. Make beans, pulses, and grains work for you
Grains can be treated like beans and pulses, as they fit easily into your diet and bump up your micronutrients. Go for variety, and opt for wholegrain, low G.I varieties when you’re sedentary to avoid hunger and a carb coma!
6. Restaurants want to keep their customers happy
As a customer, you have the power! Pluck up the courage to discuss your needs in advance (by calling to book) or at the restaurant. As the old saying goes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
7. Don’t be afraid to break tradition
Wanting to alter your meal slightly is perfectly acceptable in this modern era, where we are often spoilt for choice. ’Traditional‘ meals are based on their own time when they were created. So, create your own for these times.
8. Eat more salad!
Prep your salad daily if you prefer maximum freshness, or every other day to save time. Include lots of things that you enjoy, but also many things that you know you should be eating more of (make healthy choices)!
9. Maximise the potential of designated cooking time
Learn to make food prep more interesting. Listen to upbeat music or even a motivational audiobook/podcast. Make it feel like you’re unwinding and not simply being controlled by your food. You may even learn something!
10. Set rules you can stick to
Creating simple rules that you truly believe you can be consistent with will create long-term habits. If it’s something as blatant as only eating chocolate if it’s vegan-friendly, then do it. Make a list of rules that are most important to you.
11. Drop the ego (outside) and think health (inside)
‘Beauty’ comes and goes with trends, so opinions on what is and isn’t beautiful will change over time. Plus, what you feel on the inside will show on the outside. And being healthy on the inside is something that will never go out of fashion.
Glen John Jones is a London-based personal trainer on a mission to live to 100. His new book, Think and Grow Vegan (£12.99, thinkandgrowvegan.com) is on sale now.