How Social Distancing and Coronavirus Make Now an Excellent Time to Go Plant-Based
I was thinking the other day, that right now is the best time ever to go plant-based.
You may think that I’m about to tell you to ditch the animal products because a lot of the crazy viruses have originated from animal consumption, but no, that’s not what I’m here to discuss today. Hear me out.
It’s April 2020, the world is in a pandemic, the COVID-19 virus has us all holed up in our house with plenty of time to spare. Schools have closed, businesses have closed, parks have closed, borders have closed and in some countries, everything is closed…or on lock-down should I say. Social distancing has become our new normal (hopefully not for long, fingers crossed)!
But you know what’s not closed? Grocery stores. You know what’s also not closed? The internet that’s full of delicious recipes and information. You know what’s begging to be used more? Our household kitchens.
Maybe you’ve already tried to go plant-based and you failed, or maybe you’ve never tried or maybe you’ve never even thought about it, but perhaps given the circumstances it’s the perfect time to give it a closer look 🙂 .
The combination of the following has created the perfect environment to take up a plant-based lifestyle and here’s why:
Eating a whole food plant-based diet will boost your immune system.
More than ever society as a whole is thinking about their health. We’re thinking to ourselves how do I get my immune system in tip-top condition so I’m less likely to get sick now and so I can be healthier down the road. The answer? Pay attention to what you put in your body. A plant-based diet is packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals all essential to your overall health and well being.
I personally believe it’s the best diet for optimal health and longevity (it’s done so much for me) and there are decades of research to support this. Visit nutritionfacts.org to look into the science behind a plant-based diet. The China Study is a great science-based book about how plant-based diets help to prevent cancer, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and a range of other diseases.
I like to think of it as eating food that works for you, not against you.
So much spare time to educate and motivate yourself.
Deciding to go plant-based starts with a change in mindset. In order to have a mindset shift you’ve really got to see something that changes the way you view animal products and how you view food in relation to your health.
One of the best ways to get one of these mindset shifts is from reading articles (like this :)), watching documentaries, listening to podcasts or reading books. With all this spare time you can watch literally every single documentary related to plant-based diets and veganism. You can check out my resources section to see which ones I recommend.
The more you learn, the EASIER it will be to make the change. You’ll have much spare time to think about the things you read, and watch because you aren’t distracted by work and daily life tasks.
I also recommend listening to my podcast and the Plant-Proof podcasts (he has so many episodes) to hear interviews of people who went plant-based. It can really help to motivate you when you hear someone’s story that really resonates with your own personal history.
To help increase your motivation and help you get started download my way 10-Step to Guide to Health with a plant-based diet.
Meat is hard to get your hands on. And it’s expensive.
People are hoarding meat, eggs and toilet paper. You can’t get your hands on the meat you normally purchase if it’s not in the store. Plus eating meat and cheese and dairy is so expensive and with self-isolation and temporary closures it’s likely the majority of us are pinching pennies for the foreseeable future. Even when we aren’t in a pandemic, buying meat is a lot more expensive than buying plant-based foods like beans and tofu.
You have to cook your own meals – it’s basically your only option now.
Most restaurants and fast-food joints are closed, or limited to only take-out right now. Most of us are left alone with our groceries and our kitchens. This can be daunting for many people who have no idea how to cook. I know that if this was happening 7 years ago when I didn’t know how to cook I would be panicking!
Now is the perfect time to learn to cook though! You are at home, you have the time, and you don’t really have another option. You’ll only be able eat microwavable TV dinners, pizza and noodles for so long….you’ll be craving something new and healthy.
So if you’re learning to cook, might as well learn to cook plant-based from the get-go 🙂 . If you already know how to cook, now is a perfect time to spend extra time learning some new plant-based recipes.
Now we need to save $ more than ever.
Just like with any diet, you can do it inexpensively or expensively. Go whole-food plant-based and you’ll be amazed by the amount of dollars you save on your grocery bill. Dried beans, rice, oatmeal, potatoes and whole grains don’t cost much at all and are big staples in a healthy plant-based diet. Buy packaged plant-based food and you’ll likely rack up your bill. So swap to simple unprocessed fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes and make your money last longer.
A plant-based lifestyle will help you maintain (or lose) weight while being all cooped up inside
Not being able to participate in our beloved fitness regimens can take a serious toll on us over the next few months. I was finally getting into an awesome routine and BAM just like that, all fitness studios are closed. With the corona virus rising, parks and trails are being shut down and depending on where you live even going for an outdoor walk or run might be forbidden.
The nice thing is that a HEALTHY vegan diet is a great way to lose weight and maintain a healthy body size. Now is the perfect time to hop on the plant-based train and offset some of the weight some of us may gain by a lack of inactivity.
Believe me, it works, I spent SIX months of last year doing almost no activity and my weight barely fluctuated. Looking back, mentally and physically I really could have used some exercise. So, don’t forget to get some exercise for your overall well-being! You’ll probably find that you have more energy once you eat plant-based as well.
The biggest obstacles to going plant-based are non-existent right now
Hands down some of the biggest obstacles to adopting this diet are:
- Your own lack of will power at home – right now, you are so so lucky because you have the power to drastically control your environment. Since you are confined to our own home and meant to grocery shop only once per week you can totally set-up your house for success. You have the power to toss out all your animal products and junk food (or finish them off) from your household and head to the grocery store and stock up on plant-based food. All you have to do is get out of the grocery store once per week without buying any animal products……AND BAM you’re set.
Unlike usual, you can’t go out to a restaurant or swing past a fast food joint to grab an unhealthy snack. You’re meant to leave the house only when necessary so you’re less likely to run to the grocery store just to pick up one item – so the chances of you heading there to get a steak or a bucket of icecream are slimmer than usual.
You’re basically forcing yourself to grow your will-power!
2. Your own lack of will power in social situations– Social situations aren’t really a thing right now. We can’t meet up with friends, we can’t go over for dinner parties, we can’t congregate at events. So you’re lucky because going out as a newly plant-based person and trying to maintain your new lifestyle at social events must be one of the hardest things ever…..and that’s not even an option right now :). As time goes on social situations get easier and you’ll learn to bring your own dish, or check the restaurant before you go, and your will power strengthens with time so it simply becomes easier to not eat that animal product.
3. Dealing with friends and family – You’ll find as soon as you go plant-based your family and friends will start asking you a million questions. They will make jokes about your diet, start asking you where you get your protein from, what about your iron, aren’t you going to starve, how do you even live, why are you doing this, etc, etc. Or you are lucky and have a really supportive group of friends and family and this might not be an issue for you!!
Eventually, once they realize you’re sticking with this and it isn’t some diet fad, but a new lifestyle they will come to accept it. Once they see the healthy changes in you they might be inspired to do the same. But in the beginning it’s always hard. This is why it’s perfect that you get to spend all this time in isolation and once you emerge you will be really sure of your new-found beliefs and be able to answer all their questions!
If you live with your family it may be a little harder to adjust but perhaps you can get them in on choosing recipes with you and get them involved in the cooking so it becomes a fun experience for everyone.
By the time we emerge from this period of social distancing your will-power will be so high you’ll take on social situations with ease! You’ll have so many new plant-based facts and recipes to share with your friends and family too! Check out my blog for a few recipe ideas.
If you’re interested in looking into eat some more plants in your life or making the full switch you can grab my epic smoothie bowl guide here to get started :). They’re a super easy, fun and A tasty way to add more plants into your day.
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I am not a doctor or dietitian. The information on here is based on what worked for me. There is a lot of research out there on plant-based diets and the positive impact this diet has on health which really made me comfortable with my plant- based lifestyle choice! If you want to dive more into the science/evidence side of things check out our resources section. Any statements made on these platforms are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease or illness. Please consult with your medical practitioner before making any changes to your current diet and lifestyle.