Learning to speak a new language can be very difficult especially if that language was selected for you. I took German in college because I was told that it was was a good language for chemistry majors. The most fun I had with the language was translating letters that a family friend used to receive from a friend in Germany. I guess he did not have the heart to tell him he did not speak the language. If you have to look up every word to communicate with someone in their language, it can be very stressful.
The same could be said for adopting a new nutrition plan. You may like the idea of eating differently, or at least agree that it would be good for you to learn, but actually implementing it everyday can be very stressful. Just like adopting a language, the more you use it, the better you get. Looking for every opportunity to use your new skills will not only make you more competent quicker, but will also make you less vulnerable to failures. No one likes to waste food or be told that something does not taste right.
But perception also plays a big role. Having to spend extra time in the kitchen may be viewed as struggling and stressful instead of making you feel empowered that you are in charge of your own health and nutrition. So here are a few tips to get your confidence up and your plant strong game face on. Remember, you have to practice to get fluent in your new mindful way of eating plant strong.
- Keep the majority of your meals simple without the need for a recipe. You know how to bake a potato and open a can of beans so just add some steamed greens and you are good to go.
- Add rice, barley, or quinoa to your salad for an extra punch.
- Take inventory of your plate: nitric oxide producing greens, yellow or orange vegetables for beta carotenoids, and a grain or starch such as rice or a potato for a protein and fiber punch.
- Count at least four to five servings of fruit each day. Fruit is not only a powerhouse of antioxidants and phytonutrients but also has electrolytes and water to keep you naturally hydrated.