This post provides links to help you stay motivated when changing to a plant-based diet. During my first year, I frequently questioned the change I was making. I felt better. I was hitting new strength goals. Still, I worried that maybe I was missing out on key nutrients or possibly causing unknown harms to my body by cutting out meat, eggs and dairy. These sites and articles are in no way formally affiliated with donovancarper.com. Rather, they are simply sites that helped me stay on track during my own journey!
Great articles and sites to help you stay motivated
Food Guidelines from Bluezones.com: This article discusses dietary patterns of the world’s healthiest, longest living populations. Based on their research findings, the article argues for a diet that is 95%-100% plant-based. If you desire to ease your way into it, or desire natural vitamin B12, the article does note that these populations ate very small amounts of eggs, yogurt, feta cheese, and fish. These items are consumed in the world’s healthiest populations in amounts far less than what Americans are accustomed to eating.
Recipes from Bluezones.com: Finding great recipes goes a long way in helping you stay motivated. A suggestion I came across early on referenced picking a small number of recipes (like five or so) that are easy to make and that you enjoy. Make them in bulk on weekends/ days off. Freeze or refrigerate and rotate for your work days.
Veganhealth.org: This site is AMAZING!!! Low on rhetoric and high on science and evidence. Sources of protein, specific vitamins and nutrients of question or concern, exercise and fitness–all as pertains to vegans and all backed by science. Veganhealth.org is respectable, as it reports the facts as they are. Clearly, this site advocates for a vegan diet. Yet, it is honest enough to share both positive and negative findings for vegans based on research. As such, I have a higher trust level with this site presenting the science as it currently stands.
Nutritionfacts.org: I frequented this site often when struggling with doubts. Dr. Greger, author of the book How Not to Die and more recently, How Not to Diet, runs this site. Similar to veganhealth.org, Dr. Greger is a vegan. He is quick to point out flaws and bias in research on all sides. His articles draw on solid research and evidence. The articles cover a wide range of topics from exercise to nutrient deficiency concerns to health benefits of going vegan.
Veganbodybuilding.com: I read a few articles from this website, mainly to remain motivated in my pursuit of fitness while staying plant-based with my diet. I had fears like many American men of losing muscle when switching to a plant-based diet. That fear did not manifest. I did run into a wall about a year into my training after going vegan. I insisted on not using any protein powders. Supplementing with vegan creatine helped me get back on track. More information regarding proper nutrient intake to support fitness goals can be found here.
Recipes: easy, taste good, nutritious and satisfying
Macheesmo.com: Not a vegan site, but…their 13 Bean Soup recipe is vegan and is great for making in double batches and refrigerating or freezing. It is my personal favorite recipe for bean soup. Having beans, onion, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and paprika, it is a mild, lightly smokey tasting variation of 13 bean soups. I add other veggies to this (if on hand, such as kale or spinach), but the recipe provides an amazing base. Serve with Ezekiel bread and you have a protein packed, very nutritious meal. Bean soups are great as you can put them together quickly, let them cook for hours paying minimal attention to them, then have meals lasting all week. They have made staying plant-based easy and satisfying.
Rabitandwolves.com: Pasta! Can’t beat it! This site’s linked recipe is for a vegan baked pasta dish that tastes amazing. Pasta dishes, bean soup dishes, rice/ quinoa paired with beans and veggies have all made going plant-based satisfying, filling and enjoyable.
Tasteofhome.com: Beans and brown rice (I mix in quinoa of equal proportions to the rice). You can’t go wrong with this international food staple. There are so many ways you can vary this dish if you desire. Experiment!
Connoisseurusveg.com: This link goes to a vegan mousse that is one of the best I have tried. Having something that is sweet when you need it helps you feel more satisfied with your choice. The website lists numerous dessert options to try!
This list is in NO WAY comprehensive. Just type in “vegan” and there are plenty of podcast options. Rich Roll’s story and the interview with Dan Buettner, founder of BLUEZONES stand out in my memory as being incredibly motivating.
The Rich Roll Podcast: Rich Roll’s story is incredible. From a middle-aged out of shape typical American male to a record setting athlete after making the change to a vegan diet, Rich Roll is a recognized leader in the plant based movement.
The Doctors Pharmacy: Episode 6: I have not listened to many episodes of this particular podcast…, but episode 6 in particular with the BLUEZONES founder is fantastic!
Any time you make a major change in your lifestyle, especially a change that may go against norms of your culture or family, it is normal to experience doubts! Yet, the evidence supporting plant-based diets is tremendous–based on international and high-quality research. I hope you will find these resources as helpful to you as they were to me! Thanks for reading, and feel free to share with a friend! -Donovan