How to Start a Plant-Based Diet


So, you’ve read The Big Crash Course and Why Consider a Plant-Based Diet and now you want to get started, but where to begin? Depending on your personality, your level of motivation, your budget and/or your body’s response, there are a few ways you can get in the “plant-based pool.” Be sure to keep a food journal to record any ailments you may have before you begin, and then record the changes in your digestion, sleep, mood, etc., each week. This will help you figure out what your body likes and doesn’t like.

Transitioning is easier, and way more enjoyable, than YU may think.

All you need is the motivation, the tools and great recipes. A sprinkle of patience, a pinch of planning and a pound of accountability, too.

- – -
Give it a try. Download a free meal plan.

- – -

I’ve also detailed three ways you can start your transition below.

A. Toe-Dip: There’s nothing wrong with a little trepidation, and dipping your toe in the water is better than not at all. If you want to try out some ’lil changes to your routine, I recommend minimizing your dairy intake at least 3-4 days a week. After a few weeks, try to cut it out for 5-7 days. Dairy is the most harmful for the human body, so if you want to feel a difference without drastic changes, try eliminating or reducing your dairy intake. I promise you will notice a difference. Especially if you are able to go without it for at least 30 days, and then you try some again. Your body will let you know that it was happy without it “thank you very much.”

B. Ease into the water step-by-step: Transition in 30 days, by eliminating certain products each week, but most importantly, by adding more plant-based foods to your routine.

Week One: Eat as you normally do, but start adding plant-based foods to every meal. For example, if you are eating scrambled eggs for breakfast, saute some veggies and greens like this recipe, and then scramble in your eggs until cooked. Making a grilled cheese for lunch? Add tomato, mushroom and kale. Sneaking quality, nutrient-rich greens, like kale, into as many meals as possible will not only boost your fiber and nutrient intake, but it will show you just how versatile it is. It may also be a good idea to make some green smoothies a few days a week, too. And be sure to check out our recipes (we have hundreds)—they are designed to be a meal in themselves, but are easily adapted for omnivores by simply adding grass-fed, humanely-raised roasted chicken, shrimp or beef, and in some cases, eggs or cheese.

Week Two: Follow week one suggestions, but say “adios” to dairy (eggs, too). Need cheese or yogurt or milk? Don’t panic, our 39-page Dairy Freedom eBook has solutions for all of it.

Week Three: Follow suggestions from week one and two, but eliminate beef, poultry and fish.

Week Four: By now you should be feeling great, and any symptoms of detoxing (crankiness, headaches, cold/flu, nausea) should be almost nonexistent. You’re probably pretty convinced that plant-based is delicious, too (if you are making our recipes, of course). If you want to take this great feeling to the next level, try eliminating gluten. That step is a life-changer.

C. Cannonball: This is a great way to transition for those of YU who only have to cook for 1-2 people (who are on-board), or if you are an all-or-nothin’ type. Just pick a day that you want to start and go for it. See the tips described above.

- – -
If YU are liking this article so far, be a doll and share it on Twitter by clicking here!
- – -

No matter how YU transition, and whether it takes 24 hours or 2-4 years, do what is best for YU. Be honest with yourself, though. Are you pushing yourself a bit outside of your comfort zone? If not, you probably could. That’s where real benefits reside, and you are strong enough to go there.

Need some products to help support and inspire YU?
Be sure to check out the helpful products we’ve created for your journey.

Here are some more FREE resources and links to help motivate and support each step you take:


Take A VIDEO Tour of My Fridge!


Making it Work for Families (Free eBook)

YUTV Videos
YU Recipes
Knife Skills
Learn How to Sprout
YU Fitness
Articles & Information to Inspire
Movies to Watch

How-To’s & Tips
HOW-TOS for a plant-based diet
(All of ’em)
- – -
Sprouting 101
Juicing a Lemon with a Cheesecloth
Thicken Sauces with an Arrowroot Slurry
Pitting Cherries
Cooking Buckwheat
DIY Air Freshener
DIY Blush/Lip Stain
DIY Eyeshadow
DIY Cupcake Liners
Keep Berries Mold-Free
Popping Amaranth
DIY Bug/Spider Repellant
Replacing Dairy in Recipes
Soaking and Cooking Legumes
Cleaning Mushrooms
Prepping Rosemary & Herbs
Blanching Tomatoes
Chopping and Seeding Tomatoes
Peeling Garlic
Chopping an Onion
Cooking Quinoa
DIY Laundry Soap
DIY Oven Cleaner
Soaking Nuts, Seeds, Grains and Legumes
Open a Vanilla Bean
Pitting Dates
Open a Young Coconut
Make a Stock Out of Scrap Veggies
Cooking with Kombu
All About Planning

Downloadable Charts

Print out and keep in your purse/wallet for shopping reference
Dirty Produce & Clean Produce
Plant Protein
Hidden Names for Casein (animal protein)

Want more help getting started?

Read Why Consider a Plant-Based Diet

Sign up for free video tips here


Did you find this article helpful? Share it on Twitter by clicking here!