Top 10 Ways I Helped to Transition My Family to a Plant-Strong Diet (Part 2)

By Sharon McRae

For the first 5 of 10 ways in which I helped to transition my family to a plant-strong diet, please see Part 1. Here are 6-10:

6.     Our motto:  Always be prepared.  I always make sure that we have hummus or some type of bean dip, nut butters, and plenty of fruits and vegetables in the fridge.  We never travel anywhere without snacks–for example, fresh or dried fruits, kale chips, hummus and sprouted grain bread, carrot and celery sticks–so we are never caught hungry without plant-strong and unprocessed options.

7.    Over the summer, I shared plant-strong snacks with the kids’ friends when they were here for play dates.  I never told other kids what was in the delicious snacks (everything from kale to black beans), but I shared the recipes with their parents and had them taste the food, too, if there were leftovers.  For my kids, having their friends enjoy the same dishes helped to reinforce that healthy food can taste great for everyone!   I also have made exclusively plant-strong meals when our extended family was over for holidays; these have been well received, even by the other kids in the family, which also made my kids feel great.

8.    I began sending the kids to parties and other social events with a plant-strong dish to share for everyone.  I call or email the host/hostess in advance and explain that we do not eat animal-based products, including dairy, and I offer to send the kids with a dish.  Almost every time, the dish has been a huge hit and the host/hostess has asked for the recipe!

9.    We have cut way back on eating in restaurants, which we used to do at least once per week.  I generally cook several times during the week and really vary the flavors by trying new beans/legumes, grains, vegetables, spices, and nuts and seeds.  This helps to keep it interesting for all of us.  We also have a lot of fun coming up with creative desserts, like various ice creams/sorbets/smoothies in the blender, chocolate mousse made with avocado, puddings made with chia seeds, raw chocolate/fruit pies, and different types of truffles made with dried fruits and nuts/seeds and cocoa powder.

10.    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I helped to develop a network with other like-minded people.  We began socializing with other plant-strong families, attending vegan potlucks and special events, such as health fairs and festivals, where we can indulge in the food without worrying about whether it’s plant-strong. We’ve met some amazing families this way, and the kids have loved meeting some of the plant-strong pioneers at special events.

All in all, this has been a very positive transition for all of us.  I am now feeling much more in control of our health destiny.  We rarely get sick anymore, even with colds, and when we do, it’s very brief and mild. And we don’t rely on medications unless it’s absolutely necessary (and it truly hasn’t been since we’ve all been plant-strong!).  We all have lots of energy and passion for sharing our experience and inspiring others to take control of their health.

My kids tell me that they never feel uncomfortable about eating differently than most people; in fact, they are proud of the way that we eat because they know it’s best for our health, for the animals, and for the planet.  I’m so proud of them and the way that they’ve adapted; while it is sometimes work to prepare these amazing dishes on a regular basis, it’s always done out of pure love.  I tell them that the reason the food that I give them tastes so good is because it always contains that ingredient.  I hope that this inspires you to consider transitioning your family to a plant-strong diet!

Sharon McRae is a Certified Health Coach and mother of three, who has been adopting and applying principles of health and nutrition in her own life for more than three decades. She became a health coach to fulfill her passion of helping others feel their best and achieve optimal health through adaptation of a plant-based, whole-foods diet, as well as other healthy lifestyle modifications. Sharon received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. See www.eatwell-staywell.com for more information.

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2 Comments

  1. I am plant strong since the beginning of 2012 and loving it. I made the switch to cure my chronic recurrent sinus infections (dairy) and to reduce my high cholesterol without medications. It’s working and I have never felt better. I still struggle with the 4 year old though, but this list gives me hope and new ammo! I will continue to try new things for him. Thanks!

  2. I loved this article. I will be sharing it! Thank you.

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