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Healthy Eating Jo Shares 5 Cold Hard Truths About Starting A Plant-Based Diet

by Sportitude
6 Mar 2017

So you want to try a plant-based diet? We don’t blame you. Perhaps, like us, you have been following the meteoric rise of plant-based bloggers and couldn’t help but notice their radiant skin, energy, and zest for life. Improved health aside, their vegan creations and raw cakes make that burger and chips combination seem so bland after all.  

Having taken the first step of ridding your fridge and pantry of all meat and dairy products, refined carbohydrates and sugar and processed foods (we know, the pantry must be pretty empty at this point…). We thought the next step would be to prepare you with some cold hard truths. Because it’s not going to be all raw caramel slices and rainbow bowls, no. When it comes to a plant based diet, it will take perseverance, planning and a little help from plant-based foodie and blogging sensation Jo.   

You see Jo Ross, aka Healthy Eating Jo. Having amassed more than 147,000 Instagram followers with her own plant-based journey, this recipe developer and social media sensation knows a thing or two about what going on a plant based diet really means. Here she shares the 5 cold hard truths of going cold turkey on your cold turkey.


1.Starting a plant-based diet may mean saying goodbye to some childhood, or family favourite recipes, or the weekend brunch you’ve ordered for years. But fortunately, it means new favorites can be created and enjoyed. There aren’t many foods, like pancakes, burgers, pizza, that can’t be replicated or replaced with something equally as delicious on the plant-based diet 

2. People will start asking you seemingly annoying questions like ‘Where will you get your protein’, or ‘what’s left to eat if you take away all those things?’. You can point them in the direction of all of the amazing everyday people, celebrities, and body-builders who survive just fine and even thrive on a plant based diet. 

3. Depending on how you ate previously, the fibre from a dramatic increase in fruit and vegetables, and lentils and beans can lead to stomach pain, bloating and gas initially. Plus you often have to eat a lot more whole foods to feel satisfied. Your body just needs a couple of weeks to adjust. So make sure you chew your food thoroughly, and be prepared for extra bathroom breaks!  

4. If you’re a fan of eating out with family and friends, you may find it difficult in the beginning to find places to eat that meet your new plant-based eating goals and keep everyone else happy, which can sometimes cause friction. There are many local and international cuisines that will happily meet your needs, and most restaurants will make swaps, or you might just order a few entrees instead. Get creative, and surround yourself with supportive people. 

5. After years of eating highly processed and chemically enhanced foods, your taste buds may have forgotten what real food tastes like, and you may find some food a little bland. Being amazing, your body and palette quickly adjusts and your tastes will change. Flavour your food with herbs and spices, and cut back on sugar-laden sauces. Make your own from scratch, and you’ll soon be craving the foods you may have once disliked. There’s a whole world of delicious recipes out there to try.    

All photos couresty of Jo Ross.