3 Tips for Transitioning to a Plant-based Diet

Are you trying to shift your diet from artificial to plant-based foods? Have you been unsuccessful at fully bridging the gap between junk food and produce because of sensations you’re experiencing that are holding you back? In this post, I offer 3 Tips for Transitioning to a Plant-based Diet which are useful when going through this period.

Plant-based Nutrition Tips - by Aria ZonerAria Zoner – snacking Flax crackers with avo, sun-dried tomatoes & pistachios

2017 – Health Hacks with Aria Zoner

– August –

3 Tips for Transitioning to a Plant-based Diet


1. Expect Taste Overwhelm:

One of the initial complaints of plant-based foods vs artificial ones is oftentimes the taste. But not for there being a lack of it, for there being too much. It’s important to understand that the sting you taste in foods like garlic, the zest you experience in foods like citrus, and the bitterness that makes you cringe in foods like kale ARE the antioxidants, nutrients, and essential oils reacting with your taste buds.

That sting IS the antioxidant. That zest IS the vitamin C. And that bitterness IS the anti-cancerous compounds. Once you taste plant-based foods for what they are you’ll have a much easier time understanding their nature and incorporating them into your meals.

2. Expect Cleansing:

Sorry but, you gotta get the old stuff out somehow!

When my brother was first transitioning to a plant-based diet he began losing weight. He was excited about this part but said to me in concern regarding his movements: “Dude, I’ve been taking the worst dumps lately.” I quickly replied: “How do you think you’ve been losing all that weight!” The next day when I saw him again he said “Man, I took the best dump ever this morning!”

Since making the switch, at 52, he’s lost 50lbs and can now walk without excessive pain in his knees; which he had been experiencing for the previous 10 years.

With his new found freedom of mobility, he also started slacklining!

Slacking at 52 - by Aria ZonerMy brother, slacklining for the first time, at 52!

In any case, toxic salts and rancid oils are commonly found in heavily processed foods. But once these things have been given time to be removed by the body (or better yet are no longer being reintroduced into the body) and a flushing of new mineral-rich and nutrient-dense foods has taken place, the more unpleasant forms of movements should fade away and an improved feeling of mobility and overall lightness of the body should settle in, in its place. This is the light at the end of the tunnel, or so you may think.

3. Expect Temptations:

With improved health comes a longer life, and during that longer life you’re going to be faced with a lot of temptations. But in my opinion, the worst thing that you can eat – healthwise – is not artificial foods or the thing you may be tempted by, it’s the guilt that lingers afterwards.

Achieving your greatest health potential takes more than just eating healthy food, it takes having a healthy relationship with your food.

Below here I’ve included a mantra that I use for monitoring my daily food choices. This is what I call a well-balanced diet. I use this to determine my food choices rather the circumstances are within my control or outside of them.

The Well-balanced Diet - Aria Zoner

In Summary:

As with starting anything new, there’s going to be some learning involved in transitioning from artificial to plant-based foods. But if you can manage to:

1. See the taste of food for what it is – nutrition.

2. Get past the initial detoxifying stage of getting-off artificial foods.

3. Begin to develop a diet that’s uniquely yours.

…then, I feel confident that you’ll keep going forward on this path and achieve great things with it.


Expect to Sleep Well:

On a plant-based diet, not only will you be eating in good conscious knowing that you’re eating healthy for yourself, but you’ll also know that your consumer dollars are going towards supporting a healthier habitat for all of us to play and explore in.

What kind of Plants do you eat - by Aria Zoner

*During 2017, I’m releasing 3 new Health Hacks each month here at The Trek. To catch up on the year so far, check out my author page – Aria Zoner

For additional tips on wellness, nutrition & long-distance hiking, visit Whole Food Hiker.

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Comments 4

  • Ruth morley : Dec 29th

    Your info and insights are so helpful. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. I live a very healthy life and feel that my diet has evolved to a very good level, but I still have lots to learn. Keep it coming!

    • Aria Zoner : Dec 31st

      Like the trail, nutrition is not a destination, it’s the pathway to the destination.

  • TicTac : Dec 29th

    I understand you are a zealot for organic vegan or vegetarian food, but what the hell do you mean in the very first sentence of your post? You say people transition to plant based foods from artificial based foods??? What exactly do you consider artificial food sources? Do you mean cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, sheep and goats? You may consider them artificial but I am sure the people who make a living by raising them for market do not consider them artificial, and I doubt you would persist in your belief that they are artificial if a 1,000 pound bull trampled you.
    Slack off a little on the proselytizing please. Not everyone wants or needs to be a zealot – or a vegan, and a vast majority of the successful thru-hikers on all three major trails in the US are not vegan but are/were perfectly happy with their animal based diet.

  • Aria Zoner : Dec 31st

    I’m not vegan or against animals. By artificial – in the case of animals – I would watch out for synthetic antibiotics and growth hormones. Animals don’t need these things unless the conditions they’re being raised in demands it. Chik’n from KFC is an artificially made meat product, a wild game bird or organically raised animal is not. It works the same for cheese too, like raw dairy vs Cheese Whiz (syrups, colorings, acids, etc.).

    Whole Food is not about veganism, or being an ism at all. It’s the opposite of that. It’s following your own judgement (not a ‘diet’), buying food that has good karma behind it (not just cheap calories), and taking into consideration the worker’s environment of where the ingredients that are used to create the food come from; regardless if it’s whole, vegan, meat, or artificial.

    Personally, I’m about 90% plant, 5% animal products (mostly from the bee though), and 5% whatever I want/experiments/special occasions.

    It’s Whole Food Hiker, not raw vegan Nazi!

    Happy New Year and thanks for your input!


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