How can you complete the healthy cooking task at hand if you don't have the right tools? The right ingredients? The right mindset?
It would be like packing a suitcase to go on vacation to Alaska, only to realize you actually packed for Hawaii - it would be pretty hard to be comfortable and ready for adventure, right? The same idea applies when you think about getting into your kitchen to create the delicious meals that are soon to be part of your plant-based lifestyle.
Stocking a plant-based pantry is super easy - I promise. You just need to make the switch. Easier said than done sometimes. I know, I've been there. But when I transitioned to a plant-based diet over 5 years ago, I made sure to hold tight onto my WHY.
The fuel of my vegan fire kept me showing up in my kitchen to experiment with what worked. What felt good to practice. What tasted good to eat. And what worked for my budget.
Here's what I've learned about stocking a plant-based pantry: 1. Must have the right ingredients on hand (pretty obvious right?)
2. Must know what to do with them (that's what I'm here for)
3. Must have the right mindset - a can-do attitude, open to failure, willing to celebrate success, growing sense of kitchen confidence (I'm also here for this!)
So let's unpack these a bit shall we?
1. INGREDIENTS - it starts here. Make sure you jump on my email list to get this free download. It's my essential guide for what I keep on hand. It is totally not intended to be an end all be all "I'm your guru" kind of list. YOU are your diet guru - I'm here to help you connect to your plant-based intuition. So if you see something on the list that doesn't work for you, don't buy it! Or maybe I missed something - nutritional science is always changing - so feel free to expand on my list.
All that I ask is that you don't swap "healthy" junk food for "junky" junk food. Just because you're "going vegan" doesn't mean that you can buy and enjoy everything with a vegan label.....
2. COOKING - this was my favorite thing to explore, but I realize that most people do not have over a decade of varied food service experience, nor the confidence to "wing it," or the skill to troubleshoot their way through cooking a meal. I've developed a really simple, easy to follow series of instructional cooking videos that are designed to meet you in your kitchen so we can walk toward your definition of plant-based success together. I call it "Plant-Based Fundamentals" and it is the foundation of what you can expect to practice in the day-to-day of plant-based living.
And guess what? It's not recipe based. Yes, you read that right. No recipes. Not really, anyway. A framework style structure is provided, so there is some instruction to meet you where you are, but most of the 21 modules are so straightforward that you don't really need to follow a recipe per se. You'll learn the methodology behind a particular cooking style (i.e. stir fry or one pot pasta) so that you can access the magic no matter what you have on hand.
Don't worry - there are videos that provide more measurement than others, so you'll be able to follow along as I make a Spinach Artichoke One Pot Pasta. The reason I've done this is simple - cooking is a practice. So get in the kitchen, get comfy, and start breaking the rules. Start tasting as you go, and CREATIVE. Learn what flavors you love, and what ingredients you don't love (yet!).
I promise you - it's the most fun and the most LIBERATING to cook outside the lines. Your body, your palate, and your wallet will thank you. No more wasting food because it went bad before you could use it :)
Learn more about the course at laurendagostino.com/fundamentals
3. MINDSET - I know this approach is a little extraordinary, so it will take the right attitude and mindset to begin to cook, and transition your lifestyle, in this way. With an open mind, you can access the most profound wisdom from the plants we love to enjoy on a plant-based diet.
Wisdom that will uncover your intuitive food guidance as you strip away the processed and low-vibe foods that mess with your mind and your gut - SPOILER: they're basically the same. The foods you feed your body inform your mind to "crave" more of them, to keep the bacteria alive (good or bad). Your mindset will start to really embrace more plants once you actually start eating more OF them. And once you notice how phenomenal you feel, that will be all the motivation and will power you need. Talk about a sustainable way to prioritize and enjoy healthy food!
It can be pretty difficult to really get excited about eating a plant-based diet if you aren't really practicing it! But when you do, OH BABY!! You will be delighted by the most remarkable things that Mother Nature provides. It will literally change your mind about food, and I can almost guarantee that it will make you a happier person. At least it did for me. I feel like Chef Lauren 2.0!!
If you're nodding along in understand or craving a conversation with me, let's chat! Or maybe you're not sure and have TONS of questions? Use the link above or head over to my calendar at calendly.com/cheflauren and select the "How to go plant-based" discovery call so we can start a conversation!