How to Get in the Groove of Eating Plant Based

One of the questions I have been asked frequently from friends and readers is how I kept and still keep my focus to stick to making all the changes needed to my diet and life to get me to the point of succeeding?

Wanting to be as healthy as I could was the driving factor, but after this there were a few more things I did to set up for success.

When I first started out on my whole food plant based journey, I broke down what I needed to do if I wanted to succeed into what I call my “components to success”.

  1. LEARN: How to prepare and eat food in new ways that were not familiar to me – Hello tofu. :-)
  2. DO: Plan and set aside time to prepare food from scratch and in bulk that I could freeze that would make the plan easier in the long run.
  3. ENJOY: Find ways not to get overwhelmed and instead find ways to bring happiness and energy into my kitchen.

Here are a few of things that made a difference for me in getting into the groove of living a whole food plant-based, no oil life.

The Education Component

As I mentioned in my post about my success on my plant based journey, I started to educate myself on all things whole food plant-based (WFPB) by getting books out of my local library, watching YouTube videos, finding recipes from whole food, plant-based bloggers and buying a few recipe books to change the way I prepared and ate food.

I immersed myself in learning as if I was getting a college degree.

The Visual Component

Veggies being chopped on a wood cutting board on center island of kitchen. Salad bowl and ipad nearby.

I didn’t get caught up with buying expensive cooking implements or a kitchen full of fancy gadgets. I did however want to feel like what I was eating was being served to me as it would at a trendy and hip bistro, so I bought a few trendy new bowl style plates and a very sharp chef’s knife to make chopping easier.

At dinner, I always set the table and light or turn on one of my battery-operated flicker candles.

The Happy Component When 5:00 Rolls Around

I like my house to not only look and feel good, but when it sounds good, that is the icing on the tofu that puts me in the best mood.

Outdoor alfresco meals

If you have a Spotify account, there are literally thousands of playlists you can follow that will help energize you come 5:00 when it is time to prepare dinner or anytime you are batch prepping food that makes food prep and cooking feel like a fun event instead of a chore.

When I first started looking for music that I liked, I would browse through shared playlists on Spotify and “like” songs in the playlists. Then I would go to my “Like list” and create my own playlists and name them by the energy they have. Some are more upbeat than others, but I love every song.

I like that you can keep adding and editing any playlist to fine tune them. Once Spotify sees what you like, it will list recommendations. This is my favorite feature as you will stumble upon songs you once loved and haven’t heard in years or have forgotten.

In the Spotify search bar, I put in the terms – kitchen, bistro and dinner to find new playlists. I always am on the search for music that will make me feel like I am dining at a chic corner bistro. Having a glass of wine or ice water with a squeeze of lemon also helps get me in the groove.

Playlists That Got Me Started

Here are a few playlists made by others that I found that got me started, but I highly recommend you make your own playlists.

I can’t recommend adding a music component for when you spend time in the kitchen enough. It is the one thing that has made changing and sticking to my diet truly a fun process.

If you are not familiar with Spotify or Pandora, you can add the sites on your computer or the apps on your phone.

Creating music playlists can be such a personal thing, but when you create happy inducing tunes to fill your kitchen with good vibes it can really turn your time in the kitchen into your happy time.

One more positive thing about making kitchen music playlists is that you may start dancing to the music as you stir a pot of beans or are making a casserole, so be prepared to burn some calories while you cook. :-)

Extra bonus…. Your spouse and/or family may even come to help you… both dancing and preparing the food.

My Happy Vibes Kitchen Music Playlist

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  1. Any playlist with the Monkees is one for me! Thank you for sharing your list. Music makes work and play more enjoyable.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Marti – All the Monkees music makes me smile. It is all so happy and up-lifting. :-) Happy to hear that you like it too.

  2. Love your posts about WFPB. I look forward to your weekly posts when you share recipes you have enjoyed. I tried the “crab cakes “ and loved them. You have inspired me to eat healthy and after two weeks I feel much better. Thank you , Joann

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Joann – So happy to hear that I inspired you to eat healthy. Isn’t it an amazing how well you feel after only two weeks? :-) I still can’t believe just how great I feel and how much energy I have. I am seriously considering becoming plant-based nutrition certified so I can write about it with more knowledge.

      1. Diane, you are already a wonderful WFPB coach- I’m excited to see you get certified!

  3. Michele Hao says:

    Diane, how nice to have your granddaughter visit. You’re going to miss her when she moves west.

    One of my favorite things about technology is now I can listen to all my favorite tunes so easily. I tend to listen to the 70s, 80s and 90s.

    I can’t get over how slim and healthy you look especially in the picture of you in jeans posing at the lake. Congratulations. I need to start eating healthier. Your food looks yummy.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Michele – Thank you. :-) It is a great feeling to not only feel my best, but also my lowest weight ever in my adult life. :-) I only wish I had eaten plant based much earlier in my life. Once I got the hang of eating WFPB, it has become so natural for me and my food tastes. The hardest part is going out to eat – I haven’t done this much with the pandemic, but do know what to look for on menus now and always carry a small container of my oil-free salad dressing for when we go out to eat.

  4. I have Pandora as a gift from my son-in-law, and I have “collected “ albums on it to play whenever I wish. I also have a collection on a playlist, also available to play at a whim. It is not just a radio service.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Missy – This is good to know about Pandora. I didn’t know that. Thanks for telling me, I will update the post. I also heard yesterday on Sirius in my husband’s car that Pandora and Sirius are one. I love any of these streaming services and am so happy that we can easily have the exact music we want with the press of a few buttons. :-)

  5. I really look forward to reading your FR comments/tips about your journey with the WFPB lifestyle. Please don’t stop these posts!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – As long as there is interest, I will keep posting. :-) Thanks for reading.

  6. Diane, do you subscribe to Premium Spotify or do you do the free version?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kathy – I used to only use the free version to stream on my TV and computer, but I found I was using it more and more and decided to pay for the Premium. I like that there are no ads and I can control the list order.

  7. I really enjoyed last weeks recipe. I ate it for dinner two nights this week and my husband enjoyed it too. I am addicted to the no crab cakes. They are so good and I can’t get enough of them. Thanks again for your wonderful recipes.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – :-) I am so happy to hear that you and your husband are enjoying the recipe. I will keep posting recipes that I find taste great. So many I have tried are bland or mushy.