You hear it all the time - when trying to change diet or lifestyle habits, it really helps to replace what's being left behind with something new. From a vegan standpoint, that would mean finding new substitutes for all the animal foods you're cutting out of your diet. It's not as hard as you might think. There are plenty of good vegan alternatives to things like cheese, milk, and meat. The trick is to do it in a way that's healthier than your former omnivorous diet. It's certainly possible to be a junk food vegan, and to gulp down all sorts of health-compromising fats, sugars, additives, and chemicals. Just because something is vegan doesn't automatically mean it's good for you. But still, you're better off ditching the meat and dairy, no matter what you replace them with, especially in the beginning.
Processed foods are the bad guys here, but I know it's hard to always eat whole plant foods, cooked at home. I'm writing a small and simple book to help make that easier, but for now I'll offer just one new habit that can really make a difference in your healthy diet. Rather than obsessing over what you want out of your diet, add more of what you want in it.
I'm always saying, "Eat your greens," and that's just what I'm talking about here. Eat your greens, and eat lots of them. Eat salads, drink green smoothies, and add greens to almost every dish you cook. If you eat the good stuff first, it will begin to displace the bad stuff, meaning you'll eat less and less of it. You'll also find that the more whole, good food you eat, the less you like the processed foods. Your body knows what it wants and needs, and when we listen, it's happy to tell us about it.
That's it. One New Habit for 2013. It's an easy one, and it can snowball into big life changes. Eat your greens, my friends. Simply eat your greens. Then if you still want Oreos and Fritos, go ahead, but I bet it won't be long before the greens nudge them aside, and right out of the picture.