Since the rise of vegan food awareness in late 2018, it has become common to hear the term ‘plant-based diet’ sprinkled around.

For those who do not know: a plant-based diet refers to a diet which focuses primarily on plant foods. These include the obvious fruits and vegetables, along with nuts, plant oils, legumes, beans and whole grains. In 2025, the consumption of plant-based proteins is projected to double from 8 million tonnes this year to 16.3 million tonnes.

Vegan Dish created by Green Common chef team - The New Hakata Ramen

Plant-based Diet equals to Veganism?

However, adopting a plant-based diet is not the same as becoming vegan. According to The Vegan Society, Veganism is a holistic lifestyle that excludes animal food and animal-derived materials as much and practical as possible from daily life. While Plant-based Diet is mostly related to food and entails a food being made entirely out of plants, it does not necessarily be vegan since animal testing or other animal-related practice may still be involved.

Both approaches would significantly reduce the consumption of natural resources, avoid the use of antibiotics, save an invaluable amount of lives, and hence making a positive impact on the environment and health scene. Adopting veganism would need to overcome more restriction in daily life, so practically plant-based diet is more accessible to modern city dwellers.

Transitioning into a plant-based diet

When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, it is important to equally prioritise fitness and exercise along with food consumption. Research shows that individuals who have adopted a plant-based diet have reported a lower body mass index (BMI) value which can result in lower rates of obesity, diabetes and a variety of heart diseases. This high-fibre, high-water diet promotes a positive eating pattern which makes your gut very happy.

Here are five simple steps to take for those wanting to transition into this diet or experiment with it.

1. Set Realistic Goals – Take One Step at A Time
Contrary to popular belief, adopting a new diet is a major lifestyle change. Changing eating habits developed over a lifetime cannot happen overnight. Health practitioners suggest adopting a few plant-centric meals during the week and replacing starchy foods with lentils on the plate. Such a gradual transition helps form a habit and allows the body to adjust progressively to a new diet. Once these changes come naturally, a higher proportion of meat can be replaced with vegetables in order to ease into a veggie-friendly life. Lifestyle Youtubers and influencers such as Joanna Soh or East meets Kitchen are pages with easy and healthy recipes to follow.
2. Schedule Prep Time – Plan Ahead
In an interview with the South China Morning Post, champion fencer Vivian Kong Man-wai says planning ahead is a vital step for those transitioning to a new diet, saving both time and energy. Vivian likes to ensure she has a healthy snack selection of nuts and fruit during her busy training days. Meal prepping gained popularity for its cost-effectiveness and sheer efficiency. You can plan a meal meals for up to a week, prepare them and box them in one session making them easy to pick out and reheat at mealtimes.
3. Try ‘Meatless Mondays’
OmniPork X Tsui Wah

David Yeung, founder and CEO of Green Monday, is an advocate of the concept of ‘Meatless Mondays’. Why not replace meat with an innovative product such as The Beyond Burger which Yeung’s team has introduced in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Hotel chains such as JW Marriot have also joined the meat-alternatives space, serving OmniPork as an option across their world-class menus. Meanwhile, the entire outlet of BaFang Yunji in Taiwan has launched plant-based dumplings in collaboration with OmniPork.

David Yeung, Founder and CEO of Green Monday
Singapore is also getting in on the Meatless Monday action with hospital Khoo Teck Puat promoting meat-free initiatives. And Darrel Chang president of Yale-NUS college has welcomed this programme campus-wide. For fancy treats, Grand Hyatt Singapore has a varied selection of meat-alternative delights and even the new Jewel Changi Airport complex is home to outlets flush with vegan- and plant-based options.
4. Make It A Social Activity – Find Support

November was World Vegan Month, and many businesses around the region took part by adopting a special menu. One such group was Singapore’s Grand Hyatt, which featured forums about veganism and plant-based diets.

Another way to promote this trend among the workforce is to take a cooking class with colleagues. In Thailand, the famous May Kaidee cooking school promotes vegetarian Thai dishes and desserts. It has become world famous, drawing students from more than 50 countries. With many businesses adopting more plant-based options on their menus or hosting special cooking classes, it is becoming increasingly easy for people to come together to enjoy healthy, green meals.

5. Better Alternatives – Stick to Fresh
A plant-based diet does not just mean ordering a takeout salad or heating up a can of veggie soup during your lunch break. It should include assessing everything that is in your diet. Purchasing food with fresh produce should not be too difficult in South Asia where food markets are just as common as convenience stores or supermarkets. They are also a cheaper alternative to shopping at supermarkets where produce is often covered in copious amounts of plastic packaging. Furthermore, wole foods contain essential nutrients that won’t be found in processed meals.
OmniPork X Fairwood
With World Vegan month having come to an end, it is now time to gear up for Veganuary – where we start the new year on a plant-based diet after the holiday feast. Make it your New Year’s resolution to decrease the meat and replace it with a beet(root)!

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