The vegetarian lifestyle is one that’s known to be healthy and life changing. Whether you’re interested in this way of eating for moral reasons or purely for the health benefits, it can be slightly intimidating.
However, once you get into a routine, it’s really not that difficult to accomplish. If you’re interested in becoming a vegetarian, or maybe you’re just curious about the process, take a look at these ten helpful steps below!
1. Track Your Intake
If you’re concerned about getting all of your needed vitamins and nutrients as a vegetarian, don’t fret! With apps all over the place these days, it’s easy enough to download one that can track your nutritional intake. By doing so, you can see which areas you are lacking in and how you can achieve the appropriate amount on a daily basis. It’s not extremely difficult to get your needed nutrients as a vegetarian, but tracking can help to boost your confidence.
2. Have Good Reasons
If you’re just becoming a vegetarian for the fun of it, it’s doubtful that your trek into forgoing meat will last. Whether you’re doing so for moral reasons or for the health benefits, it’s important to truly believe in yourself and your reasons for making the change. Again, if you don’t have a strong enough conviction for heading down this path, it won’t last long.
3. Find Reading Material
If you don’t know much about the vegetarian lifestyle, it’s very helpful to go to your local library or bookstore before making your decision towards becoming a vegetarian. By reading up on the health benefits and habits of vegetarians, you’ll probably feel a lot better about your decision. And, with more information, you’ll be more successful in making the change!
4. Invest in New Recipe Books
While many non-vegetarian recipes can be adapted for this lifestyle, sometimes it’s best to find a recipe book or website that is dedicated to people who don’t eat meat. There are many things that you would never think to eat as a meat eater, and many vegetarians have tricks up their sleeves when it comes to substitutions that are equally as satisfying. Try to get yourself into a routine of trying one new recipe a week – you’ll be sure to find some keepers!
5. Transition Gradually
Eating meat on a regular basis to cutting it out of your diet completely is quite the change. For some, a gradual transition is the best way to go. You could opt for a few meatless meals a week first, or maybe you’d like to try cutting out red meat before chicken and fish. By taking it in steps, the process of becoming a vegetarian will be easier and probably more successful.
See Also: How to Save on Grocery Shopping
6. Continue to Avoid Junk Food
As a vegetarian, you can eat in a very healthy manner, or you can eat even worse than you did before. While you can’t eat meat, you can still eat french fries, ice cream, candy bars, and lots of bad-for-you treats in between. When you make the transition, keep an eye on the snacking and junk food consumption that is going on.
7. Indulge in Ethnic Foods
Sometimes eating out can be rather hard as a vegetarian; most dishes have meat in them, and you don’t want to be the person who’s picky about where the group goes. This is where ethnic restaurants come in! Asian, Mexican, and Indian restaurants are generally very vegetarian friendly; most of their entrees can be made without meat or by using substitutes. Better yet, basically everyone enjoys these types of foods – vegetarian or not.
8. Eat Your Favorite Meals
While things may not be exactly the same as a vegetarian, you don’t have to miss out on all of the foods that you loved to eat before going meatless. You just have to be creative and come up with fun alternatives. You used to love burritos? Try making them with just beans or else purchase some vegetarian “beef” crumbles. Miss chicken nuggets? Try finding an alternative using tofu! It might not be the same, but it’s usually enough to satisfy any cravings you may come across.
9. Explore Different Grocers
Sometimes eating vegetarian can be overwhelming when you’re wandering through the grocery store and see nothing that you can eat. Maybe you’re looking at the wrong stores! Places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods often have a wider variety of options for those who don’t eat meat. By checking out new foods, you can find some staples to your new diet.
10. You Don’t Need to Cook Two Meals
If you want to become a vegetarian but the rest of the household wants to eat meat still, what do you do? Simple! When preparing a meal, such as stir fry, simply cook all of the veggies in one pot and then have a separate dish for cooking the meat. This can be done with many different meals – even something as simple as veggie burgers vs. beef burgers. Take the time to plan out your meals, and it will be a whole lot easier.
Now that we’ve given you some tips on becoming a vegetarian, hopefully the change seems a little easier. It’s certainly a big thing to do with your life, but the benefits can be overwhelming. Remember, as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons for you, vegetarianism can work for anyone!
Have you thought about becoming a vegetarian? What kind of recipes without meat do you enjoy?