Becoming a vegetarian is a big step, and it’s not always an easy one for people who are used to eating large quantities of meat. However, if you’re considering becoming a vegetarian, you can make the transition easier by being prepared and having some support along the way. As you make the transition to vegetarian eating, here are some tips to help you on your journey.
One mistake new vegetarians make is quitting cold turkey. Rather than eliminating all meat from your diet right away, take things at a slower pace and phase out meat. Cookvegetarian recipes a couple of nights a week to get used to consuming less meat. You may want to consider giving up one type of meat at a time. For example, eliminate all red meat from your diet while still eating chicken. Once you adjust to the change, plan to eliminate chicken, and so forth.
Another way to get used to a vegetarian lifestyle is to substitute meat in your favorite recipes for meatless options. Do you love eating pizza but want to eliminate pork? Try mushrooms on top of your pizza instead of pepperoni or eat a plain cheese pizza. Instead of a beef burger, opt for a bean or veggie burger. You can even try a plan-based burger, which many people enjoy because it still has the texture and flavor of traditional burgers.
If you want to follow a strict vegetarian diet, you will want to get used to being aware of the ingredients that go into foods. Many common foods are not vegetarian-friendly and we aren’t even aware of it. Some examples of food that are not vegetarian-friendly include jello, gummies, puddings, flavored chips, and even some cheeses. Some vegetarians aren’t as strict and only avoid eating meat, so it’s up to you how strict you want to be with your new diet.
While you transition to a vegetarian lifestyle, you’ll want to look for recipes you can follow that are still delicious and filling. Vegetarian food is quite delicious and there are many recipes available for a variety of tastes and interests. Flavoring is key to getting the savory taste you get with many meat dishes, so familiarize yourself with herbs and spices and use them liberally in your cooking.
Not everyone is supportive of a vegetarian lifestyle. In fact, you may find that some people have very strong opinions about other people’s diets. However, it is nobody’s business but your own why you choose not to eat meat. On days when you find yourself facing backlash or comments about your diet, keep a positive outlook. Being a vegetarian is great for your health and the environment. If it makes you feel good, you don’t owe any explanations for your choices. Find a supportive community of like-minded individuals to keep you on track and help you see the positives of your new diet.
While making dietary changes is never easy, if you’re committed to your new lifestyle you’ll succeed with a little work and a lot of support. Remember that nothing happens overnight and it’s okay to give yourself time to adjust to a vegetarian lifestyle.