There are numerous reasons why people consider becoming vegetarian but many think it too hard to make the changes while others feel the whole issue is just too difficult to get their heads around. These simple steps towards how to become vegetarian will help you make the changes to your diet and eating philosophy.
How To Become Vegetarian Steps
Decide Why You Want To A Vegetarian
There are many reasons for going vegetarian; here are just a few:
- Religious or spiritual beliefs
- Health, freedom from disease
- Dietary concerns or allergies
- Environmental concerns
- Cruelty to animals issues
Without an adequate reason, you will find it hard to make the necessary changes to your diet to be vegetarian.
There are varying types of vegetarian diets and it is important to understand the philosophies behind each one. Do you want to go vegan? Do you want to still eat eggs and yogurt? These are questions best answered by doing the research and making your own decisions. There is a wealth of information available in libraries, bookshops and on the internet, so read up on becoming a vegetarian before you get started.
Make Gradual Changes To Your Diet
Many people find it easier to make a gradual transition to vegetarianism that just suddenly stopping eating meat. Start by preparing and eating one vegetarian dish a week. Look for interesting recipes with a variety of flavors and textures. Avoid making a bid deal out of serving up a vegetarian meal; let the family taste and enjoy it first. Continue with a regime of one meatless meal a week while you gather more recipes and information about becoming a vegetarian.
Gradually increase the number of days you eat meatless meals as you gain experience and confidence in cooking non-meat meals. Over a period of a few months, you will become a vegetarian almost without realizing it!
Another strategy that many new vegetarians use is to reverse the portions on their dinner plate. Most modern omnivores have meat as the feature of the meal with vegetables as side dishes. Reverse this by using the meat portion as the side dish and non-meat components of the meals as the feature. This allows you to gradually reduce and then eliminate meat from your diet.
Adapt Your Favorite Dishes
We all have favorite dishes which we love to cook and eat. Being creative, with a vegetarian slant, we can continue to cook these meals without meat. Simply substitute vegetarian options for the meat component of the dish. One of the simplest is using mushrooms; they have a meaty texture and go really well in many of the sauces that we traditionally use with meat.
Try TVP in your dishes. TVP stands for Textured Vegetable Protein and is available in canned and powder form. You use it much the same way as you would meat, so try it for meatballs, spaghetti sauce, casseroles and stews and burger patties. It is really one of those foods you need to try to realize its potential.
Change Your Shopping Habits
Becoming a vegetarian means a change to your regular shopping habits. There are lots of options available in supermarkets these days for vegetarians; you just need to seek them out. Learn to read labels to find what ingredients are in the food. Shop more in the natural foods section. Experiment with new and different fruits, grains and vegetables; experience more international cuisine as these are often vegetarian.
Nutrition And Vegetarianism
You might read that vegetarians don’t get enough protein in their diet. If you continue to eat eggs and dairy products, this won’t be a problem anyway, but the fact is that vegetarians are easily able to eat a balanced diet. Grains, fruit and vegetables contain all the vitamins and minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats that we need to be healthy and fit. Just make sure you eat a varied diet, including nuts and seeds, to get all the nutrients you need.
Follow these simple steps to becoming a vegetarian to make the transition a gradual and enjoyable experience.