Follow this simple advice to make the switch!
Going vegetarian or vegan is an excellent way to improve your eating and diet habits. After all, by eliminating all processed and artificial food, you promote a healthier internal balance—not to mention better weight control. Yes, you will have to find plant-based proteins to supplement animal proteins, but it’s not as hard as you’d think!
If you’re thinking of making the chance, here are a few tips to help you figure out the easy way to go vegan or vegetarian:
- Learn to cook – Most people who cringe at the thought of vegan/vegetarian fare simply don’t know how to make delicious vegan/vegetarian food. You have no idea how tasty a meat-free, all-natural meal can be until you’ve tried it. To make the transition easier, take cooking classes and learn from vegan/vegetarian chefs to learn the right way to prepare delicious meals.
- Educate yourself – Don’t think of going vegan/vegetarian as a “new diet” or a “fad”. Instead, understand what makes being a vegan/vegetarian beneficial to you, and the reasons why you should consider it. Study up on the vegan/vegetarian culture, the health benefits of a plant-based diet, and what you can and can’t eat on your diet. The more you know, the easier it will be to make informed eating choices.
- Get creative – Just like there are thousands of ways to cook a steak, chicken, or egg, so too there are thousands of ways to prepare broccoli, mushrooms, or lentils. There are so many delightful vegan/vegetarian recipes out there; you just have to look! Spend time searching the internet for new recipes, and get creative with your cooking, and if you can’t get creative, have someone else get creative for you. You can even order semi-prepared boxed veggie meals now.
READ MORE: Vegan Leather: Unhealthier Than You Think
- Veganize your meals – Instead of overhauling your menu, why not try to find ways to make your current favorite meals vegan/vegetarian? For example, if you’re a burger guy, why not try vegan burgers made from black beans, texturized soy, or a whole Portobello mushroom? If you can’t get enough of pizza, try making your own pizza using vegan/vegetarian ingredients. You can turn pretty much any meal into a vegan/vegetarian feast. You have to get creative with it, but you’ll still be able to enjoy all of your favorite flavors using only plant-based ingredients.
- Remember the “why” – Why are you making the transition to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle? Is it for health reasons, so you can lose weight, or to protect the planet? Whatever the reason you’re doing it, you have to keep that “why” firmly fixed in your mind. The first few weeks of the new eating habits and lifestyle require some adjustment. Knowing why you’re making the adjustment will help you to endure even when things get tough.
- Find inspiration – You’re not the first person to go vegan/vegetarian, and you won’t be the last! Join communities, forums, Facebook groups, Twitter clubs, and websites where you can interact with your fellows. Get help and support, swap recipes, ask and answer questions, and participate in the vegan/vegetarian community. Interacting with like-minded people will make the transition a whole lot easier.
- Don’t deprive yourself – The last thing you want to do is deprive your body of nutrients. If you feel like you’re hungry or not eating enough, you’ll make the change harder than it has to be. Have vegan/vegetarian snacks and treats handy, and enjoy them throughout the day. Even if you put on a bit of weight, at least you can enjoy the transition. You have a lifetime of healthy eating ahead of you. What matters is that you feel good as you make the switch to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle.