Many people choose to go vegan or vegetarian for health, environmental, or moral reasons. Whatever reason you go with, there are many ways you can be successful. If you find yourself struggling to cut down on the meat in your diet or you just don’t know where to start, then here are some helpful tips to assist you with this lifestyle transition.
1. Make Smoothies and Juices
Smoothies and juices are a wonderful way to combine many fruits and vegetables into one meal. While many store-bought varieties tend to have a high amount of added sugar, if you make them at home, you can control their contents. If you need some ideas for blender recipes, then you may want to consider checking out a website such as blender authority.
2. Ensure You’re Getting Enough Protein
Many people who try to limit the meat in their diet end up feeling hungry because they do not consume enough protein. However, there are a plethora of avenues through which you can get the recommended amount of protein that do not involve meat. Quinoa, lentils, and almonds are just a few examples. Consult vegan and vegetarian recipe books for more ideas.
3. Modify your Favorite Dishes
Just because you are no longer eating meat doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the foods that you have always loved. Many popular dishes from pizza to pasta to chili can easily be converted to vegetarian dishes. Even grandma’s goulash dish can be modified into an authentic vegan goulash recipe by experimenting and replacing ingredients. You don’t have to sit out of the next big cookout either. Nowadays, there are plenty of meat substitutes that will still allow you to chow down on a juicy burger with your friends while still sticking to your choices. In case you were wondering, black bean burgers are delicious.
4. Vary the Colors of the Fruits and Veggies you Eat
A common phrase that can help you get all the necessary nutrients is “eat the rainbow”. Consider eating fruits and vegetables of a variety of colors so that you aren’t missing out on any vitamins and minerals. This tactic is also smart so that you don’t become bored with your diet and crave meat once more.
5. Transition Gradually
Sometimes trying to quit cold turkey (no pun intended) can be challenging. If you think you may struggle trying to go vegetarian, then you may want to consider first just cutting out red meat. This type of meat is the unhealthiest for you, so it is a good group with which to start. Once you are used to not consuming red meat, then you can try to limit your poultry and fish intake. Over time you will be a vegetarian who forgot that they ever even liked meat.
Taking this challenge on in steps helps many people to adjust to their new lifestyle slowly. This method allows people to make changes that they can sustain. Otherwise, some people would try to make a major shift in diet overnight and ultimately fail.
Remember that just because you are cutting some things out of your diet, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy eating. Even with restrictions, you can still eat things that make you feel happy and fulfilled. Explore your neighborhood for fun vegan and vegetarian restaurants. These establishments are popping up everywhere, so it is likely you will find something you enjoy.
Vegetarianism and veganism are certainly becoming more popular, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are becoming much easier. Committing to either of these lifestyles can be demanding, but most people ultimately think it is well worth the challenge and the sacrifice. Many people like to think of it as a commitment to their health, the well-being of animals, or the survival of the planet.
Fallon Chan is a food and lifestyle photographer and blogger.