Becoming a vegetarian is very important and it’s a wonderful and healthy lifestyle choice. You’ll be making some good choices when you learn to eat vegetarian foods and do all of this while being in good physical shape.
Becoming a vegetarian has changed a lot of people’s lives. Some even claim that it may help in reducing aging. Put simply, going vegan or vegetarian is a lifestyle choice that can have a big impact on your overall health. Even though embracing a vegan lifestyle puts you on dietary restrictions which aim for optimal health, there are a couple of things you need to consider before going down this path.
Things To Consider Before Becoming a Vegetarian:
1. Becoming A Vegetarian Doesn’t Mean You’re Healthy
Many people like to become vegetarian because they think that once they embrace this lifestyle choice, they’ll automatically become healthy. But in reality, becoming a vegetarian isn’t guaranteed to make you healthy.
While most vegetarians make healthy choices, there are some that eat junk foods that are labeled as vegan even though it’s bad for their diet. Not all junk foods which are labeled as vegan are automatically healthy. So, you need to watch out for these junk foods and be sure to check their Nutritional Facts before purchasing. It’s all about being smart with your choices on what you eat.
2. Be Prepared For Questions & Arguments
Another big possibility that’s going to happen once you become a vegan is that everyone around will keep asking you questions and often find yourself in arguments.
As soon as you become a vegan, be prepared to answer a lot of questions, disbeliefs, and exclamations from the people around you. This is because they don’t quite understand the concept of being a vegan or they might be confused as to why would you deprive yourself of delicious foods.
Also, if they make jokes about your lifestyle choice, don’t be easily offended. Just laugh it off. If their jokes start to bother you, explain to them carefully why you became a vegan.
3. Get Some Guidance
If you’re looking to become a vegan, you may have to talk with your doctor or dietitian first. Consulting a dietitian is important as he will help you go over a list of vegan foods that would provide you with the nutrients that your body needs.
You can also talk with your dietitians on how to overcome certain medical conditions such as iron deficiency anemia which you might be at risk of once you stop eating meat. You can also ask your dietitian if he or she can recommend you to take daily multivitamins or other supplements to help support your vegan diet.
4. Dining Out
Eating at a restaurant can be challenging for vegans. But you can usually find something that’s suitable for you on the menu. If not, you can always opt for a vegetable salad or an appetizer. You can also ask the restaurant to remove the meat.
Even fast-food diners also have something to offer for vegans such as burritos, bean tacos, soy cheese pizza, or veggie burgers.
5. Be Creative In The Kitchen
One of the biggest problems that vegans face, especially at the beginning, is that they don’t often know what to cook. This is because cooking meals that are based on meat or fish is kind of very easy. You simply cook a cut of meat and mix in some spices or vegetables and you’re done!
But when you decide to stop eating meat, you’ll need to be more creative once you’re in the kitchen. You have to know that there are plenty of options for you to cook as a vegan. There are so many quick and easy vegan recipes that even a kid can cook.
All you need is to educate yourself about these new recipes so you’ll know what to cook once you’re in the kitchen. The internet is full of information about vegetarian foods and recipes. You can even join online communities for vegans and ask for tips or advice from other vegetarians.
6. There’s A Possibility That You Might Cheat
Nobody is perfect. You can’t expect to suddenly stop eating meat just because you’ve decided to become a vegan.
Even though it’s a good goal to be health-wise, you can’t beat yourself because you failed to meet it. A lot of vegetarians get tempted by the meats they used to love so much when they were first starting to adopt a vegan diet.
You don’t have to stop being a vegan just because you slipped and ate a meat dish. Just chalk it up, learn to forgive yourself, and move on from it. Remember that becoming a vegan is a step-by-step process.
7. You Might Gain Weight
One of the reasons why people stop eating meat is because they want to lose some weight. Even though sticking to a vegan diet which includes beans, fruits, whole grains, and vegetables can help you lose weight, sometimes it’s not always the case.
Opting for a vegan diet that includes plenty of desserts or refined grains can increase your weight. And if you’re just eating a plant-based diet because your friends are doing it, you could end up feeling hungry and may try to satisfy yourself by eating a cookie or drinking a glass of wine after the meal.
If your aim of becoming a vegan is to lose some weight, then you have to make sure that you’re eating plenty of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits. You should also aim to eat balanced meals every time so you don’t end up feeling hungry after every meal.
One of the hardest things about being a vegetarian is finding the willpower to resist eating meat. Once you’ve decided to go completely vegetarian, you’ll have to decide which vegetables and fruits you’re going to eat. Fortunately, there are thousands of vegetable and fruit recipes that you can find online that will make it very easy for you to transition into a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Some of these recipes even provide a way to substitute meat products with vegetables to help you make the transition without having to dramatically change your eating habits.
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.