So you have decided to adopt a vegetarian diet, but how do you start? Use this information to help you begin to follow a vegetarian diet. Already a vegetarian? Use these tips to learn new ways to follow your diet and tips for continued success.
One of the first things you need to do when becoming a vegetarian is to decide what animal products you will be eliminating. Are you eliminating all animal products including any animal derived products? Are you just cutting out meat, poultry, and seafood? Will you be consuming eggs? How about dairy? Once you decide that, use these tips to help you get started.
To ensure you are getting enough nutrients, protein, fiber, and other essentials in your diet consider using the following diagram to help plan balanced meals. Including whole grains, legumes, dairy, and vegetables/fruits at each meal will help you to do this without intensive meal or menu planning.
One of the best ways to start any diet is to begin by finding new recipes. Try to cook one new vegetarian recipe each week and you will begin to learn delicious combinations, ideas, and ways to eat vegetarian meals.
At the beginning it can be difficult to give up meat. To make the transition easier, consider trying vegetarian versions of meat products. There are delicious vegetarian crumbles that can be used in place of ground meat, vegetarian chick’n products to replace chicken, and lots of other delicious vegetarian, meatless products that can be found in the freezer and refrigerated sections.
In addition to trying vegetarian meat replacement products, try other new proteins. Give tofu, seitan, or tempeh a try. You can also replace proteins with things like lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, and dairy. Simply adding a poached or fried egg to a bowl or veggies and whole grains can make a delicious meal.
Today there are an abundance of vegetarian restaurants with delicious choices. Try some in your area to not only experience delicious vegetarian food but also to get ideas.
Like any diet, it is always helpful to have a few go-to recipes that you can turn to. An easy meal with a ton of options is to make veggie bowls with a whole grain (brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, couscous), topped with quickly sautéed or steamed veggies, a protein source (nuts, eggs, tofu, tempeh, cheese), and a drizzle of vinegar, hot sauce, olive oil, yogurt, or dressing. You can also always turn to veggie burgers, bean based wraps or burritos, and whole wheat pasta with veggies.