10 Steps to Going Vegetarian
- Start by cutting out of your diet your least favorite meat, the one you could most easily do without. Simply resolve to leave it out of your diet.
- When you're ready, cut out your second favorite meat. Don't rush yourself, just do it gradually.
- Now, begin to cut down of the number of meals you eat that contain meat. For instance, if you've gotten to the point where the only meats you're eating are seafood and chicken, then try making your favorite shrimp kabobs without the shrimp and your chicken stir-fry without the chicken once in a while.
- Experiment with food you've never tried before - exotic vegetables, tropical fruits, different pastas and sauces, wild mushrooms, etc.
- Stop thinking of meat as the main dish and everything else as sides. Turn your favorite side dishes into the main course.
- Find replacements for the tastes and textures of meat to which you're accustomed. Some great alternatives are:
- mushrooms: easily replaces beef in spaghetti sauces
- rice: prepared with taco seasonings, it works well in tacos
- TVP: (textured vegetable protein). Ask anyone at your nearest health food store, they'll show you where it is. It looks a little like granola, but reconstitute it with water and it's a close match for ground beef. It's perfect for chili, burgers, tacos, "meat"balls, etc. It makes great "chicken" noodle soup, too!
- Make sure you are replacing meat with healthy foods, not junk foods. Dropping meat from you diet should cause your energy level to rise, not drop. If you're eating candy bars and potato chips for dinner, you'll have trouble feeling the beneficial effects of a vegetarian diet.
- Get your meat consumption down to just 2 to 3 meals per week. Allow yourself time to break the habit of thinking that meat belongs in every meal every day.
- Read, read, read. Read all the information you can find about vegetarianism - the health benefits, the environmental issues and the moral issues.
- Try to find other vegetarians with whom to interact. Surround yourself with support and encouragement. Not everyone in your life will understand your new diet choice, but don't let them discourage you. All that reading you've done will come in handy in explaining to others why you've made the switch to vegetarianism.
These 10 steps were meant to gently guide you to a less carnivorous diet and a healthier body. Don't think of a vegetarian diet as as deprivation. Quite the contrary. You're actually opening up a whole world of new food choices and tast experiences you're never had room for before!
Home (at Friends of the Earth.com)