<img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=15350591&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> How To Adopt a Vegetarian Lifestyle - 29Secrets

How To Adopt a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Written by Erica Scime

Tricks and tips for those looking to veg out

For some, it’s the animal cruelty they have a hard time stomaching. Others may be looking to lose weight or improve their health. Whatever your reasons, if you’ve been thinking about going vegetarian, here are a few things to keep in mind.                      

Have Your Reasons

As a vegetarian – especially a new vegetarian – be prepared to answer the question, “Why?” Having to explain your new vegetarian lifestyle, whether to family and friends or to total strangers, can be intimidating. To avoid looking foolish, make sure that you are well informed and that you fully understand why you have decided to become a vegetarian. This is also very important on a personal level. Fully understanding why you wish to switch to plant-based diet will not only make the experience easier but also much more meaningful.

Go Meat-Free Slowly
If you’re a steak-loving carnivore, cutting meat out of your diet completely can be tough to say the least. Instead, start by phasing out your least favorite meat first and give yourself a couple of weeks to adjust before continuing on. Think you can live without pork? Don’t think you’ll miss that fish? Start with those. Successfully eliminating one thing at a time is far more encouraging than trying to quit cold turkey and, often, failing.

Find New Protein Replacements

Becoming vegetarian isn’t just about giving up meat. According to The Vegetarian Society, women aged 19 – 49 require 45 grams of protein per day. When you eliminate meat, a major source of protein, from your diet, it is important to find suitable replacements. Before dedicating yourself to vegetarianism, experiment with chickpeas, tofu, nuts, whole grains, beans and lentils. All of these foods are high in protein and will likely become the staples of your vegetarian diet. If none of these foods appeal to you, perhaps you may need to reconsider becoming a full-fledged vegetarian.

Talk to Other Vegetarians

Even the shyest of so-called “vegheads” will love an opportunity to talk about their vegetarianism! Whether this means swapping veggie recipes, sharing much-loved restaurants or comparing common vegetarian experiences, having another “veghead” friend, family member or coworker can be a great support system. Having someone to attend vegetarian cooking classes with or flip through the latest issue of Vegetarian Times with will get you excited about your newfound vegetarianism and make it all the more fulfilling!

Get a Nutrition Assessment
So, you have finally made it through the first week, month and year. At this point, it is important to see a nutrition specialist to ensure that you are healthy. While maintaining a healthy vegetarian diet is normally quiet easy, nutrient deficiencies can occur. A nutritionist will evaluate your typical daily menu and can even test to make sure your protein, B12, calcium, iron and zinc levels are all on track. If one or another is low, he or she can suggest ways of improving your intake.

Erica Scime Wellness ,,,,,,,

For some, it’s the animal cruelty they have a hard time stomaching. Others may be looking to lose weight or improve their health. Whatever your reasons, if you’ve been thinking about going vegetarian, here are a few things to keep in mind.                      

Have Your Reasons

As a vegetarian – especially a new vegetarian – be prepared to answer the question, “Why?” Having to explain your new vegetarian lifestyle, whether to family and friends or to total strangers, can be intimidating. To avoid looking foolish, make sure that you are well informed and that you fully understand why you have decided to become a vegetarian. This is also very important on a personal level. Fully understanding why you wish to switch to plant-based diet will not only make the experience easier but also much more meaningful.

Go Meat-Free Slowly
If you’re a steak-loving carnivore, cutting meat out of your diet completely can be tough to say the least. Instead, start by phasing out your least favorite meat first and give yourself a couple of weeks to adjust before continuing on. Think you can live without pork? Don’t think you’ll miss that fish? Start with those. Successfully eliminating one thing at a time is far more encouraging than trying to quit cold turkey and, often, failing.

Find New Protein Replacements

Becoming vegetarian isn’t just about giving up meat. According to The Vegetarian Society, women aged 19 – 49 require 45 grams of protein per day. When you eliminate meat, a major source of protein, from your diet, it is important to find suitable replacements. Before dedicating yourself to vegetarianism, experiment with chickpeas, tofu, nuts, whole grains, beans and lentils. All of these foods are high in protein and will likely become the staples of your vegetarian diet. If none of these foods appeal to you, perhaps you may need to reconsider becoming a full-fledged vegetarian.

Talk to Other Vegetarians

Even the shyest of so-called “vegheads” will love an opportunity to talk about their vegetarianism! Whether this means swapping veggie recipes, sharing much-loved restaurants or comparing common vegetarian experiences, having another “veghead” friend, family member or coworker can be a great support system. Having someone to attend vegetarian cooking classes with or flip through the latest issue of Vegetarian Times with will get you excited about your newfound vegetarianism and make it all the more fulfilling!

Get a Nutrition Assessment
So, you have finally made it through the first week, month and year. At this point, it is important to see a nutrition specialist to ensure that you are healthy. While maintaining a healthy vegetarian diet is normally quiet easy, nutrient deficiencies can occur. A nutritionist will evaluate your typical daily menu and can even test to make sure your protein, B12, calcium, iron and zinc levels are all on track. If one or another is low, he or she can suggest ways of improving your intake.

ehscime@gmail.com Author Erica is a food, health and wellness blogger and 29Secrets.com contributor. She spends most of her time eating healthy food, practicing yoga, playing hockey, running, hiking, travelling and lecturing strangers about why they honestly need to be drinking kombucha. 29Secrets

About the author

Erica Scime

Erica is a food, health and wellness blogger and 29Secrets.com contributor. She spends most of her time eating healthy food, practicing yoga, playing hockey, running, hiking, travelling and lecturing strangers about why they honestly need to be drinking kombucha.

5 responses to “How To Adopt a Vegetarian Lifestyle”

  1. Excellent tips! I gave up eating meat for Lent four years ago and stuck with it, so I went cold turkey (aha). I STILL get peppered with questions about, “Why?” and definitely still get teased, but you’re right that having your reasons makes it a more meaningful experience (it also made it super easy for me to not eat meat anymore without slowly phasing). And it’s always fun to talk to a fellow vegetarian! (Vegetarian recipes on my blog: http://healthyveggie.wordpress.com.)
  2. Excellent tips! I gave up eating meat for Lent four years ago and stuck with it, so I went cold turkey (aha). I STILL get peppered with questions about, “Why?” and definitely still get teased, but you’re right that having your reasons makes it a more meaningful experience (it also made it super easy for me to not eat meat anymore without slowly phasing). And it’s always fun to talk to a fellow vegetarian! (Vegetarian recipes on my blog: http://healthyveggie.wordpress.com.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *