A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, but still consumes some animal products, including things like eggs, cheese, and milk. If you’ve been thinking about making the transition to vegetarianism, but you aren’t sure where to start, the following tips will certainly make things easier.
#1 – Plan for Protein
One of the biggest concerns among people who want to transition into vegetarianism is that they won’t get enough protein in their diets. This is simply not the case. In fact, you only need a little more than 40 grams of protein per day if you’re otherwise healthy, and it’s pretty simple to get it with a vegetarian diet. A serving of Greek yogurt can provide you with about half of that alone, and you can also get plenty of proteins from foods like tofu, legumes, seitan, and added whey protein.
#2 – Understand Popular Meat Alternatives
People who adopt a vegetarian lifestyle often do miss eating meat products. Things like steak, chicken, and even fish are all things that people give up. Fortunately, there are some ways to prepare alternatives that taste great. Tofu is a prime example. It’s simply soybeans that have been processed into a cake shape, and while it doesn’t taste like much on its own, it takes seasoning well. You can try slicing tofu thin and frying it until crisp, or adding it to salads and stir-fry. Seitan is another amazing alternative that can and often does taste like meat. It’s simply wheat flour that has had all of the starch removed, leaving behind almost pure wheat gluten. It’s easy to prepare in advance, and it’s a great substitute.
#3 – Browse the Frozen Section at the Grocery Store
These days, food manufacturers work hard to cater to different dietary requirements. In fact, if you browse the frozen section at your local grocery store, you’ll find all kinds of tasty alternatives from several very popular companies. You can find fish alternatives, steak strips, crumbles that look and taste just like real ground beef, “chicken” nuggets, and much more. These companies have worked hard to perfect their recipes, which means they taste very much like the real thing, but contain absolutely no meat at all.
#4 – Think About What You Can Have – Not What You Can’t
Finally, one of the biggest things that will hold you back is constantly thinking about what you’re missing. This is very discouraging, so try to learn how to focus on all of the delicious foods you can have. If you enjoy cooking, find new ways to prepare things like seitan and tofu so they taste like your favorite foods. Remember you can still have things like eggs, cheese, and sour cream, which are all amazing ingredients for a number of hearty, filling dishes.
Making the switch from meat eater to vegetarian can be difficult, but the tips above can make it less of a challenge. Plan your protein wisely, understand meat alternatives (both those you can make and those available in the grocery store), and try to think about the positive side of the vegetarian diet rather than the foods you can’t have.