Following these 10 tips for new vegetarians can make your diet better tasting and healthier than ever before. The hardest part of becoming vegetarian isn’t the food as it takes no time to find delicious vegetarian treats. The real hard part is changing your life long eating habits. Patterns are a part of our psychology and breaking them can be a real challenge if you don’t have the right mindset. Below are 10 tips that are sure to help you stay vegetarian while inspiring others to follow suit.
Your mindset will set the pace for your transition. Remember to stay positive about your new diet and all the good it will bring to the world. The first month is usually the hardest as you may struggle to find new cuisine. New vegetarians can get ‘bummed’ thinking about what they can’t eat. Instead, you should focus on all the new and exciting meals you are going to enjoy. A quick list will help to keep you creative. There is a never ending list of delicious vegetarian treats just waiting for you to gobble them up.
Don’t Label Yourself
It can feel like you’re changing everything in your life when you go vegetarian. Vegetarian is a diet, not a style or fad. People get caught up in the hype so much they often forget what is really important. If you can do something to help yourself and others at the same time, why wouldn’t you? That is what being vegetarian is about. You shouldn’t feel like you need to label yourself because you decided to not eat meat. After a couple of months, you will be comfortable with your diet and you will be reaping the benefits of your healthier lifestyle.
Check for Hidden Ingredients
Food manufacturers have some interesting names for certain animal products that may make it difficult to determine if what you are eating is vegetarian. Ingredients such as gelatin can go unseen by the untrained eye. Do your homework and you will soon be spotting these harmful ingredients from a mile away.
Experiment with New Vegetables
Experimenting with new veggies is one of the most exciting parts of going vegetarian. You will be amazed at how delicious some veggies can be when prepared properly. You are probably used to munching down on potatoes and broccoli but now is the time to try some of their distant cousins. Baked Brussel sprouts or asparagus is the perfect example of a vegetable delight that is sure to please the pickiest taste buds.
Don’t Replace Meat with Empty Carbs
This all-to-common mistake can be one of the main reasons you are not enjoying weight-loss with your vegetarian diet. You shouldn’t just increase the portions of everything else you normally eat minus the meat and think you are going to get a balanced plant-based diet. Be sure to try some truly vegetarian dishes that give you a well-balanced intake of proteins and minerals.
Ask for Help When Eating Out
While it would be amazing, not every restaurant offers vegetarian options to their clients. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t be scared to ask one of the staff members for help. A well-informed staff member can give you a rundown of what is offered and if enough people ask the staff, you can expect to see more vegetarian options begin to appear on the menu shortly. You may even find a chef who has a recipe he has been waiting to try.
Pack Your Meal
Imagine you just got invited to the neighborhood barbecue. It’s always great to get together with friends and family but you are worried they won’t have any vegetarian options. Take proactive role and bring your own vegetarian treats. You win in two ways by doing this. First, you get to expose people to some delicious vegetarian eats and secondly, you guarantee you have a delightful meal to enjoy. You should never expect anyone to accommodate their menu for you and traditional meals such as Thanksgiving can be focused on certain types of meals. Get around this by bringing your own Tofurky and see how many potential new vegetarians your family has.
Try Fake Meats
Vegetarianism has exploded onto the scene with more and more people making the transition every day. Due to this new found popularity, manufacturers are pumping out all types of exciting new meal ideas to enjoy. Don’t be shy, you may find that you like that Tofu chicken better than the original.
Avoid Eating Only Meat Substitutes
Fake meats can help ease you into your new vegetarian lifestyle but you should try to avoid making them the main part of your diet. These items are highly processed and can even cause you to gain weight, so be aware of what you are doing while enjoying these treats. Processed fake meats can be a great first step towards removing meat from your diet but eating too much is unhealthy. Eating a little meat substitute is not bad and can help to keep your cuisine more familiar.
Be Proud Of Your Decision
Not everyone has the empathy to put the lives and well-being of animals into their daily routine. Congratulations on being one of the people that get it. This world is a small circle and by spreading compassion into the world, you are setting a positive example for everyone to follow. Even if you decided to go vegetarian simply for your own personal health reasons, you are still helping to create a better world for the generations that follow.