Tips For Becoming Vegetarian

There are many different reasons for becoming vegetarian: religious beliefs, strong feelings about animal treatment, concerns for environmental sustainability and personal health reasons. Whatever a person’s reason for choosing a vegetarian diet, doing so will certainly provide benefits to his or her life. This article focuses on the health benefits of vegetarianism. There are just as many levels of vegetarianism as there are reasons for becoming vegetarian. Semi-vegetarians are those who still eat fish and other meats, just no red meat. A typical vegetarian does not eat meat – only plant foods. Lacto-ovovegetarians still eat eggs and dairy. Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy but do not eat eggs. Vegans not only do not eat meat, dairy products or eggs, but also eliminate fish and all animal byproducts.

Becoming vegetarian can be as easy or difficult as you choose to make it. Of course, the more you choose to omit from your diet, the more involved the transition will be. For those who choose to eliminate red meat only, this is fairly easy to accomplish. In contrast, those who choose to become vegan will have a more challenging adjustment to make. Regardless of the level of vegetarianism chosen, informing family and friends about your choice is an essential first step. You will need their support to stay on track, and they need to know your menu needs. Remember why you became a vegetarian in the first place. If you do so simply to follow a trend, your decision will likely not last.

One of the most common pitfalls experienced is lack of knowledge about available options. Often, individuals will be successful for a short period only to resume their previous eating habits out of frustration. To avoid this problem, research carefully beforehand. Plan ahead rather than allowing yourself to get stuck in a situation that does not cater to your level of vegetarianism. Familiarize yourself with options and research how to prepare them. Often, this is not as difficult as it sounds. More than likely, many of your favorite recipes can be easily converted into vegetarian dishes. You may be surprised at how little you need to change in any given dish. Many make the mistake of believing they need to learn entirely new recipes, and they become overwhelmed. Consider tacos and lasagna, for example. Ground beef can be changed to turkey if you are only eliminating red meat. If you are eliminating all but fish, you can make fish tacos. If you are eliminating all meats but still eat dairy, you can make lasagna with just noodles, sauce, cheese and vegetables. Starting out this way is more realistic and manageable than attempting to learn all new recipes.

Some advise beginning in small steps, even if you plan to become vegan. You could first start by eliminating all meat except fish. One-by-one, you can eliminate fish, dairy, eggs, then animal byproducts like gelatin from your menu. It can be discouraging to attempt to do this all at once only to later find out you have accidentally eaten something you did not know contained animal properties. Taking it one step at a time can prevent you from becoming overwhelmed. If a person sets out to be vegan, in many cases the mental checklist is just too large to handle. Many foods, even fried vegetables, are prepared in animal oils. If you become overwhelmed with the extent of change necessary for your chosen plan, you may give up on the vegetarian idea entirely. Always remember, getting part of the way is better for your body than not making it at all!

By Laura