Vegetarianism provides a host of health benefits. Many people are interested in beginning this lifestyle change or at least partially replacing the meats in their diets with more plants. At first, this may seem like an overwhelming task. When a person tries to complete this process all at once, it often becomes too overwhelming and he or she may revert back to old eating habits out of frustration. This does not have to happen.
— Eric Rumsey (@EricRumsey) December 2, 2013
If you begin with the right strategy, it is more likely that you will succeed in your lifestyle change. Regardless of the degree of vegetarianism you aspire to achieve, you must begin by eating a plant based died and incorporating more plants into your menu to replace the meats. Many of us eat diets largely consisting of meat, although when we really take note of our diet we realize how unnecessary some of these meats are. Most of the meat that we eat can be cut from our diets painlessly, because we eat them without realizing. Those meats that we do eat are easier than we may think to replace with substitutes.
One essential step in changing your diet to a plant based diet is to gain the support of others by informing them of your choices. You will need their support to stay on track and also so that they know your new menu requirements. Begin by keeping a journal of food that you have eaten for maybe a week before you decide to make a change. Analyze all ingredients in your chosen meals and keep track of any meat products used. More than likely, you will realize that some of the meat you have been eating is unnecessary and can easily be eliminated. For example, if you find that you’ve eaten a green salad with chicken and lasagna, it’s very easy to remove the chicken from the salad and make meatless lasagna or add vegetable substitutes. For the most part, your foods will taste the same. Many make the mistake of believing they can’t eat their favorite dishes anymore because they see meat as a necessary ingredient to these recipes, when, in fact, in most cases the meat is simply an optional addition.
Rather than buying an entirely new cookbook, begin by writing out your favorite recipes and altering them to remove the meat. The next step is to familiarize yourself with vegetarian substitutes for meat, such as tofu. Experiment with these different foods to get yourself used to them and find which ones you like. This is the part that may take some adjustment, depending on how much you are trying to cut from your diet. For those options that do need a meat substitute, introduce yourself to the new recipes gradually. Over time, you will likely develop a taste for these substitutes and will not even notice the absence of meat in your diet.
Many find that making changes one step at a time is the easiest way to transition to a plant based diet. For some, attempting to do so all at once becomes confusing and overwhelming. When this happens, people often revert to their prior eating habits because they believe their goal is too difficult to attain. Give yourself some time from the beginning and make a plan to achieve your goal over a time period of, for example, a month. Make a goal to be meat free by the end of the month. This is more realistic for most people than changing their diet all at once.