8 Tips For Going Vegetarian

I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years now, which means that I became a vegetarian very early on in life. I was also the only vegetarian in my family, which meant I had no one to help me with my vegetarian diet, which meant a lot of trial and error on my part, I’m sure at a bit of a detriment to my health. If you’re looking to change up your diet, here are 8 tips for going vegetarian.
  1. Baby Steps – When I went vegetarian I went whole-hog and quit cold turkey (puns definitely intended), which can have some nasty side effects. Try cutting out red meat first and see how that feels, or eating vegetarian 5 days of the week. You can also check out the many types of vegetarians in this handy dandy infographic:
VegTypes-of-Vegetarians 2. Balance Your Diet – one of my pet peeves is when people find out that I’m a vegetarian and immediately become health experts. BUT, it is important that if you get rid of the nutrients from meat then you’re replacing them with veggie options, luckily there are so many great sources of iron in nature, such as broccoli, bok choy, or any other dark leafy vegetables. veg-2-400x266 3. Don’t Be A Vegetarian’s Witness – I know that sometimes when you discover something new you want to share it with everyone, but although you may be in a “convert, convert, convert” mindset, don’t expect everyone else to hop aboard the veg train. 4. Protein Alternatives – “So how do you get your protein?” asks those aforementioned “health experts” in my life. Beans, lentils, nuts, eggs, low fat dairy and cheese, quinoa, nut butters, soy and tofu – THAT’S HOW, BAM. veg-4-400x266 5. Adventures in Food – experiment with new meatless meals, there are a LOT of delicious vegetarian recipes, so you don’t have to eat a chickpea and quinoa salad all day every day for the rest of your life. veg-5-400x262 6. Pack Your Pantry – I think this is a good tip for anyone, even if you aren’t going vegetarian. Canned beans, fruits and nuts, quinoa or rice, having things on hand to cook up into a quick curry or soup will help you avoid a pizza binge. 7. Frozen Food – fresh is of course ideal, but if certain veggies are out of season try opting for frozen veggies (without additives) for quick cooking. 8. Supplement your diet – taking a multivitamin is a great addition to your health regime, but if you notice your lacking a certain nutrient like B12, iron, or vitamin C, then supplements are a great option to complete your diet. vegiron-400x228 I really wish I had stumbled across these tips earlier on, it probably would’ve saved me a lot of trial and error, and a year of living on peanut butter sandwiches.

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