How to become a vegetarian...
It's becoming increasingly popular to give the veggie diet a go, for so many reasons. If you’re reading this you probably are already aware of the many positive impacts it can have. If not, read on…
Why go veggie?
A vegetarian diet is healthier than the average UK or American regular diet
It can help in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reduce the risk of cancer
Your keep your weight down, as its much lower in saturated fat
Reduce your risk of food bourne illnesses
You will have more energy as there will be less fat in your blood stream. Too much fat in your bloodstream means that arteries won’'t open properly and that your muscles won’t get enough oxygen
You will help reduce pollution, the meat industry has a very negative impact on the environment.
- You will be helping animals, particularly farmed ones who are not treated well or kept in nice conditions prior to being killed for meat.
You will save money, as its cheaper to buy grains and veg than it is meat
Its fun to experiment and will give meal times a new lease of life!
Its rewarding to do something positive to the environment and animals!
Starting anything at all can be difficult, a change to your lifestyle and habits is something you need to adapt to, but if you feel passionate about quitting the meat for good, we have some tips on how to start.
To give yourself the best start with your new vegetarian diet make sure its something you really want to do and do your research first, as any change in your diet should be carefully looked into.
How to start a vegetarian diet:
Do some research
And we don’t just mean about being vegetarian, look into the diet of a meat eater, what exactly were you eating and where was it coming from? Do you know how the animal was raised? You might quickly realise that you actually had a pretty unhealthy diet, especially if it wasn’t expensive, organic cuts of meat you were eating.
You also want to look into how you will keep up the level of protein you get from meat. We wrote a blog about how vegans and veggies get their protein, which you can read here.
Experiment with new meals
Don’t rush out and buy expensive cook books, unless you really want to. There are so many blogs with lots of lovely recipes, start experimenting with them first. You will get an idea of what you like and learn about different types of veggie substitutes
Do it slowly
If you are quite a big meat eater and you cant work out how will you remove it from every meal, start one meal at a time. For the first week, just make sure your breakfast is vegetarian, for the second week include your lunch and by the third week include your dinner too. And you are vegetarian! (so long as you are avoiding meaty snacks!)
Get a friend involved
This could be speaking to someone you know that is already vegetarian, and asking for advice. Or it could be seeing if you have a friend who wants to be vegetarian too, that could join you on the journey. It will motivate you if you know a friend is on your side and supports what you are doing.
You could also consider telling lots of people what you are doing, via instagram or facebook. By letting the world know, you will ge continuous support and encouragement. You may also get some negative comments, and queries as to why you are doing it, so be prepared!
Go to the supermarket
You will be amazed at the amount of vegetarian substitutes you can get these days. If they are aisles you don’t normally take a second look at, well get looking! Check out the fridge section for tofu and falafels, the freezers are filled with quorn sausages, fake chicken breasts and soy burgers. For dried food you want to be looking at the beans and pules and filling your basket with lentils, chickpeas and grains such as quinoa.
Visit a vegetarian restaurant
This can be a great way to inspire you, as you will be confronted with a menu filled with food that works with your new lifestyle. Try something new from the menu and if you love it, have a think about how you could make it at home. You will get loads of other ideas from the menu too!
At The Skinny Kitchen we have lots of veggie options and we let you substitute many of our meat options for veggie ones, so visit us for inspiration on how to swap your meat for your veg!