This article is here to help you eliminate meat from your diet the safe and healthy way!
- Try Indian vegetarian foods. India has the largest population of completely vegetarian people in the world, so they know what they're doing. The majority of Indian dishes are not spicy or strong and there are literally hundreds of vegetarian dishes which are a much better alternative to salads.
- If you can't stand the idea of truly giving up hamburgers, hot dogs, et cetera, loads of stores have lots of alternative choices for your situation. Many consist of fake meat with the alternative being soy. There's so many foods you can make without meat, you can find whole recipe books. Try tofu instead of meat.
- Even if you don't want to become a full-time vegetarian, do try some of the tastier meat-free dishes, such as dahl.
- Read "The More With Less Cookbook". Although not all the recipes in there are meat-free, it does give some such recipes, as well as tips for using plant protein.
- Start going to more Indian, Thai, Chinese, or Japanese restaurants, as they tend to have more selections available for vegetarians. Don't be afraid to try new things!
- Most restaurants will prepare food without meat when requested.
- Many familiar foods such as peanut butter are chock-full of protein.
- Join a vegetarian message board for support (see External Links).
- If in the early days of going vegetarian you have a lapse and eat meat, don't panic! Just remind yourself why you decided to go vegetarian in the first place and carry on as before.
- You can still make some family favorites such as lasagna, chili, and spaghetti without the meat or with meat substitutes.
- Being vegetarian can help you live longer.
- If you find yourself craving a type of meat, think about the animal it was made from. Imagine it's alive. You will quickly lose your meat appetite in favor of something better.
- Don't be scared or fooled into thinking that eliminating meat will automatically make you prone to anemia. Do some research! Vegetarians who eat a variety of fruits and vegetables are actually less likely to develop nutritional deficiencies than people who eat junk food (including meat).
- Stay strong! Many people are against vegetarianism, and you may read or hear things that may tempt you to go back to eating meat.
- It only takes a couple of weeks of eliminating meat before you will stop having cravings. It might be better if you eliminate all meat from your diet at once, and keep it out for a couple of weeks. Before long, your cravings will be eliminated and you won't want it anymore.
- If you are experiencing meat withdrawal, and you most likely will, don't eat foods that taste similar. Doing so will only increase the cravings. Instead, eat something you love, even if it's chocolate. You will lose any pounds you gain by eating comfort foods fairly quickly after you are rid of the cravings.
- Seek out vegetarian groups. Whether in person or online, this will help you to learn, get support, and meet like-minded people. This is a good way to share recipes.
- Check labels for food that may not be "suitable for vegetarians" - some processed foods have hidden animal ingredients such as gelatin, animal fats, cochineal and rennet. The main ones to check are vegetarian cheeses, yogurts, soups, desserts and some sweets and biscuits/cookies (particularly red-colored ones, which sometimes contain dye made from beetles called carmine/cochineal).
- Only eat cheeses that list enzymes as microbial or vegetable-based. Most cheeses are in fact not vegetarian, as they contain animal enzymes derived from killed calf stomach.
- With a switch to your new diet, you might feel increased awareness about food and animal rights related issues. Try to be compassionate with your friends and family who may not understand your switch, and try to avoid judging them harshly based on their lack of information. It's important to remember that you will set a better example by enjoying delicious vegetarian foods and living healthfully than by preaching to others.
- Make sure you are not a junk-food vegetarian. While not consuming meat is healthy, eating junk-food all the time is even worse than eating meat.