Becoming a vegetarian might seem like a huge and daunting task, especially if everyone around you is an omnivore, but there are some easy ways to get started and see if it’s something you want to continue. There are plenty of health, environmental and animal-welfare benefits to going veggie, so if it’s something you want to try, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
1. Start small
One of the best ways to start on the veggie path is by gradually decreasing the amount of meat you eat. You could, for example, try to reduce your meat consumption to 3 times a week, or only make a meal including meat once a week and eat leftovers, or only buy one piece of meat a week and use it in multiple meals, like in a stir fry, fried rice, stew, etc.
2. Have a meat-free month
You could challenge yourself to eating no meat for one month, starting on the first day and finishing on the last. This is a great way to push yourself to find new and interesting recipes. If you have to do it for a whole month, you will quickly get creative and find ways to make it interesting. Having a trial period can also help to strengthen your confidence in your ability to go veggie, and see if it’s something you want to do longer term!
3. Enjoy a veggie burger
I’m not talking about tofu here, I’m talking about lentil, egg and carrot patties with grilled halloumi, lettuce, tomato and chutney. Divine! There are so many textures and flavors that you can enjoy in a vegetarian diet, so many ways to experiment with traditionally meat dishes – veggie lasagna, veggie moussaka, the world is your oyster… or falafel wrap!
4. Explore other cultures
Sometimes the easiest way to become a veggie is to take inspiration from other cultures; the spinach and feta filo pies from Greece, falafels and hummus from Lebanon, Spanish omelets, Dal Bhat from Nepal. The world is full of delicious possibilities and a veggie life will allow you to explore them.
5. Team up with others
Everything is easier with friends. You can agree to go down the veggie route together, and motivate each other by cooking meals for each other on alternate weeks. Dinner parties where everyone brings one veggie dish, pot-luck style, makes the process all the more fun.
6. See how your body changes
It’s likely that you will see a change in your skin, hair and weight for the positive after a while. You will likely feel lighter as meat normally takes longer to digest than other foods. Vegetarians and vegans also tend to be lighter on average than omnivores.
7. Keep getting your protein and iron
Lentils and spinach are a great source of iron and protein, amongst quite a few others. Keep yourself strong by incorporating enough iron and protein sources in your diet, do your research and the results should be great!
Well there we go! 7 ways to help you on your vegetarian journey!