This is the first in a series where I will give you steps, hints, and tips on moving to a vegetarian diet.
Make Up Your Mind
The first thing you need to do is get your mind set. Why do you want to be a vegetarian? If you don’t have a reason behind it, you are already set up for failure. Do you want to be healthier? Do you want to lose weight? Do you have ethical concerns about the treatment of animals? Figure out why you want this and write down a personal “mission statement” on why you are going vegetarian. This will help you if you are having a hard time so you have something to refer back to. It can also help if you get resistance from friends or family around you. If you can clearly explain why you are doing this, then they may be more understanding or at least less resistant.
Use Available Resources
There are plenty of resources out there especially on the web. Follow these steps as just a beginning and you will get tons of help and reference material out of it. Here is a very quick list of some places to start:
- The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG)
- GoVeg.org (they have a great “vegetarian 101” section)
- VegWeb.com – recipes and cooking tips
- Vegetarian recipes on Allrecipes.com
- PETA’s website – for animal cruelty information (watch a few of their videos!)
Create A Plan
Once you have done some research, come up with a plan on when you want to start and what your expectations are. Will you switch cold turkey (pun intended) or will you start by having meat-free days and gradually increase those days? The main goal here is to do what you feel comfortable with and let it be good enough. During your planning you should come up with some simple meal recipes that you can create so you always have available food. It also helps to scope out your town to find vegetarian restaurants or vegetarian dishes at your local food places.