Is there a right way to start a mostly vegetarian diet?
I am thinking about going mostly vegetarian (meaning no red meat with only occasional chicken) however I have no idea where to start. I am doing this for the health benefits, but in order to get those benefits I need to make sure I am getting all the nutrition. So where do I start.
It's very easy actually. I would suggest you start with healthy replacements for foods you already enjoy. Try out some veggie burger recipes for example, or make pizza's with veggies instead of meats. Make it a game to try a new food or recipe every week (it helps get the kids involved also) You don't have to worry about lack of nutrition if you are eating any animal products at all. The only deficiency that vegetarians or vegans are actually prone to is vitamin B12 deficiency and that is easily fixed with a supplement. If you are still eating chicken or using eggs etc. you don't have to worry about that at all. Protein deficiency is a myth - there are plenty of vegetarian ways to get full chain amino acid proteins without the need for red meat. Good luck
Can't really add much other than to say just to cut the red meat out and substitute chicken, turkey or fish if you want some meat in your diet.
Thanks. I would like to cut out chicken eventually but still keeping fresh eggs. Good to know about the protein.
Very true on the protein bit! The "nutrient" that is most commonly missing in a vegetarian's diet is actually fat!
I cannot answer this; however, I can pose a question. Perhaps if one forgoes eating meats one would be addressing the right way to begin a mostly vegetarian diet?
I am currently going through a similar experience at the moment. Personally, I find that just replacing the meat in a meal you usually have with a veggy equivalent just doesn't cut it. It always reminds you of what you are missing and rarely matches up to the real taste of meat. Better to discover entirely new recipes that never had meat in to begin with. There is a wealth of stunning vegetarian food out there to be tried. The fact that most western world restaurants have lame vegetarian options does not reflect accurately the quality of vegetarian dining. Just do the research, buy the ingredients and enjoy experimenting. I tend to find that the more colorful my plate is, the tastier the meal is
Watch "forks over knives" which is a documentary that will answer you nutritional questions. Begin to think of your plate differently. It will no longer be a meat, veggie and potato. I have made the transition and I find that there are a lot of great recipes out there to try that use whole foods like beans and veggies. I also did it for health, and I feel so much better! Good luck!
I highly recommend the book the Flexitarian Diet! It is a great book, and includes nutrition info as well as lots of recipes.
Yes ! There is a right way to start vegetarian diet by slowly replace your meat intake.Do not make things rush,just focus in your goal and before you notice you are already eating gardens.Just focus !
The biggest discomfort I had when making the switch was some abdominal cramping, but I'm not sure if that was because of the diet or because I have IBS. Either way, it didn't last very long and I'm very pleased with my eating habits now. Some of the vegetarian substitutes (like soy burgers and hot dogs) are actually pretty good, but like Dan Barfield said; it's never quite the same as the original.
But if you go in, knowing that you aren't replacing the flavor of meat, then you'll better be able to locate foods that are good on their own merits. For example, I didn't discover that I loved green peppers until I made the switch. We tend to think of meat as a super food that has all of our nutritional needs, when the reality of it couldn't be further from the truth. Someone eating a plant-based, whole foods diet, is getting infinitely more nutrients than someone eating an animal based diet. I wrote a hub about this very subject just recently that might be helpful.
That is a good question. If not done correctly, a vegetarian diet can lead to certain nutritional deficiencies. I wrote a Hub about what to watch out for ...
http://blissfulwriter.hubpages.com/hub/ … arian-Diet
and how to avoid those pitfalls.
I am currently doing this as well, peeples! I've been replacing red meats with vegetarian versions and it has worked really well for me so far. I love the veggie burgers and I eat turkey bacon and sausage instead of pork. I can't do the whole leap at once thing but I've found that small changes have really helped!
Good luck and great question.
I found this question in a search for "whole food recipes" and now I'm curious how your transition is going. As one who eats a mostly vegetarian diet but haven't made it all the way, I am always experimenting with new veggie dishes.
We rely a good deal on black and pinto beans, as well as lentils to replace the iron and B vitamins we used to get from meat. We also eat a lot of kale and other high-iron, leafy greens.
The big upside of all this is that, not only do we feel better, but we are also getting a lot more fiber in our diet, which is so good for the digestive tract.
I recommend The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today by Sharon Palmer, RD. Not only does she provide a wealth of nutritional data and information, she includes dozens of quick-reference lists and lots of recipes to get us started.
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