How To Become a Vegetarian For Dummies...
How to Become a Vegetarian 101
If you've been thinking about becoming a vegetarian but you don't really know how and you feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information out there, don't worry I got you...
Here is the absolute simplest guide to going vegetarian and staying healthy in the process.
A Few Pointers Before Starting.
There is no real point in trying to take out meat from your diet gradually, if you have a strong enough reason to become a vegetarian, be it the environment, the animals, your health, personal preference, it doesn't matter. Commit to your reason for making the change and jump with both feet in.
Trying to do it gradually just makes you lose focus on the whole thing and most people will quit before they begin, if you want to take out meat from your diet you need to quit all meats from day one...
Also you need to understand that taking meat out is not enough, let me explain why I'm saying this...
Let's say for example that a normal meal for you constitutes a steak, a baked potato and a salad. Most people would just take out the steak and have the potato and salad but that's not a proper meal!
When you're a vegetarian you have to do a little more research on what you eat otherwise you can get sick, (Just so you know meat eaters who don't do their research will also get sick it's not exclusive) you need to understand what your body needs and where to get these nutrients.
What Does Your Body Need?
First off, what does your body need from every meal and how do you get it?
Most of us never even bother thinking about this, we just think "me get hungry, me eat!" but what components of food do we need to stay healthy? Especially through such a huge diet change like becoming a vegetarian.
Protein is very important for all body functions and we need to have protein in almost every meal to promote many many functions in the body.
What foods provide protein?
Meat eaters get most of their protein from meat which is why most people who try to make the transition to a vegetarian diet start feeling sick because they don't know where to get their protein from.
Contrary to popular belief protein is not solely found in meat or animal products, you can get protein from the following foods:
- Some Mushrooms (Especially Portobello)
- Beans and Legumes
- Grains like Quinoa
- Peas (Chick Peas, Green Peas, Pigeon Peas, etc.)
- And more...
If you plan on going full vegan obviously leave out the eggs and the cheese, and use Soy sparingly, don't make soy, or soy products part of your steady diet because it produces estrogen in the body and too much estrogen is not good regardless if you're a man or a woman...
Carbohydrates or Carbs are already found in plant based foods anyway so there is no real problem there, the problem begins when you start abusing carbs to substitute the meat you use to eat...
Many people who first become vegetarians become "Carboterians" they start eating nothing but pastas, bread, tortillas, potatoes, because it's filling and it's familiar.
But Carbs are in itself comprised molecules of sugar and starch so our body does need carbs to function but if this is the basis of your diet you will start gaining weight fast and become sick. (Yes, it is possible for you to be a vegetarian and be overweight).
You can still enjoy pastas or breads, but use them sparingly, some great sources of healthy carbs are those found in legumes and certain vegetables.
Fat is actually a necessity for our body, even if you're a gym rat and your are more shredded than the terminator you need to have at least some body fat to keep optimal body function.
Some studies now argue that fat is a much more efficient source of energy for the body than carbs or sugar. But there is still some doubt about that so take it with a grain of salt...
The fact is your body needs certain kinds of fat, even if you are overweight, fats from processed foods, junk food, processed meats and so on are very bad for your overall health but fats like the ones found in nuts and avocados are great for your proper brain and body function:
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Different Nuts
Once again if you aim to be a full vegan leave out the cheese and the butter...
However even though these options for healthy fat are great you should never abuse them, but as a general rule of thumb you should never abuse anything.
Always balance your diet and change it up ;)
You would be amazed how many so called vegetarians don't really eat vegetables as much as they should, vegetables are essential to anyone's diet, vegetarian or not...
They contain fiber, key vitamins and minerals, some protein and are the basis of any healthy diet.
You should always have vegetables on your plate, if they are green it's better, if they are raw EVEN BETTER!
THE 3 STEP METHOD:
Alright now that we know what our body needs to stay healthy here is what we are going to do. We are going to follow a very simple 3 step method in order to make sure we get our nutrients from every meal...
On every meal you eat at home, divide your plate in 3 sections:
Is that easy or what?
Of course try to also incorporate the healthy fats in there but if you don't you can eat a small handful of nuts as a healthy snack ;)
I hope this helped you a lot in your quest to learn how to become a vegetarian, leave a comment bellow and share it with a friend.
Until Next Time!
Make it a great day ;)