How to switch to a Vegetarian Lifestyle
Recently, I have decided I would like to become a vegetarian. I am a mother of 2 and neither of my little ones eat any meats, or fish. They seriously rather eat veggies and fruit as well as rice. I am not a fan of meat either. I decided I would love to have a vegetarian diet instead. My question is how do I make the switch? Are there any good recipe books? Do I need to buy certain kind of vitamins as well? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Mindset is probably the most important thing. There is a tendency to think of meat as the 'main' part of a meal, with fruits, vegetables and beans being designated as 'sides'. You'll find that there is a great deal of protein and fiber in plants, so it's just a matter of reorganizing what foods go on the plate. Basically, the closer you get to the plant's original form, the better off you'll be. Some meat-imitation products can taste good, but they can often be just as bad for you as the meat you've given up. Personally I would recommend the books "The China Study" and "How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease". They have associated cook books, but those two really help to understand the benefits of eating as a vegetarian and how to make it happen.
If you already don't eat a lot of meat then it's a pretty easy switch (or at least it was for me). I'm no longer a vegetarian but I try to only eat meat once a week and only poultry. Tofu is an easy meat replacement if you like it... unfortunately I'm not a fan myself.
I really like Thug Kitchen. It's actually a vegan recipe book but if you want to keep dairy in your life it's easy enough to swap out the almond milk for cow's milk (or whatever milk you like), and you can just use cheese instead of the nutritional yeast.
You shouldn't need to supplement with any vitamins but certainly be mindful of how much you're getting through the food you're eating. I really struggle to get enough iron because I don't eat red meat, so I have a few go-to iron sources like lentils, brown rice, and squash. Squash spaghetti with tomato sauce and lentils is a good meal if you're needing more iron.
Vegetarian for almost 2 years here! I agree with both of the other hubbers (hubberers? I haven't figured this out yet). Definitely mindset is very important, and like Aime I eat chicken every once in a while because getting protein/iron is sometimes for a picky eater like me--I don't feel as guilty, and it's hard to give up the taste of chicken! I personally take vitamins in case I'm down on iron. Also like Aime, not a fan of tofu, but sometimes PETA has great recipes without tofu!
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