I've been vegetarian for a little over 3 years now and I'm always getting questions about it. So I'm going to do a few posts to help anyone who is interested.
I plan on becoming vegan in the very near future but for now, I'm just vegetarian. I don't eat meat... of any kind. So no, I do NOT eat seafood! I don't drink milk (never really have, I've pretty much hated it my whole life) and I don't eat eggs.
Believe it or not, it was a fairly easy change becoming vegetarian. Here are my 5 tips for beginners:
1. Just do it!Stop over thinking it. If you want, you can do over the span of a week or 2. Start eating less and less meat. I personally just stopped eating all meats at once. But if you eat a lot of meat it might be easier to do a gradual change as opposed to doing it so abruptly.
2. Find recipes online.Look on sites like Finding Vegan, Foodgawker, and Pinterest for recipes. There are so many! I'm going to share some of my fave recipes on here as well as my fairly new Youtube channel.
3. Shop smart.Shop at places you normally would for veggies and fruits. If you go to places like farmer markets and whole foods, you're going to spend like x3 more. Also, you're going to spend a lot more if you buy all the meat substitutes and frozen foods too. I like to shop at Winco and Sprouts as I find they usually have the best deals. Look at sale ads and use coupons. Trust me, you don't have to be rich to be vegetarian.
4. Download useful apps.Animal Free is one of my faves. It shows you a list of what ingredients are ok to eat and which ones aren't. You'll be surprised by the nasty animal junk that's in the stuff you eat. Eventually, you won't need it but it's great for beginners. Another one I really like is Happy Cow. It shows nearby vegetarian, vegan, and veg-friendly restaurants.
5. Have self-control.Meat will be tempting in the first few weeks. Don't do it. Self-control is super important. If you do mess up and eat meat, don't be too hard on yourself. Just start again from there and try even harder not to give in again.
Yes, you're going to have to give up some of your fave foods. And you're going to think that nothing will be able to replace it, but I promise you, you will find a vegetarian meal that's the same if not better. You'll also find out that some of the things you were eating before are vegetarian or vegan. There are so many accidentally vegan products out there.
It may seem hard because it's definitely a big lifestyle change, but it really is worth it. You'll feel the difference by the 2nd week. It's amazing. If you decide to make the change and need help with anything, feel free to contact me! I'm always here to help.