In this article, you’ll find some good tips for starting the transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Then, we include a list of mostly FREE vegetarian starter kits and websites from which you can download or send away for really helpful information, including how to help your local restaurant or school go veg!
While going meatless isn’t for everyone, it can improve your health. Here are tips from nutritionists on making the transition:
Know why you’re doing it. Having firm reasons for changing your diet— whether moral, ethical, medical, environmental or otherwise—can keep you on track.
Set guidelines. Many vegetarians decide to keep eating eggs and dairy, while others opt to cut all animal products.
Tell family and friends. They might not understand or approve, so be ready to explain your reasons.
Don’t go cold turkey. Two strategies are to eliminate one type of meat a week — red meat first, say, followed by chicken, pork and seafood — or to swap in one vegetarian meal each week.
Have some recipes ready. Buy a vegetarian cookbook, or use an online source such as goveg.com. Try one new dish a week to make the switch fun — not a form of deprivation.
Keep eating healthfully. Vegetarianism can be unhealthful if you load up on junk food. Stick with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, meat substitutes, soy protein and low-fat dairy. Good snacks include fruits and vegetables, almonds, hummus, low-fat granola and whole-grain crackers.
Watch your protein intake. Vegetarians need to be careful to get enough protein (as well as calories and healthful fats). Nuts, beans and seeds are three good choices.
Experiment with meatless products. Grocery stores stock tofu and many meat substitutes, including sausage patties, chicken nuggets, bacon and ground beef. So you can keep making favorites like lasagna, spaghetti, chili and stir-fry with those products.
Go ethnic. Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Thai restaurants tend to have a lot of vegetarian choices. You also can ask a restaurant to prepare a dish without meat.
Courtesy of: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Monday, June 29, 2009
VEGETARIAN STARTER KITS — These are generally distributed free and many are downloadable online. They are fantastic to give to friends and family with whom you may wish to share info about a veggie lifestyle.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Veg Starter Kit
Includes health articles written by physicians, as well as “The 3-step way to go vegetarian,” vegetarian diets for pregnancy, vegetarian diets for children and more.
Veg for Life from Farm Sanctuary
A 22-page full color comprehensive resource booklet
A how-to guide to vegetarianism and veganism includes FAQ, links and resources. One of the PETA family of sites.
Provides personal advice in a four-step plan.
Features an e-book on how to successfully become a vegetarian and tips to remain one afterwards. Includes a forum.
How To Be A Vegetarian In 10 Easy Steps
Also provides contact information and related links.
Becoming a Vegetarian
Offers menu suggestions, restaurant tips and recipes.
How to Become Vegetarian
Igor Matveyev offers personal experiences and other thoughts on making vegetarianism a lifestyle choice.
Ten Steps to Going Vegetarian
Offers tips that gradually approach the conversion process.
Free vegetarian/vegan starter kit for changing eating habit for 60 days.
Guidance for busy omnivores who would like to become vegetarians. Gives reasons for giving up meat, nutritional information, recipes, and suggestions for dealing with eating out and other social situations.
Information on how to go Vegan including DVDs, books and news.
Help Restaurants, Cafeterias & Other Food Services Go Veg: