How to become vegetarian
Before becoming a vegetarian, speak to your doctor or a nutritionist. They can help you learn how to become vegetarian while still getting adequate nutrition. Just cutting out meat isn’t enough to be healthy. You need a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats from healthy sources.
Proper preparation can also help you make the transition successfully.
- Find meat-free recipes and create a meal plan for each week.
- Keep healthy, protein-dense snacks available.
- Prepare your lunch if you go to work during the day.
- If you are going out to eat, look at the menu ahead of time.
- Experiment with different foods and cuisines to find new meals that you enjoy.
- Talk to your friends and family about the change you are making so they can support and encourage you.
How to become vegan
To make a successful and healthy switch to a vegan diet, you should talk to your doctor and plan ahead in the same way that you would if you were becoming a vegetarian. But becoming a vegan can be harder because there are more restrictions on what you can and cannot eat.
You may prefer to give up all animal products right away. But if that feels overwhelming, you can experiment with steps that will help you progress towards a full vegan diet.
- Start by eating vegan two or three days a week to get used to plant-based meals.
- Stick to a vegan diet before 5 p.m., then allow yourself to eat dairy, eggs, or fish in the evening.
- Eat vegan on weekdays but vegetarian on weekends.
- Become a vegetarian first, then gradually adopt a full vegan diet.
Making a large change in your diet is difficult. If you slip up or backslide, don’t let that discourage you. As research has shown, even eating meat infrequently can benefit your heart.
April 09, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN