These are some helpful tips that’ll guide you on your new lifestyle of vegetarianism.
Start off slowly:
- Only on Mondays. Eating vegetarian food forever might sound daunting, but anyone can hack it for a single day. Check out the Meatless Monday website for some great resources and support for reducing the meat in your diet. Once you’ve got Mondays down, add another day of meatless eating to the schedule. And another. And so on.
- The elimination game. Choose one non-vegetarian food (beef, or chicken, or spam, or…) to stop eating this week. No fair choosing a food you don’t eat anyway! Once you are comfortable with that change (after, say, a week or a month), choose another food to eliminate. And so on.
- Stop buying meat. Depending on what you already have on hand at home, giving up meat might mean wasting a lot of food. Don’t let this serve as an excuse; just start altering your shopping habits. If you stop acquiring non-vegetarian foods, sooner or later you’ll run out of the meat products you have on hand, and your diet will eventually become vegetarian. Use the transition time to learn new recipes and get comfortable with your new way of eating.
- Focus on what you’re adding, not what you’re taking away. Becoming vegetarian can mean learning new recipes, discovering new favorite restaurants, and exploring lots of healthy, delicious new foods. Why not treat yourself to a vegetarian cookbook and commit to trying new recipes at least once a week? Explore your town’s vegetarian restaurants. Pick up a new fruit or veggie the next time you’re at the store. If you focus on finding vegetarian foods you can get excited about, the number of meat-centered meals in your life will naturally decline.
- Be bad. If perfectionism is standing in your way, give yourself permission to be a bad vegetarian. Slip up at parties. Have turkey on Thanksgiving. Forget to read a label or two. Nobody is keeping score. Give yourself permission to make mistakes along the road; just get moving in the right direction!