Thinking about giving up eating meat? Whether your reasons are for ethical or health purposes, before you jump in and give up meat entirely just like that, consider the following to help make the change in your diet more smooth. If you don't proceed with a plan, changing to vegetarianism may be much harder than it needs to be.
If you've been a heavy meat eater up until now and abruptly change your diet to simply kale, beans and salad, you're going to find the change difficult. Your taste buds are used to and will crave the flavours you are familiar with. So make your beloved dishes, only make them meatless. Love lasagna? Make it with spinach and ricotta instead so you still get the satisfying noodle texture and tangy tomato taste, for example.
You will need to expand your cooking repertoire quickly to adapt to your new way of eating. Research online, and save recipes that catch your eye. Go to a bookstore, flip through the cookbooks and pick up a few you like.
Once a week, treat yourself to dinner at a vegetarian restaurant or a restaurant that offers vegetarian options. You'll get inspired for your vegetarian home cooking, and you'll be reassured that vegetarian food can be delicious (reassurance you may need if your vegetarian cooking hasn't been turning out too tasty yet). If you're near the Toronto area, try Rawlicious, Camros Organic Eatery, Hot Beans and the Windsor Arms Hotel. Many ethnic cuisines are known for their flavourful vegetarian options, including Mexican, Thai, Chinese and Lebanese.
If you make the focus of your new vegetarian diet vegetables only, you may find yourself feeling hungry and tired, and this is because your body will be missing protein. Become familiar with non-meat protein sources, such as tofu, beans and legumes, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds, seaweed and dairy products. Consider taking supplements as well, but be sure speak to a dietitian or nutritionist to help you figure out the best supplementation plan for you.
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