By now you've no doubt heard about the many positive aspects to eating a plant-based diet -- it can help keep your weight down, fight diseases, reduce pollution and even help you avoid risk to food-borne illnesses. On top of that, you have now been exposed to all types of new foods and flavors you may never have otherwise experienced, which can be fun!
4 easy steps to going vegetarian
Are you thinking about taking Meatless Monday six days further? Are you ready to try vegetarianism every day of the week? It's not as difficult as you may think. According to Vegetarian Times, consider these easy steps to help you get the ball rolling (further):
- Think of three vegetarian meals you already enjoy and incorporate them into your meal planning. For example: pasta dishes, vegetable stir-frys and even different sandwiches like grilled cheese.
- Think of three meals you enjoy that could easily be adapted to a vegetarian meal. Think chili -- replace the meat with beans or use a veggie protein from brands like Boca, Morning Star Farms or Yves Veggie Cuisine. Make burritos a bit differently. Try bean and cheese or veggies and rice. Soups and casseroles can easily be adapted to be veggie-friendly, too.
- Check out some vegetarian cookbooks from your library to search through for meals you'd enjoy. Search SheKnows for a huge variety of vegetarian recipes!
- Don't think eating out is impossible as a vegetarian. Most restaurants have vegetarian options on their menus. If they don't, ask for a dish to be made vegetarian. It's usually not too difficult to do!
No matter if or when you decide to take eating plant-based food full time, you'll likely become more aware of how people around you eat. Some people you know or meet who are vegetarian might eat dairy and eggs, while others don't. Some might eat seafood, but not others. You might come across people who refer to their diets in terms you haven't heard including the following:
- Flexitarian - Generally refers to a lacto-ovo vegetarian who occasionally eats meat, fish, or poultry. Sometimes called semi-vegetarian.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian - Eats both dairy products and eggs.
- Lacto-vegetarian - Eats dairy products along with a plant-based diet.
- Ovo-vegetarian - Eats eggs along with a plant-based diet.
- Pesco-vegetarian (sometimes called pescatarian) - Eats fish along with a plant-based diet.
- Vegan - Eats only plant products.
No matter what you call it, Meatless Monday (and beyond) is catching on and with good reason!
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