Yes? Then, you may discover that living vegetarian really is easier than you'd expected. You may find, as well, that such a diet/lifestyle helps you attain and maintain a slimmer body—plus, enjoy some good health besides. Or, if vegetarianism beckons more because of your personal philosophy, that works too. Whatever inspires your dietary modifications, the quest itself may be far less arduous that you expected.
And I can make that claim because...? Because I know that people can ease their way wholly or partially into a vegetarian diet with small steps and in gradual stages. *In fact, I began that way myself with a simple first step: gradually adding more fruits and veggies (F&V) to my diet over time.
Maybe you too (like the Cookie Monster™ himself!) have been considering such a dietary "enhancement"? If so, that could be a real win for you, because fruits and veggies themselves can very likely help you become (and stay) more fit, whether or not you maintain an exclusively plant-based diet over the long haul.
*While exploring this site, please understand that I am not a dietitian—just someone who's learned how to "live" vegetarian by simply doing it. See the disclaimer.
That depends upon how you play your "game." For example, if you're relatively new to vegetarian eating, making your transition
in steps and by degrees can pay off significantly. Sure, add some more F&V to your diet, and some grains and legumes, but please, please do not attempt a dietary one-eighty in mere days. If you do, your body may find that sudden load of fiber "challenging," to say the least. (Catching my drift here?)
Instead, begin with a simple modification like easing in one or two more veggie servings every few days and also trying out a different fruit or vegetable now and then. Then, gradually add in more F&V and perhaps a legume or two now and then. You might also begin cutting back on meat, moving as quickly or slowly as feels right to you and also buddying-up to flexibility and compromise.
For example, perhaps you might build your next meal around a hearty meat substitute. Or, simply eat less meat than usual. Instead of an entire steak,
pork chop, or chicken breast, you might make (or order) a dish with a few pieces of meat among the other ingredients. Yet again, flexibility, compromise, and some imagination pull off the job.
Although some of us may require less protein than once believed, if you drop the meat you'll need to pay at least some attention to your protein intake. But already, you're possibly consuming many non-meat proteins: not only grains and legumes, but perhaps also meat substitutes such as tofu and maybe even seitan.
Moreover, if you're living vegetarian, but not vegan, you'll have the whole spectrum of dairy as well. And don't forget that vegetables themselves often contain protein. The links below will take you to discussions of certain proteins that can work well on a vegetarian diet, but do please understand that there are others as well.
Soy and Seitan
Grains and Legumes
Dairy and Meat Substitutes
Because any healthful change in your eating habits calls for
celebration, please don't beat yourself up for whatever "time-outs" you choose to take during the transition. But keep the fruits and veggies coming, right?
When/If you decide to give some degree of vegetarianism another shot, you can just step onto whatever path feels right to You. And yes, your transition really could be as simple as that: not always effortless, perhaps, but basically simple. Plus, you can find support here and from many, many other sources just for the taking. So, is this the day you start living vegetarian??
I vote yes, but yours is the vote that counts. ;-)
Living Vegetarian the Easy Way
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