Whatever the reason (health, allergies, love of animals or the environment) for which you want to become vegetarian/vegan, it is difficult to change your eating habits, especially if you have followed a meat-based diet all your life. But it’s not impossible and it’s worth a try! Try these suggestions to make your transition easier:
Make a list of recipes: Make a list of 20 recipes you’ll be comfortable with – for cooking and eating. Many of the recipes may be available from friends, cookbooks or the Internet. Make a short list of 20 vegetarian or vegan dishes from different cuisines. Choose those that do not involve elaborate cooking, as you don’t want to get discouraged before you even start. Choose dishes that use ingredients that you know well and are easy to find. Start trying them one by one.
Chances are you will only have half the number of dishes you have started. If you change your diet, your palate should only be satisfied after you continue. Sometimes it is also a matter of acquired taste. Be patient and keep looking for more. You will only have a list of perfect recipes after trial and error.
Change one meal at a time: Once you have a list of delicious recipes, it’s time to change one meal to a fully vegetarian/vegan meal. Start with dinner. Even if you eat out, remember to order a vegetarian/vegan dinner only. You must use your willpower.
You will start to notice the difference in just a few weeks. Your digestion will improve, you will sleep better, you will be more energetic the next morning and, of course, you will notice a weight loss. These motivating factors will encourage you to concentrate on the next meal, breakfast. There are a number of easy-to-make, nutritionally balanced breakfast recipes.
Do some good research. Gradually, as you adapt to the change in breakfast and dinner, you may not even feel like following your usual breakfast diet. When it’s time to focus on breakfast, start by replacing four lunches a week with your new food preference, then continue a few meals with your old diet until you no longer feel like it.
Important aspects : Choose recipes that suit your tastes, are nutritionally balanced and satisfy you. Focus on vitamin D, B12, calcium and protein because vegan diets lack or are deficient in these essential nutrients. Fortified foods should be included in your daily meals. Monitor your health parameters.
Plan your meals according to your physical needs, lifestyle, age and level of effort. Always consult a nutritionist/physician to guide you in planning a balanced diet. Try not to jump at the chance to change your diet, if you want a permanent change, then go slowly, plan well.