10 tips to eat more vegetarian
Vegetarianism is all the rage… here are 10 tips to make a seamless transition from a meat to a plant-based diet.
Many people would like to reduce their meat consumption. There are many reasons behind the drive to abandon their carnivorous habits, beginning with wanting to do more for the environment.
Whatever the intention, this lifestyle can seem intimidating at first to neophytes.
1. Seek advice from experts
Talk it over with your doctor and/or a nutritionist before rushing headlong into a vegetarian diet.
Take the time to ask them any questions you may have about this new diet you want to follow, particularly concerns about vitamins and nutrients.
Request a routine physical. It is important to know if you have any deficiencies and need to tweak your menu accordingly.
2. Embrace ‘Meatless Monday’
This global movement is no novice (it was launched in 2003), but is a first step into the vegetarian world.
It encourages families to cut out meat one day a week.
If you are lacking inspiration, simply search hashtag #meatlessmondays on social networks and discover a treasure trove of plant-based meal ideas.
3. Don’t deprive yourself
As with any diet, adopting a dramatically strict vegetarian lifestyle is a surefire recipe for disaster.
You are allowed to indulge yourself and have a cheat day every now and then.
Go at your own pace and, most importantly, do not go cold turkey on meat if you are a tried-and-true meat lover.
4. Explore the world on your plate
Eating meat is reserved for special occasions in many countries.
These different cultures have centuries of experience in vegetarian cuisine. Take advantage of their knowledge and discover exotic flavours.
5. Fresh is best
Pick impeccably fresh ingredients. Straight from market to table means your dishes are more appetizing and this will motivate you to keep going.
Favour produce at its peak season, which is when it tastes the best.
Set aside lower quality veggies for soups.
Cook from scratch and avoid store-bought meals. Pat yourself on the back, comforted by the knowledge that your recipe contains far less sodium and additives.
6. New classics on the menu
Going vegetarian means saying goodbye to those favourite meat-based meals on your menu.
Don’t despair: you will find new classic vegetarian dishes to replace them.
Do some reading and research to uncover veggie recipes to cook. Besides finding an ingredient list and instructions to follow, scrolling through user comments can be eye-opening and help steer you in the right direction.
7. Two proteins instead of one
You will be sure to avoid deficiencies by adding 2 different proteins (1 legume combined with 1 cereal) to your dishes.
The amount of protein is key for vegetarians.
By combining plant-based proteins, you ensure that your body has the level of amino acids it needs to properly function.
8. Dodge iron deficiency
Compensate by loading up on iron-rich foods to prevent an iron deficiency due to reduced red meat consumption:
- Fortified soy beverages
- Green vegetables
Also pay attention to your daily fibre intake, which should not exceed more than 60 grams per day. This is because fibre slows down iron absorption.
Increase your daily vitamin C intake if you want to enhance iron absorption. Hello citrus fruits!
9. Blast from the past
Discover what grandma has known all along… nutrient-rich cereals of yesteryear:
- Small spelt
10. Have an open mind
Becoming a vegetarian also means diving into a whole new dining experience!
Welcome these new ingredients with open arms and watch them take centre stage in your shopping cart.