Celebrities, including Pamela Anderson, Brad Pitt, and Natalie Portman, have turned vegetarian, inspiring many others to follow suit. Although vegetarianism has been a way of life in many eastern countries for ages, it's only now that the western countries realize the importance of following a vegetarian diet because of the health benefits. If you want to follow this diet but have difficulty in sticking to the plan, here are some tips for you which are sure to help your cause.
Prepare your Mind
The most important thing to do before starting on any diet change plan is to be clear in your mind about why you are initiating such changes in your lifestyle. Ask yourself why you are becoming a vegetarian. Be very clear about the reasons. Are you doing it for health reasons, to lose weight, or just because a few celebrities are promoting it and it's "in"? There should be a solid, well thought of reason for you to be able to achieve your goal.
Vegetarian or Lacto-ovo Vegetarian?
Will you be able to stick to just vegetables and become a total vegetarian or would you like to include milk, eggs, cheese, and yogurt in your diet and become a lacto-ovo vegetarian instead. Give yourself time, think hard, and then decide for yourself.
Take One Step at a Time
If meats have been your staple diet since childhood, it is very difficult to leave them at once. Bring gradual changes in your daily diet. For example, you can eat meat in the mornings and for lunch but make a resolution that you will eat only vegetarian food for dinner. Continue this for about two weeks and then make your breakfast vegetarian and finally your entire diet vegetarian. So take about a month before shifting to a meat-free diet.
Vegetarian Does Not Necessarily Mean Boring
People often assume that vegetarian food is all boring and dull. They wonder what to do when all their favorite foods are non-vegetarian. The truth is, vegetarian food offers a lot of variety too. You just have to look out for some delicious vegetarian recipes, either on the Internet or in some vegetarian cookbooks. Try cooking these recipes at home, select the ones that you like, and make them a part of your weekly menu.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Be creative and include some vegetarian dishes from some other countries in your diet. You can include Chinese dishes, Italian pastas, or spicy Indian curries to add variety. Eating varied foods will help you stick to your goal.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
Include foods in your diet that will fulfill the nutrient requirements of your body. It is a general perception that a side effect of vegetarianism is insufficient nutrients to keep the body healthy. This is a myth. Eating lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereals, and whole grains provide adequate amounts of fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and vitamins help to keep the body healthy and in shape.
Involve Other People
Inform all your friends, family, and people you interact with about your goal. This is very important as when you meet them at a social get-together, they will know that you only eat vegetarian food. This way, they will not ask you to share meat with them. Also, whenever you are going to a party that you know only serves non-vegetarian food, you can carry your own vegetarian dishes along.
Keep Vegetarian Dishes Handy
Just as people who are trying to lose weight keep some non-fat dishes handy so that they do not binge on junk food, it is very important for you to keep some vegetarian dishes ready, so that whenever you come home really hungry from work, you do not end up breaking your resolve. You can keep yogurts, pita breads, fruits, and salads handy. You can also keep some frozen, ready to eat vegetarian dishes in your refrigerator.
Becoming a vegetarian makes you less susceptible to certain life-threatening diseases, such as cancer and heart diseases. Vegetarian food is much easier to digest than non-vegetarian food. It is environment friendly as well. It is recommended to stick to being a vegetarian and reap its many physical and mental benefits.