Whatever your reason for going vegetarian (ranging from compassion for animals, health or environmental concerns), for someone who’s been a meat eater all their lives, it can be a tough transition. But there are ways you can make the transition to a vegetarian easier, and before you know it, you won’t even miss having bacon in the morning.
Gather loads of vegetarian recipes. If you keep cooking the same bland vegetarian meal regularly, you will get bored and crave different flavours and likely crave the meat you’re trying to eliminate from your diet. However, if you’re armed with tons of creative vegetarian recipes & lots of variety and flavour and you won’t feel unsatisfied. Go to the cookbook section of your favourite book store or check out RecipeGeek.com for great veggie meal ideas!
SWAP OUT MEAT IN MEALS
Enjoy vegetarian versions of your favourite dishes. You might love chicken burritos, for example, but loaded with all of the good things you find in a burrito (guacamole, beans, rice and more), you may find you don’t even miss the meat in it, and you get that flavour-fix you’ve been craving.
TASTE THE DIFFERENCE
Taste test meat alternatives. With more and more people following a vegetarian diet, meat alternatives are commonly stocked at most grocery stores. Taste and texture can vary from one product to another, so be sure to try out different ones on the market; just because one tofu burger doesn’t make the cut that doesn’t mean you should rule out tofu burgers in general. Talk to vegetarian friends to see what products they favour so you have some recommendations, too.
EAT OUT MORE OFTEN
Dine out at vegetarian restaurants. You may find yourself weary from cooking vegetarian meals once you’ve made the diet switch; at the beginning, it’ll take more effort because it’s new to you. Be sure to head out every once in awhile to a vegetarian restaurant to not only give yourself a break from cooking, but so you can get inspired by the dishes. You may just discover dishes you can try replicating at home.
Make the diet change gradually. For some going cold turkey and giving up meat all at once may work best, but for many, the change may be too drastic and have you running to to the diner to wolf down a burger. Doing it slowly may help you train your tastebuds to not miss the meat you used to eat. You could start by cutting out red meat first, then pork, then chicken and so on.