I have been successful in living with a vegetarian diet and I want to give tips how you can transition to a vegetarian lifestyle.
Why Do You Want to Become One?
My first tip is to figure out why you want to become a vegetarian. Many people want to become one just to say, "Oh, well, I am a vegetarian," to follow a fad, or because their favorite celebrity is doing it. But if you want to have success being a vegetarian, you need to have the right reasons. That's not because I am saying it is bad if you don't have the right reasons, but because you just will not follow through if your heart is not in it.
1) Start Slow
When I first started to become a vegetarian, I didn't fully cut meat out. I would maybe eat a burger or get pepperoni on my pizza if I went out to a restaurant but not when I was at home. Shortly afterwards, I totally cut that out and only ate chicken and turkey as meat options. Now I obviously do not eat any of that. So if you start slow instead of waking up and totally cutting it out, you have a higher chance of sticking with it. Some people can just wake up and decide not to eat meat again but most will fall back into eating meat.
2) Try New Foods
Many people think becoming a vegetarian means never eating their favorite foods again. That is not the case. There are many vegetarian versions of the foods you love. They have veggie burgers, chicken, hot dogs, and really anything you can think of. Of course, they are not going to taste exactly the same, but let me tell you, they are pretty good. I used to say veggie burgers were disgusting but the thing is I never knew how good they were until I actually tried them. Start trying vegetarian options and brands to get to know the foods you like and don't like. You may end up liking them and eating them on a regular basis.
3) Brands to Try
Let me give you some of the brands that I personally suggest. These brands are the ones I buy and eat almost everday. These are three brands I purchase at Walmart, so they are inexpensive and easy to find.
- Boca - Their chicken patties are probably my favorite option they have. This is also the brand that provided my first veggie burger I have ever ate and loved. They also have different style burgers that you can try.
- Morning Star - Morning Star has a wide variety of food options. They have basically anything you can think of. Hot dogs, bacon, burgers, sausage, chicken, ribs, you name it!
- Garden Burger - These are just burgers but they are my favorite vegetarian burgers I buy.
4) What Do I Do If I'm Eating Out?
This is a very big question when people first start off and a big reason people fail. You could be doing just fine in the comfort of your own home, then you will go out and fail. That seemed to my biggest problem at first. I would look at the menu and think I had no other options, so I just had to order the burger. It can still be difficult to this day. I never even consider buying meat anymore but I look at the menu and I think, "What can I even order?" Now honestly I don't have a very good answer to this question. Most of the time, I have to order soup or just fries. Sometimes you are going out with family or friends and have to go along with what the food place they already planned and picked out. If you do have a say on where to go, consider looking up the menu before you go to the restaurant. Some food places nowadays have some vegetarian choices, which is the first thing I always search for. I have gone to places where they had their own section provided and I would order a veggie burger or whatever they had.
5) Don't Let People Pressure You
I have had friends who were weirded out about me becoming a vegetarian for some reason. I haven't had too much of a difficult time with my friends but there have been those moments where they think it is funny to try to get you to eat meat when you are trying not to. Especially if you are first starting off. Now at this point, my friends are used to me not eating it anymore, but people will probably make a big deal out of it at first. They may give you some corny, false excuse as to why you cannot stop eating meat. Stick to your guns, even when people are telling you to eat it or doubting you. Honestly, your best bet is to just not tell people until you are used to it. I didn't tell anyone about my transformation to the vegetarian lifestyle until I was all in because I knew I would be hearing about it if I messed up and ate any type of meat.