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veg out!
10 tips for going vegetarian
by Kristina Smith |
1 2 3

My life as a vegetarian began back in high school. One day, staring down at a chicken dinner that my mother had cooked for us, I had a revelation: that was a CHICKEN. Formerly alive. And not some chicken raised on "Old MacDonald’s Farm," living an idyllic little farm existence before it ended up on my plate. Rather, this chicken had suffered, like most of the animals that are raised for meat in this country do, in factories where they are crowded and abused. My meat days were over, and I haven’t looked back since.

Vegetarianism (eating no animals – yes this includes chicken and fish), and veganism (consuming no animal products at all, including dairy) may not be mainstream. But the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are healthy, ecologically sound, and besides: veggie cooking is fun. There are so many flavors and foods out there that we often ignore in favor of meat, that going vegetarian can actually expose you to a far greater variety of delicious dishes than you ever experienced in your omnivorous days. Armed with a little information, and some desire, anyone can make the change.

1. Go slow.
You don’t have to give up meat all at once – it might be easier to gradually reduce the amount of animal foods in your diet over weeks or months. Change that feels right for you and your body is more likely to last. You may start to have doubts, like "Am I doing the right thing?" This is normal. Give yourself time to adjust.

2. Start with your favorites.
Alter your favorite recipes to make them vegetarian. You may discover that much of what you love to eat is already vegetarian, or easily can be with just a minor substitution or two (if others in your home still eat meat, divide portions, making part of the dishes meatless). If you like vegetable lasagna, stir-fried vegetables, or pasta primavera, begin your transition to the vegetarian life by making these dishes more often. Start adding beans to casseroles and pasta sauces while decreasing the meat. Top salads with chickpeas. Mix brown rice with black beans and salsa for a quick meal. (Just remember to drink more fluids, like water, juices, or decaf beverages to help with the increased fiber!)

3. Fake it.
If you can't live your life without the taste of meat, vegetarian alternatives are widely available. Most taste so much like the real thing you’ll have trouble telling the difference, and the taste and texture of fake meat products keep getting better. Try the veggie versions of chicken patties and nuggets, hamburgers, sausage, pepperoni, turkey, bacon, hot dogs and more.

keep moseying this way !


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