I attempted to become a vegetarian, but I ended up failing. Why? Because I did not have a plan. You are probably rolling your eyes and wondering why the girl who gave up becoming a vegetarian after three weeks decided to write a post about it. Well Negative Nancy, I decided to write about this topic because I have learned from my mistakes and I want you all to as well.
The first thing that you should do before you even decide to become a vegetarian is research. The web is filled with many different resources so take advantage of them. You may decide that you want to be a vegan instead of a vegetarian; you never know. Make sure to also check with your doctor to make sure that your lifestyle change will not conflict with any health complications you may have.
Kill Your Doubts
Anybody can do anything as long as they try hard enough. Kill any doubts you may have about changing your lifestyle. If you are a heavy meat-eater, as in you love to eat your pork bacon for breakfast, chicken sandwiches for lunch, and steak for dinner, you may want to change your eating habits little by little. For example, you can substitute your meat at Chipotle for guacamole or the steak in your burrito at Taco Bell for potatoes. Once you and your body have adjusted to change in your diet, hit the ground running!
Don’t Play Yourself
Never be afraid to ask for the vegetarian version of the menu at restaurants. Most restaurants will have one available, but due to any chance that they do not, simply get your favorite dishes and substitute the meat. For example, if you really enjoy a pasta dish that features chicken, ask if you can get mixed vegetables in your pasta instead or simply ask for no chicken. Many believe that vegetarians can only order off of the salad menus at restaurants which is 1000% false. You can still enjoy your favorite meals, but with a little twist. The restaurant will do their best to accommodate you as a paying customer, so don’t worry about being considered difficult. This will also give you a chance to try that cool little vegetarian café down the street!
Build A Support System
An issue that I had when I decided to become a vegetarian was scrolling through Instagram, Pinterest, etc. and looking at all of these delicious meat filled recipes on my phone screen. Looking at pictures alone caused me to crave for chicken, shrimp, and steak and of course I gave in to those cravings. You have to build a system around you that will give you support during this major lifestyle change. Start by unfollowing all boards on Pinterest and all restaurants on Instagram that constantly fill your feed with images of food that you can’t even enjoy! You can find your support in the forms of goal-worthy Instagram feeds, Pinterest boards, Tumblr accounts, and so much more. Following people who have been vegetarian for many years shows you that it is not impossible to do and it also makes you feel a little less alone.
Remember that being a vegetarian does not mean that you can only eat bland food. Try to find food that you enjoy! I recommend walking around Costco or Sam’s Club one day and trying some of the samples that may also be vegetarian. You may end up finding your new favorite food. Again, Pinterest is a life-saver. You can find a whole bunch of vegetarian recipes to try in case you get in a rut. Try to select two or three different recipes you have found online and incorporate them into your weekly dinner/lunch plan. There are so many quick options that never fail like chips and salsa, bean burgers, and pasta dishes (just to name a few). By having the right foods around, you are bound to stick with your major lifestyle change.
Are you a vegetarian? Leave some tricks and tips for aspiring vegetarians in the comments section below!