It’s estimated that around 8% of the world consider themselves to be vegetarian. Switching to vegetarianism is becoming more and more popular due to the demands on the environment that a meat-based diet cause. Whatever your personal reasons for switching to a vegetarian diet, it can be a positive and rewarding decision.
Vegetarian vs vegan: What’s the difference?
In choosing to take this new path in your eating journey, you may have found yourself deciding between vegetarian and vegan. The choice depends on what works for you, your own goals, and your own principles. There’s no right or wrong.
Vegetarians avoid meat, while vegans avoid meat as well as any products sourced from animals in any way. This means dairy products like milk and eggs.
It might be a good idea when switching your eating habits to try vegetarianism first, as you can always work your way up to trying to become vegan if you feel as though that aligns with your goals.
A guide to becoming a vegetarian
Take your time
There doesn’t have to be any rush in your diet transition. It can be a huge shock to the system to try and switch to vegetarianism overnight, and it does take planning and meal research, so a gradual change can always be helpful. Even if you begin cutting down your meat-eating to once or twice a week instead of every day, this can help you to learn more about vegetarian options and gradually filter out meat altogether.
Check for allergies or food intolerances
If you’re making a huge switch in your diet, then you may be starting to eat foods that you’ve never had before. This means that allergies or intolerances can arise at any time because of eating new foods or trying a new diet. If you find yourself worrying about allergies or intolerances, you can use services like intolerancelab.co.uk to check and then you’ll be able to better tailor your diet to avoid certain foods.
Get recipe books or a meal delivery service
It can be very difficult to know which healthy vegetarian meals to cook off the top of your head, without proper research. Vegetarian cookbooks or recipe information will be key to a healthy and enjoyable transition.
You may also want to consider meal delivery services if you’d rather have the menu planning taken care of for you, as you can then select vegetarian meals only and have the right ingredients tailored for you.
Check ahead for eating out
There may be less choice for meals in restaurants or cafes when you switch to vegetarianism, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy something tasty nonetheless. It may just take a little extra planning, which means it’s a good idea to check out the menus of places ahead of time to make sure that you’re happy with their vegetarian options.
Speak to friends and family
It’s always great when you have moral support regarding any lifestyle changes, but if you can make the switch alongside loved ones who want to become vegetarian, too, this can make the process an easier one, as you can research recipes together and always be sure you’re in the same boat when it comes to eating or socialising.