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Vegetarianism the Easy Way

“Make it easy on yourself.”

I like that phrase. And it’s a good motto for learning a new skill or going through a big life transition. When you decide to explore becoming a vegetarian, it is very easy to get scared off by what appears to be a difficult road ahead. But the truth is, there is an easy way and a hard way to become a vegetarian. So in keeping with our motto of the day of “make it easy on yourself”, lets discuss vegetarianism the easy way.

First of all along with learning a new way to eat, you are also giving up something you probably have loved to eat for years. So to reduce the difficulty in going through this transition, don’t try to accomplish the entire transition in one day. We have a mistaken concept about vegetarians that the conversion is instantaneous as though one day the person was eating all the meat he or she could find and in a flash they became a robe wearing, mantra singing vegetarian. But that is complete myth. Most successful vegetarians found there way into the discipline in stages and gave up meat slowly.

You might take on your vegetarian transition one meal at a time. First give up eggs and bacon for breakfast and switch to grain cereals or pancakes. Don’t try to give up cheese and milk at first. Select specific items you will eliminate from specific meals and just accomplish that for a week or so. Then once you have conquered that step, add lunch and then much later add dinner. And don’t throw your hands up and give up if you have a moment of weakness and have a hamburger one day. You wont be drummed out of the vegetarian society for one mistake in your program. Just get back with it and keep on keeping on.

Find ways to see some success by being reasonable and sensible about how you approach your meal planning. If one of your goals for switching to a meatless diet is to lose weight, don’t substitute sugars and sweats for the meat. If you find yourself eating without meat but each day you have a big bowl of fruit drowned in sugary additives, you won’t lose the weight and you might mistakenly think your program failed you. Think about what you eat so you don’t sabotage your own diet.

One of the things that scares a lot of people away from trying vegetarianism is the idea of having to learn to eat exotic and expensive new foods such as tofu, and tempeh. So make it easy on yourself and eat the foods you know. By doing your shopping in your own grocery store and buying more food from the produce section than the meat section, you will be working with foods like carrots, onions, garlic, broccoli, celery and cabbage and that familiarity will make the transition to becoming a vegetarian easier to take. Also by shopping where you are comfortable and eating “normal” foods, you eliminate the sensation that you are joining some bizarre cult.

Now make it fun. Yes it can be fun to be a vegetarian. You can start shopping at farmer’s markets instead at the boring grocery store and select very fresh produce and vegetables for your next cooking experiment. Not only are outdoor markets more fun, you will find them cheaper so instead of seeing your food budget go up because of becoming a vegetarian, it goes down. Then by working as a family to find fun vegetarian recipes and working together to make them, everybody gets in on the act discovering how delicious vegetarian meals can be. And when you are having fun, you may forget entirely that you dreaded this transition. Before long, you are a vegetarian and it didn’t hurt a bit!

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Word Count 648

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Life Without Meat

vegetarian food
Becoming a vegetarian is about a lot more than just a change to your diet. It is a lifestyle choice that influences many aspects of your life separate from just what you put into your body for food. This is why the path from when you first considered taking on the life of a vegetarian to when you are finally ready to make that transition may be several weeks or months. The journey to that moment when you are ready must not be rushed. Because not only is it a physical journey toward a physical change of diet, it is a spiritual, ethical and emotional journey as well.

Life without meat will mean a new approach to meal preparation that means new recipes and new ways to shop for the foods you need. This becomes additionally complex if you are living with those who have not made the choice to become vegetarians. If you are charged with meal preparation, that means two menus per night. If someone else is the primary cook of the house, that means you will need some accommodation so you can have a vegetarian meal while others are eating meat. That is going to take some relationship building and some tolerance by you and by the meat lovers in your home so everybody can dine in peace.

Being a vegetarian in a world of meat eaters may be one of the biggest adjustments you may have to make. But be prepared for some cravings for meat as well. At first, it might be wise to ease into vegetarianism so you still get some protein from meat while your body gets used to a lowered intake of that food group. This is also important because it will take a few weeks or longer to find a diet that has adequate substitutes for the nutrients and vitamins you are taking out of your body because of your new diet. By leaving meat in your eating schedule for a short time, you are less prone to feel run down or endure vitamin deficiencies during the transition to a full vegetarian eating regimen.

Many times a vegetarian lifestyle is part of a larger change of life which may also incorporate yoga, meditation or other spiritual activities. If your sole reason for becoming a vegetarian is related to health, this may not be as much of an issue. But if you are feeling drawn to a vegetarian life without meat because of ethical, moral or spiritual reasons, your desire to embrace vegetarianism is no doubt part of a larger spiritual quest or renewal that you are going though. This is healthy and the more you fully embrace your new interest in this side of your personality and soul, the more your desire to be a vegetarian will fit a total change of life.

But one of the most delightful surprises you will enjoy when you embrace the lifestyle of a vegetarian will be the number of others who will join you in your quest for a cleaner and more spiritual way to treat your body. The vegetarian community is a large one and it will welcome you warmly with community, support and all the help they can provide. But even from the community of those who are not vegetarians, you will often find friends and loved ones very supportive of the change of life you are going through and they will seek to help you all they can.

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Word Count 584

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