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Beginner's Guide to Vegetarianism | Vegetarian Lifestyle Tips

February 25, 2019

 

Hey Wonderful,

 

In this blog post, I am discussing top 13 tips for beginners venturing the world of vegetarianism!

 

I am in a no way pressuring you to become a vegetarian or adopt a meatless diet or any kind of diet. I am here to help and answer questions for anyone that is interested in learning more about the specific topic. You should do what feels right for you and let others do the same.

 

And if you are not planning to adopt a vegetarian diet, you do not need to in order to enjoy this video as there will be tips on how to include more plant based foods into your diet which scientifically are proven to benefit health and prolong lifespan.

 

Before you begin if you have a medical condition or feed children, it is always advisable to see a dietician before you begin.

 

I don’t classify myself as someone that eats a specific diet. I do what feels right for me and my body. I have been a vegan and a vegetarian and as a student in Medical Nutrition I took up an interest in understanding more about the vegetarian diet and will be sharing my learnings based on the research performed.

 

Let's get started!

 

It’s easier to be a vegetarian that you may think!

If you focus on how hard being a vegetarian is then it will be hard and you will struggle, but if you focus on how to incorporate more plant-based foods and good sources of protein such as eggs or beans then it will be more fun. Make this a fun process, what will you discover today or this week rather than what you should not eat and avoid. In time you won’t think about it much, it will become a habit and you will have establish ways to be consistent.

 

Be ok with not getting it right from the start!

Yes there will be times when you won’t get something right and that is ok. That’s part of the learning curve. Be ok with that and start over again.

 

Schedule extra time for meal preparation

Any new habit needs extra effort in the beginning but with time you will become and expert and the initial time dedicated to meal planning will decrease. Planning is essential also when you are venturing places you are not familiar with their offerings as well, i.e. airport food. In that case you may need to prepare your snacks / foods in advance and planning is your best friend!

 

Stock up on essentials

It’s a lot more challenging to follow a certain diet when you do not have the necessary ingredients to do so. Stocking up on certain go to foods such as canned chickpeas, eggs, fresh veggies set you up for success.

 

Focus on adding new flavours / ingredients

Play a game and count the amount of foods you tried in a week or a day and try next week or day to eat more than the previous one. Adding a new ingredient every week in your list that was not there the week prior.

 

Learn 5 recipes you love

Because most of the times we do not have ample of time to cook or prepare meals. I highly recommend that you find 5 recipes that you will learn to do well and will be your go to for preparing something quick to eat. This way you won’t be tempted to go for something that is less deserving for you. You can find various recipes online, on

Pinterest or even on my site.

 

Don’t be afraid of dairy

I used to be literally afraid of eating anything dairy. After understanding more about nutrition, I chose to eat dairy only in a form of cheese or yogurt and only if I know it’s coming from a good source. An epidemiological study across 21 countries on 136,384 individuals between 35 and 70 years old has showed that dairy consumption was associated with lower risk of mortality and major cardiovascular disease events. So, it’s not all that bad!

 

Be open to dairy alternatives

However, at the same time be open to dairy alternatives adding more varied foods in your life thus increasing the variety of nutrients you consume.

 

Combine different macronutrients in each meal

Always check that you have as many variety of ingredients as possible. Ensure to have a source of protein, a source of plants which will be your carbohydrates and a source of healthy fats.

 

Supplements

A vegetarian diet is not as restrictive as a vegan one which means you do not really need to take supplements unless your blood tests show some serious deficiencies. In this case you will need to take for a certain time supplements while fixing the issue through nutrition. Vitamin D supplementation is also recommended during seasons with restrictive sunlight. Both of which apply for everyone and not necessary to a person following a certain diet.

 

Determine and focus on the reason

So, why are you making this change in the first place? Make sure it is solid in your mind or even write it down, so every time in doubt you can refer to it.

 

People don’t get you? It’s ok!

If you are someone that struggles with explaining or make others understand why you are following a certain type of a lifestyle, it’s ok. You don’t have to explain to everyone you meet what type of a diet you follow, sometimes it is easier to say, no I don’t feel like eating that. I used to do that in the year that I followed a vegan diet. I found people asking too many questions as soon as they found out that I was a vegan and I was not always in the mood of having the conversation. 

 

No need to label yourself

I feel like we love labels today, vegan, pegan, vegetarian, flexitarian. I think those are not needed and kind of divide us I feel. You are someone that prefers to say yes to certain foods and no to others. That’s it!

 

Those were my 13 tips on how to incorporate more of a vegetarian type of diet.

 

I hope these were helpful for you. 

 

See you soon!
Christina

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