If you’ve made the commitment to becoming vegetarian or vegan, yet finding it difficult to make the transition in your diet and your lifestyle, try not to get discouraged. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and big changes like this don’t often happen either.
Here’s my day by day plan to make the whole process a smoother ride. This way you can sustain your new lifestyle and feel great about it.
First Two Weeks
Start out with committing to be a vegetarian for three days per week for the first couple of weeks. Start substituting ingredients in your favorite dishes to make them truly meatless. Throw in mushrooms to that marinara sauce to take the place of meatballs, or try some textured vegetable protein (TVP) in that lasagna recipe. Making simple replacements in your tried and true recipes can inspire you to stay on the vegetarian track once you see how delicious they can be.
Week Three and Four
Next, commit to five days per week for the next two weeks. Study the natural foods aisle at your local grocer, or make it a point to introduce yourself to the local health foods store. Treat yourself to a few new vegetarian products and try them in your next meal. The internet can be a great source of vegetarian recipes. And don’t limit yourself to being vegetarian only at home; most all restaurants offer delicious vegetarian entrees, so be sure to try them. You may even find inspiration for your home cooking by doing so.
Week Five and Beyond
Now all that’s left to do is add two more days on your week, and you’ll be a converted vegetarian or vegan all week long! After all, you’ve been doing it for a month now…you’ve become a seasoned rookie in the game. Take pride in your accomplishments, because not only have you made positive changes in your lifestyle and eating habits, but for the environment and animals as well. Remember, it’s not about being perfect. Every animal-positive change you make to your diet has a great effect. By rewarding yourself for each meat free choice you make, and you’ll be motivated to continue in the right direction!