Let me start off by saying that being a vegetarian is NOT for everyone. I do not try to convince people to completely stop eating meat, nor do I tell them that meat is gross. Its a personal choice.
Not reasons to become a vegetarian: To lose weight, because your friend is, because its trendy, because Alicia Silverstone is, and shes fabulous. (Yes she is, but its still not a reason)
Reasons to be a vegetarian: Ethical, environmental or religious reasons.
For me personally, its ethical reasons, with environmental reasons being the cherry on the preverbal sundae.
With the exception of my sister and I, my family eats meat. My sister is a new vegetarian- a little less than a year, I think, and I’ve been a vegetarian for about 4 years.
I still lived at home when I decided that I was fully committed to nixing meat from my diet and at first, my family wasn’t very supportive. They couldn’t understand my reason for wanting to stray from the way I had been eating for years. They were concerned that I wouldn’t be getting the right amout of calories and vitamins that my body needed. I explained to them that it was a personal choice and that I was going to be fine and still eat like I had always been eating, but with a few tweaks.
These tweaks are things that you could try if you wanted to be full time vegetarian or if you are trying to cut back your meat intake for any reason. Perhaps for meatless Mondays? Or a couple meat free meals a couple nights per week?
Before -> After
Beef tacos -> Black bean and avocado tacos
Turkey sandwich -> Hummus and vegetable sandwich
Hamburger -> Curried chickpea burger
Fried Chicken -> Fried tofu (pressed tofu drizzled in Braggs liquid aminos, rolled in nooch and pan fried. Yum)
Meatloaf -> Lentil loaf
Chili -> Three bean chili or vegetable and crumbled tofu chili
Ham sandwich -> Seitan sandwich
Beef + vegetable soup -> Lentil vegetable soup
Plain old chicken w/ veg -> jazz that up with an equally healthy stir fry
Old stand bys that are already vegetarian:
PB+J, grilled cheese (+tomato for me, please), egg salad sandwich, cheese ravioli with marinara, most breakfast foods, homemade mac n’ cheese and SO much more!
There are also many meat substitutes at the grocery store from tofu dogs and veggie burgers to lunch “meat” to “turkey roasts” that you can try out. I tend to stay away from those because of how processed they are, but they are excellent in a pinch. Just don’t expect them to taste like meat. I don’t care what anyone tells you- they don’t really taste like meat.
Going meat free one day or a couple meals per week is easy peasy! In fact, I bet some of you do it without even noticing!
Make someone smile today! (Making yourself smile counts.) :)
Do you eat meat free without noticing sometimes?
What is your absolute favorite meal? (vegetarian or not) When I ate meat, would have said pepperoni pizza or beef and broccoli. Now, its wild mushroom risotto with tons of cheese in it…. oh yeah.