Preparing for a lifestyle change
Altering your lifestyle is one of the biggest decisions that you will ever make, and thus it is recommended that you consider all factors carefully before making the switch. Every day we read a lot of stuff about the vegetarian lifestyle and its benefits. If you are tempted by the thought and are considering changing your lifestyle by going vegetarian, then there are some important factors and things that you must give proper consideration before diving into the new lifestyle.
The biggest change is the complete alteration in your daily food consumption and the effects that it can have on your nutritional requirements. It is important that you are physically, as well as mentally, ready for the new lifestyle so that you can complete the transition smoothly without any complications and issues.
Transitioning to the vegetarian lifestyle
Replacing texture, flavor and the nutritional value offered by poultry, meat, seafood, and fish is one of the biggest challenges of transitioning into a vegetarian lifestyle. If you are switching to the vegetarian lifestyle, then it is recommended that you slowly and gradually transition into the vegetarian routine rather than doing it immediately.
The gradual transition will help you get used to the new lifestyle smoothly, and prevent any major problems in the transition. However, if you decide to switch immediately then it is possible you could face resistance and give up too quickly. Experts recommend a gradual transition to complete the transformation in the best possible manner.
One of the most important things in adopting a vegetarian lifestyle is to understand the nutritional elements that you need to replace and the specific food items that will enable you to do so effectively. It is recommended that you consult a dietitian who understands your nutritional requirements and will prepare the alternative vegetarian diet that will meet all of your dietary requirements.
How to replace current food items
Let us have a look at some of the common food items and the alternative vegetarian options that can provide adequate nutritional value for your body.
Alternatives to poultry, meat, and fish:
- Seitan (a mock meat that has the look and texture of real meat)
Alternatives to dairy cheese:
- Cashew cheese
- Soy cheese
- Nutritional yeast
- Aquafaba-based cheese
Alternatives to dairy milk:
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Soy milk
- Rice milk
- Hemp milk
- Flax milk
Alternatives to eggs:
- Chia seeds plus 3 tablespoons of warm water
- Ener-G egg replacer
- A quarter cup of pureed silken tofu, sweet potato and applesauce
Load up on fruits and vegetables
One thing to remember is that you can eat all the delicious fruits and vegetables you desire. Mix in plenty of leafy, green vegetables, such as, spinach, red chard, romaine and bok choy. These are high in protein and will help replace protein loss from the elimination of animal protein.
Also, fruits and vegetables, such as, bananas, raspberries, apples, oranges, strawberries, sweet potatoes and green, leafy vegetables are high in fiber. This will help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.
Going vegetarian is not end to eating delicious foods and recipes. Experiment with various food items and make it fun. There are plenty of delicious vegetarian recipes on Pinterest that are begging to be made.