for Making the Switch
Making the switch to a vegetarian diet, but not
sure how to start?
Thanks to the increasing number of us cutting out animal
products and the subsequent rise in products catering
to our needs, going vegetarian has never been easier.
There are hundreds of delicious, healthful vegetarian
foods to fit every taste. You'll discover foods you
love--and you'll look better, feel better, and have
the peace that comes with knowing that your diet is
cruelty-free. Beginning any new lifestyle can be challenging.
Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to create complicated,
gourmet vegetarian meals right from the start. Start
by "vegging up" meals you already eat, like making spaghetti
with tomato sauce, soups, and salads, and by replacing
the meat in favorite recipes, like lasagna, stir fries,
and chili, with beans or textured vegetable protein
Try meat impostors--veggie burgers, "hot dogs," and
"turkey" made out of soy and other meatless ingredients.
They taste close enough to the real thing to fool the
unsuspecting diner, although you might have to try several
different brands before you find the one you really
Explore the many vegetarian convenience foods available.
Check natural foods stores for instant soup and main-dish
convenience items, as well as regular supermarkets.
Many canned soup flavors that you're probably already
used to are vegetarian, like black bean, minestrone,
and vegetable. Flavored rice mixes can be made into
an entrée just by adding a can of beans. Experiment
with vegetarian baked and refried beans (don't forget
to check for lard!) and different kinds of pasta. Order
pizza without the cheese but piled with vegetable toppings,
like peppers, mushrooms, or even artichokes.
Vegetarian cookbooks are a great source of inspiration.
Libraries and bookstores have a wide selection of vegetarian
cookbooks that will show you how to use less familiar
staples such as tofu, TVP, and seitan.
Nervous about traveling? Take plenty of vegetarian
snacks like granola bars and raw fruits and vegetables
to munch on car trips. If you're traveling by air, most
airlines will provide you with a vegetarian or vegan
option that will put standard airline fare to shame.
More than one air traveler has had a jealous carnivorous
seatmate try to swap meals! Order your vegetarian meal
24 hours in advance through your travel agent or the
airline's reservation line.
Remember that, by going vegetarian, you've chosen a
way of living that is good for your health, your wallet,
and your soul. Congratulations!