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Tips on How to Start a Vegetarian Diet

Congratulations on your decision to start a vegetarian diet! If you’re like so many people who’ve made the change, the decision to go meatless did not come easily. Within American culture, meat has become the centerpiece of almost every meal, which can make it easy to overlook just how delicious vegetables are and see the many health benefits a vegetarian diet has to offer.

The good news is there’s no set way to switch over to plant-based eating, and there are many approaches you can take. As far as health benefits go, a vegetarian diet just can’t be beat, which you’ll soon realize along the way. Here are a few tips on how to start a vegetarian diet, along with where to find step-by-step guidelines to make the transition go as smoothly as possible.

Going Cold Turkey on Meats vs. the Gradual Approach – Which Works Better?

Going vegetarian may seem like a cut and dried course of action, but it really doesn’t have to be. While some people may prefer to go cold turkey and jump right in, there’s nothing wrong with taking the gradual approach when starting a vegetarian diet. Going meatless is a major lifestyle change that comes with incredible health benefits.

You can start out by adding more fruits and vegetables to each meal. Substituting unhealthy entrees, like macaroni and cheese, with a vegetable dish is another way to go. By easing into a plant-based diet, you can still make definite progress without feeling like you’re missing out.

Some Tips on How to Start a Vegetarian Diet

Planning in Advance Is Half the Battle

After years of planning meals around the meat entree, it’s not unusual to feel lost when faced with having to make full-course, plant-based meals. Planning in advance makes vegetarian meal planning easier to do. Since what’s in the cupboards is what gets eaten, planning begins with the grocery list. Determine which vegetables and fruits you already like to eat and fill your refrigerator and cupboards with a variety of plant-based foods.

It also helps to have a menu guideline and recipes handy. This makes the selection process that much easier. Hallelujah Diet offers a “Get Started” guide that shows how to plan your meals in practical ways, along with what foods to add to your diet and what foods to avoid. The Get Started guide also includes helpful nutritional information that talks about the various health benefits different foods have to offer.

Add Juicing to Your Daily Meal Plan

glasses fresh squeezed juiceWhen making the switch to a vegetarian diet, getting enough vegetables into your daily menu can be a challenge. While the U. S. Department of Agriculture recommends one to two cups of fruit and one to three cups of vegetables, you’ll want to aim for a minimum of 10 total servings a day. In this way, not only are the body’s nutritional needs being met, but you’ll be feeding the natural self-healing systems that promote continued health and longevity.

Juicing offers a quick and easy way to add more fruits and vegetables into your daily meal plan. Juicing extracts the core nutrients from fruits and vegetables in liquid form, making it easier for the body to absorb them. Since it takes 12 to 16 ounces of most vegetables and fruits to make an 8 ounce glass of juice, juicing can deliver mega-nutrients in an efficient manner.

Work Toward a Healthy Balance of Nutrients

As with any diet plan, it’s important to work toward including a healthy balance of nutrients in your meal planning. A plant-based diet made up of whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables provides ample nutrition for the body’s needs. The trick to keeping meals balanced is to eat a variety of different foods.

If you’re concerned at all about getting enough protein, rest assured, there’s no shortage of proteins in a vegetarian diet. Lentils, beans, nut butters, almonds, and many more options offer plenty of protein to meet the body’s needs. The nutrients you’ll want to make sure are present in your meal plans are iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B12. As mentioned before, having a step-by-step guideline to follow will take much of the guesswork out of this task.

Stay Open to New Taste Sensations

smoothies with ingredients in wooden trayWhen you start a vegetarian diet, you’re opening yourself up to a whole new world of taste sensations. The wide variety of vegetable choices, the different spices, and new-found sauces offer as tasty a selection of entrees as any meat-based menu. After trying different types of foods and recipes, you’ll develop a whole new taste palate that craves nutritious and healthy foods. Besides all this, it won’t be long before you start to notice the health benefits, such as having more energy, feeling better, and thinking clearly, that come with eating a plant-based diet.

Comments

  1. Angela May 20, 2019

    I find this article to be very helpful! When transitioning
    over to a vegetarian diet it can be very difficult and confusing. Some of us do it with the graduall approach and some dive head first. Either way it is better to do it your way. The way that best suits you and what you can handle. It seems it is easier to stick to it when you find which approach is best for you.

  2. Jennifer May 22, 2019

    This is a great article. I think the gradual transition is best because it seems much easier to make the change and stick to it.

  3. Annette Whitworth July 3, 2019

    This blog has some great information for a person that wants to transfer over to a vegetarian diet. The tips are great, this statement right here stood out the most to me..”Planning in advance makes vegetarian meal planning easier to do. This is so true! My daughter does this every week with her husband they do meal prep. So whenI read that I was like yes. It is ok to make a gradual approach with the changes. Thanks again

  4. Katrina Scott March 15, 2021

    Looking forward to starting a new healthy way of eating.

  5. John Parson November 19, 2021

    Many years ago, around 1989, I saw Rev Malkmus in the 700 Club, he was talking about a raw plant based diet with lots of fresh made vegetable juices. By the end of the program I was so impressed by what he said that I called and ordered his new book “Why Christians Get Sick” Then went to the store an d bought a juicing machine and some produce too. I had ebeen unable to work for over 3 years at the time, but on the 3rd day of the raw diet, I was off the couch, and by the time the book got there I had a job too, after not being able to work for those 3 years. I stuck with the eating plan for over 8 years, then started having some weird feelings and craving some fish. I went down to the ocean and caught a salmon and shared it with so Indians on the beach. So since then I have been about %80 vegetarian and have fish and eggs a couple of time a week. I never did qit my research into nutritional healing, and all forms of natural healing too. Energy Healing, Acupressure, Reflexology, EFT Tapping, Magnetic healing, and practice Qigong too for the last 20 years. I’m 74 now and still run, bike, and workout with kettlebells too. I have recently added Green smoothies to my diet about a quart a day, following Victoria Boutenko’s Plan. The large amounts of greens added into my diet have made a huge difference. Thank you Rev. Malkmus for getting me started all those years ago. My library now has more than a thousand books on nutritional healing and many other natural healing methods too, and I have read every one of them too. I have not had so much as a single aspirin since 1989.

    • Melody Hord November 19, 2021

      John,
      THANK YOU for sharing this!! I love the way you listen to your body. You must have done plenty of cleansing in 8 years and when your body started craving something, then you knew it was time to add that back to your diet. You have motivated me to step up the Green Smoothies. I used to drink about 32 oz a day, but got tired of them.
      I have been doing some green smoothies but not enough.
      Do you still juice? Thanks, Melody

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