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How to Become a Vegetarian Easily (It’s not that Hard as You Thought!)

How to Become a Vegetarian Easily (It’s not that Hard as You Thought!)

No matter it’s for a diet or a cleanse, you can have your own reason to become a vegetarian. The problem is, it is not easy. Many may have tried, failed and back out from it during their journey of becoming a vegetarian.

Sometimes willpower might just not be enough. Apart from motivating yourself like keeping a list of reasons and benefits to become a vegetarian, it’s important to figure out some clever methods.

I have been there before too.

I stopped eating meat in 2006 when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I learned so much about how meat and animal products affect our health. Research shows that MS patients, and people dealing with other autoimmune conditions, that eat fewer saturated fats and “inflammatory foods” maintain better health (I would challenge that this goes for most everyone.). Giving up meat was one of the best ways I could really “do something” about my new diagnosis. I stopped eating meat to achieve better health.

When I started my vegetarian journey, I started reading and through experimenting with different methods, I’ve consolidated the best tips below.

Don’t cut meat all at once. Start slowly

    Instead of eliminating all meat from your diet, eliminate one animal at a time. For instance, start with beef. Don’t eat it for 30 days. Then eliminate pork in addition to beef. Continue to eliminate a category of meat every 30 days. Eventually you’ll elimate all meat and seafood, but because of the gradual approach, it won’t feel unmanageable. Adjust the timeline to better suit your needs.

    Substitute meat with veggies strategically

    To regain the nutrition we get from meat, we need some substitutes:

      Why are those great foods to replace meat?

      1. Spinach

      Spinach is packed with iron when it is cooked. And it doesn’t contain as much fat as beef!

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      2. Beans

      There are countless kinds of beans in the market, but all of them could do the same job: protein replacement. They are high in protein, and can integrated into various dishes, making it really easy to cook with.

      3. Tofu

      Another widely used choice as a meat substitute. Not only does it provide a good amount of protein, it is also a good source of iron and calcium, and is believed to help lower levels of bad cholesterol.

      4. Eggplant

      Eggplant have always been one of the most used replacement of meat. Italians have been using them to mimic meat for centuries when the price of meat is too high. It also provides similar nutrient values to other food in this list.

      5. Avocado

      Avocado provides a large amount of proteins, fats and enzymes which are all common in meat. It is considered one of the “superfood” with its high nutrients value. Most important, it taste wonderful.

      6. Dairy and eggs

      It really depends on which type of vegetarian you are, but some do consider dairy products and eggs to be out of the list. So if you are not aiming at going “complete vegan”, these two items could be great replacements for the lost of meat.

      Beware of additives! Many of them are not vegetarian

      Being vegan meant that you will have to start learning how to read labels on products. Many additives and thickeners like gelatin are animal products which you should avoid. Sometimes products might specify they are for vegan, but for most of them you will need to read the allergen label or the ingredient chart to find out. Remember to do some research and mark down the items that are not for vegetarian. Here are some names that you should know:

      Lists of non-vegan products

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      • Carmine/cochineal (E120) – red pigment of crushed female cochineal beetle, used as a food colouring

      • Casein – from milk (a protein)

      • Lactose – from milk (a sugar)

      • Whey – from milk. Whey powder is in many products, look out for it in crisps, bread and baked products etc.

      • Collagen – from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals such as cows, chickens, pigs, and fish – used in cosmetics

      • Elastin – found in the neck ligaments and aorta of bovine, similar to collagen

      • Keratin – from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals such as cows, chickens, pigs, and fish

      • Gelatine/gelatin – obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones and is usually from cows or pigs. Used in jelly, chewy sweets, cakes, and in vitamins; as coating/capsules

      • Aspic – industry alternative to gelatine; made from clarified meat, fish or vegetable stocks and gelatine

      • Lard/tallow – animal fat

      • Shellac – obtained from the bodies of the female scale insect Tachardia lacca

      • Honey – food for bees, made by bees

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      • Beeswax (E901) – made from the honeycomb of bees, found in lipsticks, mascaras, candles, crayons etc.

      • Propolis – used by bees in the construction of their hives

      • Royal Jelly – secretion of the throat gland of the honeybee

      • Vitamin D3 – from fish-liver oil; in creams, lotions and other cosmetics

      • Lanolin (E913) – from the oil glands of sheep, extracted from their wool – in many skin care products and cosmetics

      • Albumen/albumin – from egg (typically)

      • Isinglass – a substance obtained from the dried swim bladders of fish, and is used mainly for the clarification of wine and beer

      • Cod liver oil – in lubricating creams and lotions, vitamins and supplements

      • Pepsin – from the stomachs of pigs, a clotting agent used in vitamins

      Veganuary: Vegan Label Reading Guide

      Look for appealing vegan recipes to make it funnier

      When you got into the vegetarian lifestyle, you also opened the gate to a paradise of new food. There are many recipes out there catering to vegetarians which are filled with creativity and uniqueness. You can have a wide range of food for you to explore and experience. Here are some recipe made with the food mentioned above, you might just find the one for your dinner tonight:

      Spinach and Mozzarella Egg Bake 

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        Creamy Avocado and Spinach Pasta

           

          Vegan Buffalo Wings

             

            Eggplant Cacciatore

              Read and educate yourself with more reasons to stay off the meat

              While you are making the switch to becoming a vegetarian, read vegetarian blogs, Vegetarian Times magazine and books like

              These would reinforce your determination to become a vegetarian!

              Just answer meat eaters’ questions kindly and don’t expect them to join you

              You may experience resistance and questions about becoming a vegetarian, especially from close friends and family that don’t want to change. Be kind when answering questions and don’t expect anyone to join you. Share great vegetarian meals. Say “no thank you” when offered meat, and focus on your own commitment instead of what other people say or think.

              More by this author

              Courtney Carver

              Courtney Carver is a speaker, author, productivity expert and founder of Be More with Less.

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              Last Updated on May 15, 2019

              How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

              How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

              As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

              “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

              When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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              Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

              We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

              But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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              So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

              It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

              1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

              Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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              2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

              This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

              You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

              3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

              This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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              4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

              How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

              So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

              If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

              And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

              Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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