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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 November 17, 2019

              20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

              20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

              Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

              1. Make a gift bag.

              A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

              2. Give a toast.

              Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

              3. Write a poem.

              “Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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              4. Create your own labels.

              There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

              5. Give a gift card.

              Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

              6. Send a letter.

              Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

              7. Use social media to send a special message.

              If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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              8. Make your own digital greeting card.

              While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

              9. Make a YouTube video.

              Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

              10. Deliver cookies or candies.

              Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

              11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

              There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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              12. Put together a flower basket.

              Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

              13. Take a picture.

              Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

              14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

              The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

              15. Do something special for them.

              Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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              16. Reciprocate their help.

              Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

              17. Be there for them.

              Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

              18. Listen to them.

              Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

              19. Say it in another language…or two…

              A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

              20. Show them some love.

              A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

              Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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