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10 Ways to Help You Stick to Your New Vegetarian Diet

10 Ways to Help You Stick to Your New Vegetarian Diet

In honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month, and for all of you out there who are taking the 30 Day Veg Pledge, here are 10 things that you can do to help you stick to your new and exciting lifestyle…

1. Spring Clean Your Cupboards – If it isn’t aligned with your new way of eating, get rid of it! Whether you trash it, give it away or donate it to a local shelter, just make sure it isn’t anywhere near you. The transitional phase is always the hardest and out of sight really is out of mind when it comes to food.

2. Don’t go to the Supermarket on an Empty Stomach- If you do, you’re asking for trouble. Research shows that if you go grocery shopping when you’re hungry you’re much more likely to make unhealthy food choices and end up with a trolley full of junk food. Avoid derailing your new diet by having a snack such as a piece of fruit before heading to the store.

3. Get Your Family On Board – Talk with your friends and family about your decision to go veg and express how much it would mean to you if they could join in or at least be understanding. Making multiple meals to please everyone’s palette isn’t much fun so getting them on board will make your life a whole lot easier, even if it is just some of the time!

4. Plan Ahead – Planning is the key when it comes to your veggie success. If you already know what you’re going to eat, you’ll be less likely to stray. Make a rough plan at the beginning of each week and buy ingredients with specific meals in mind.

5. Experiment – A vegetarian diet isn’t limited. Ask most vegetarians and they will tell you that their diet became much more varied and interesting since they made the switch. Just think about all the wonderful and exciting fruits, vegetables and legumes out there that you’ve never tried and challenge yourself to experiment with one new food each week. There are also plenty of incredible cookbooks and amazing blogs with recipe inspiration for every food you could possibly imagine.

6. Eat Generously – One of the most common complaints new vegetarians make is that they feel hungry. If you’re hungry, then you’re probably not eating enough. People find that when they move to a more whole-foods diet, they need to eat larger quantities because the food is not as caloric dense. It this seems like you then eat away, just make sure you’re eating healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables.

7. Understand That You Might Not Feel Your Best – When you make such a big change in your diet, you will undoubtedly experience some detox effects. It can take time for your body to adjust to this new way of eating, so don’t be discouraged if you’re feeling strange. If you think you’re craving meat, chances are your body is just crying out for more healthy fats, so double up on the avocados at lunchtime and throw in an extra portion of walnuts.

8. Stay Motivated with Positive Affirmations – Remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing on a daily basis to maintain motivation and keep your momentum. Whether you’re doing it for your health, the planet or the animals, or a combination of all three, write down your reasons, stick them somewhere you won’t miss and read them aloud at least once per day.

9. Seek Support and Advice – Having a support system in place especially during the first few weeks or months is extremely valuable. If you’ve got friends who are already vegetarian, then don’t be afraid to ask them about their experience. If you don’t have any existing connections, then make new ones via local meetup groups or through social media (there are lots of helpful groups on Facebook).

10. Educate Yourself - One of the greatest pieces of advice I can give for long term success with your new vegetarian diet is to educate yourself. Here are some resources to help you along your new path:


Also be sure to investigate further what is happening to animals and all the inhumane practices that they are forced to endure. It may be overwhelming, but it will certainly provide you with the desire to stick to cruelty free options. Some great starting points include:

Read more: , , , ,

Photo Credits: xJason.Rogersx, Tamara Evans, Backyard Betty, Nic Taylor Photography, SalFalko, stirwise, masdistraction, Jiuck, Camdiluv, Ame Otoko, Ed Yourdon, hugovk

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113 comments

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8:23PM PST on Dec 25, 2013

ty

10:29AM PST on Dec 9, 2013

10 great and thoughtful tips, thanks for posting!

1:00PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

Good ideas, however, I have somewhat different thoughts on "Get Your Family On Board" ...

1. Remember that you are the one rocking the family's boat. The others are just doing what they have always done.

2. Attempting to change others is likely to cause either resentment, or a pushback to talk you out of your "crazy idea," or both.

3. Rather than cooking two different meals, I make a vegan entree, vegetable side, and salad, and offer grilled meat for those that feel the need. Everyone seems to like the Indian Dal, or vegetable stew, or whatever - even if they also want their meat.

11:30AM PDT on Oct 26, 2013

I agree with those saying to gradually change. That's what I've been doing and m down to a bit of meat here and there during the month. Instead of making the meat center stage for meals, like with meat and potatoes meals, I am making hearty soups which are very filling, especially potato soups. Am going to experiment with squash and pumpkin soups next. I find these kind of soups are more filling than the brothy ones.

12:46AM PDT on Oct 21, 2013

Thank you for the interesting article.

3:41AM PDT on Oct 18, 2013

thanks for the article

11:40PM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

Although I have been a vegetarian for many years now, I thought I would read this just in case I could add anything to this very good article... Well.. one thing that I DO know is that some people do not find it easy to go 'cold turkey' ( Not a very good choice of words for this subject!!) and find that they give up. I seem to see more and more people having long-term success if they introduce the vegetarian food gradually. They just eat less and less meat, in smaller and smaller portions as they are getting used to their new way of eating. I think that some people find that their digestions cope with the change better this way. The thing to hold onto is that after a while you whole brain seems to change and you beging to LOVE veggie food and although you might find that you get rather'windy' and hungrier at first, things DO change! I must admit that I do eat a lot, but that only goes to prove that you really DO need to make sure that you eat enough as some things are NOT so easy to digest and gain the nourishment from as from meat. Sooner or later you will feel totally SICK at even the sight of meat! GOOD LUCK! You will not only feel healthier and possibly a lot slimmer, but you will feel better spiritually and mentally as you know that you are living the 'kind way!' especially if you truly love animals! You find your love of animals deepens and you feel more in tune and connected to them.

5:53PM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

So often when I see these kinds of "Ten Tips to..." articles, they turn out to be annoyingly useless, but this one's really good!

I've been a vegetarian for four years now, and I've got first hand experience with most of these points. I was SO HUNGRY for the first month or so of going veg, and it's because I was relying on just the veggie portion of the "meat-and-three-veg" style meals that I'd known all my life. "Three-veg" does not make for a particularly filling meal. You've got to get creative, experiment a little, stick at it (because it can be hard at first, but then it becomes so easy it's second nature) and yes, get those you eat with on board, if possible. I went veggo first, then the rest of my family followed suit, and we're all SO much healthier for it... and cooking's a breeze!!

1:58PM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

good tips here...

8:29AM PDT on Oct 17, 2013

Great article!! However, I have one simple way...watch any undercover video of the factory farming industry and its horrific treatment of animals and you'll have no problem sticking to the diet. Just hope you don't have nightmares...

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