How to Become a Vegetarian in 4 Simple Steps
Step 1. Find a plant-based alternative
How to get started? Make a swap! Pick one animal-based product that you would like to swap out of your daily life. For example, it might be beef, cow’s milk or eggs. Now, find a plant-based alternative for it at the store. Below is a list of common plant-based alternatives for common animal-based food items.
Next, substitute in the vegetarian option in your food whenever you would have previously reached for the animal product. For example, if you choose to remove cow’s milk from your dietary repertoire, you might pick up almond milk instead at the store and splash it into your coffee to complete your first vegetarian swap. Way to go! You are one step farther on your quest to become a vegetarian. (Tip: for the healthiest swap and a taste similar to milk, choose an unflavoured and unsweetened plant-based alternative.)
Before you skip with excitment over to the market to pick up your vegetarian options, remember this: a vegetarian options doesn’t automatically make it a good choice. For example, coconut ice cream is still ice cream – it contains saturated fats and sugars are not healthy choices for those with heart health concerns or diabetic. However, there are less obvious examples such as avocados, nuts and seeds. All of these are considered healthy whole foods yet, they are high in calories and could curb your weight loss efforts.
Common plant-based alternatives for animal-based food products:
- Replace Beef chili with a soup made from White Beans, Kidney Beans, and/or Chickpeas
- Replace Butter with Apple Sauce (apple sauce can be used in substitution for butter in some baking recipes.)
- Replace Chicken with Firm Tofu
- Replace Cow’s Milk with Soy Milk
Replace Egg with Banana or Ground Flax Seed (Combine 3 tbsp water with 1 tbsp of ground flax seed in a container. Mix and let sit until it becomes thick. Add to recipe in place of an egg. In some cases, a mashed banana can work in place of an egg.)
- Replace Ground Beef with a mixture of Crushed Walnuts and Cauliflower
Step 2. Learn how to cook vegan
Most plant-based alternatives can easily take the place of an animal-based food in your favorite recipes. An easy place to start is with tofu. Extra firm tofu may be the easiest vegetarian alternative to replace meat because it requires little prep work, slices with a consistency of meat and takes on any flavour you add to it. Firm tofu can be added to a smoothie to create a creamy texture. For…
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