As global warming, animal cruelty and health warnings are broadcasted across the media, an increasing number of us are becoming vegetarians.
Fortunately for us, there are a plethora of meat substitutes in supermarkets. In honour of World Vegetarian Day, why not try out Tofu or Quorn instead of meat today?
The transition to vegetarianism is an exciting one that opens up a whole world of healthy recipes. You may notice that many of these recipes can be adapted to veganism too. The two diets go in hand-in-hand and usually, it is mainly only the dairy products which differ.
Before embarking on the transition to veggie life, consider the following:
Why are you doing it?
It's important to understand the reasons WHY you are becoming a vegetarian before you begin this lifestyle change. Eating meat can be a habit for some people. To break any habit, you need the motivation to keep going when you want to fall back into old routines.
Are you cutting out meat for ethical reasons to save the animals? Are you trying to protect the planet by doing your bit towards reducing carbon emissions? Maybe you are just curious about the health benefits of removing animal fats from your diet? Whatever your motivation, make sure to write it down as a reminder of why you turned veggie!
When you are changing your diet it's important to educate yourself on meat-free substitutions. Quorn, tofu, vegetables and nuts are all great sources of protein; you don't NEED chicken or beef. If you are used to cooking with meat, it can be difficult to consider cooking a balanced meal without it though.
Start reading veggie cookbooks and learn how to modify your favourite meat recipes. My personal favourites?
It can be difficult to cut out meat in one go. Try a three-week staggered approach. Cut out red meat in the first week. Two weeks later, eliminate chicken and pork. Finally, say goodbye to fish. This way you will adapt to removing each meat as you go and learn how to incorporate substitutions into your diet.
Snacking the healthy way
We all love snacking. Instead of mini sausages and chicken-flavoured crisps, try out dried fruits, hummus, vegetable sticks, nuts and breakfast bars. This way you can save the animals and squeeze in all of your vitamins.
If you have a sweet tooth, it can be a little tricky to find sweets without gelatin in them. Gelatin comes from animals and is found in most gummy sweets. Lucky for you, Percy Pigs are gelatin-free and DELICIOUS!
A little bit of planning...
When it comes to British holiday meals, roasted meat is a tradition. Whether it's turkey, chicken, pork or lamb you will undoubtedly find these at the heart of any Christmas dinner, New Year's Eve buffet or birthday celebration. Instead of filling up on vegetables, why not bring along your own nut roast or Quorn substitute? You CAN still enjoy the holidays meat-free!
Why not vegan?
After being vegetarian for a few years, you may decide to make the transition to veganism. This diet is a little harder to stick to as dairy, meat and any other animal products are eliminated. Make an informed choice and make sure to read up on vitamin B12 before embarking on this journey!