So you want to be a vegetarian? Maybe you’ve decided that eating meat isn’t your thing or you just want to cut down on the amount of meat you consume. Don’t feel that you’re alone. 

Today 7% of Americans call themselves vegetarians. Whether it’s for health benefits, concerns about the environment or the ethical treatment of animals, vegetariansim has caught on with mainstream society and is no longer considered a fringe or radical lifestyle.

Vegan In A VW wants to help your transition to a vegetarian diet by providing a few simple steps to help get you started. Once you begin, remember that the sensation of taste is learned. You may want to start slowly by replacing high-fat dairy products with fat-free versions, and by consuming less meat. However, making a complete break from animal foods is so rewarding that it’s actually easy for most people.

To ensure maximum health benefits, it’s important to check with your physician or registered dietitian before making significant changes in your eating habits.

Q: Can I get all my nutrients from a vegetarian/vegan diet?

A: YES. All of the protein, calcium and other vital nutrients you require are easy to obtain if you eat enough calories each day from a wide variety of foods. It’s that simple! The only nutrient deserving extra consideration is vitamin B-12. Because it is made by bacteria, B-12 is not naturally present in plants (or meat). Your B-12 requirements can be easily met by including miso, a B-12 fortified cereal, soymilk, nutritional yeast or a supplement twice a week.