Steps to Take
It’s important to approach vegetarianism at your own pace. Some find it easy to stop eating animal products abruptly, while others need to start slowly and pace themselves. Whichever route you choose, make sure it feels good to your body. And most importantly, HAVE FUN! This isn’t some diet that’s meant to deprive you of all the foods you love. This is an eating style that will make you feel lighter and better about yourself.
"It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect of the human temperment, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind" – Albert Einstein
Step 1 – Reduce or eliminate red meat, poultry and fish. Replace with health-supporting grains, legumes and potato-based dishes. Or, start by giving yourself larger servings of rice, potatoes and vegetables at meals, with accompanying smaller portions of meat.
Step 2 – Increase intake of calcium-rich vegetables – broccoli, carrots, kale, chard, mustard greens, etc. Choose more raw fruits and vegetables: cooking destroys nutrients. Try for 50% uncooked foods in your daily intake and gradually increase the proportion. Don’t forget to buy Organic.
Step 3 – Reduce the "luxury" fats. Hydrogenated oils (like margarine) are artificially thickened vegetable oils that can damage you arteries and have been linked to some cancers. Gradually eliminate both butter and margarine from your diet. Reduce your use of cooking oils and oil-based salad dressings. Switch to nonfat (or low-fat) versions of prepared foods (and dairy products, if you still eat them). Read product labels. Replace eggs in baking with two tablespoons of water per egg – or try Ener-G egg substitute.
Step 4 – Replace dairy products with non-dairy foods. Delicious milks, cheeses, and frozen desserts based on soy, rice, nuts and seeds are available in health food stores and many grocery stores.
Step 5 – Reduce refined carbohydrates (white flour, white sugar, white rice, etc.) by choosing whole grain products and natural sweeteners (fruits, juices, maple syrup, etc.)