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Five Steps to Becoming Vegetarian or Vegan 
 
by Tamiya King August 07, 2005

#3: Purchase Vegan and Vegetarian Cookbooks and Magazines.

If you spend money on a cookbook or a vegetarian lifestyle magazine, you’re more likely to actually use it. Browse through the books to look at the presentation of the food, and be sure to read any captions that will tell you about specific nutritional benefits of each meal. This will also give you realistic vegetarian and vegan recipe ideas; sometimes photographs of certain foods can make you feel like preparing the same meal is next to impossible; however, when you see the ingredients, you may not feel so intimidated.

#4: Start eliminating certain things from your diet.

If you’re trying to become vegetarian, try to eliminate one thing from your diet each week, and be sure to have a replacement. If you’re taking beef or pork out of your diet, replace it with chicken or turkey. After a week or so of poultry, try only eating fish. Then, you may be ready to switch to tofu or other soy-based meat substitutes. If you’re becoming vegan, try eliminating one dairy product from your diet per week; it may be easier to start with something you don’t consume on a daily basis. Start with treats like yogurt or ice cream (and replace these things with soy-based products), then gradually move to milk, eggs, and cheese. If you have something to put in the cupboards in place of the items you’re giving up, you’ll be less likely to cheat on your diet.

#5: Take yourself seriously; start living in your new diet.

If you don’t take this diet change seriously, no one else will. Try a new vegetarian recipe each week for dinner, or increase your snack intake daily (of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, of course). When you’re invited to parties or get-togethers, bring a vegetarian dish. If you’re the only one in your house that is converting to a vegetarian diet, set your food aside while you’re cooking for your family. These small changes will let your friends and family know that this change is very important to you, and they’ll be more likely to be supportive if they know you want to stick to it.

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