#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.