Being a vegetarian has several advantages both from a health and environmental perspective. However, the perceived disadvantages of being a vegetarian sometimes discourage people from making the switch. These so-called ‘disadvantages’ are easy to overcome and should not stand in the way of choosing to become vegetarian.
The most common misconceptions around a vegetarian diet are:
. You can’t get enough protein, calcium, iron or B12
. You will always be hungry
. You can’t eat out
. All you eat is tofu and salad
Do any of these resonate with you? Would you like to give a vegetarian diet a shot to see what it is like? I am running a 7 Day ‘You Can Do Vegetarian’ Challenge to show you how easy it can be. You can sign up here.
Let me briefly address the concerns I highlighted above:
Getting the proper nutrients on a vegetarian diet means replacing the animal-based sources with vegetarian sources. For protein you must add plant-based options like beans and legumes and eat a variety of nuts and seeds. Calcium can also be found in these plant-based foods as well as non-dairy beverages. Plant-based iron is a little more difficult for the body to absorb than animal-based iron but having some Vitamin C (like an orange) when eating these foods will help with absorption. Lentils and pumpkin seeds are both options. B12 on the other hand, may be a bit more challenging as it is found primarily in animal products. BUT it is added to breakfast cereals as well as non-dairy beverages. Make sure to read labels before you purchase if you are looking for food-based sources. If you can not find these fortified foods then taking a B12 supplement is the way to go.
If you feel like you never get full from eating vegetarian-style then you need to look at your protein sources. Protein is what will keep you full. Make sure to eat protein with every snack and meal.
Eating out vegetarian style has never been easier! With our current multicultural landscape there are loads of choices; Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Indian or Ethiopian foods are just a few of the cultures that have lots of vegetarian choices.
Tofu and salad! Yes! But there is so much more to choose from.
Want more tips on switching to a vegetarian diet? You can sign up for the 7 Days To Thriving On A Vegetarian Diet here.
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