The decision to adopt an all meat-free diet may be a complex choice in the beginning.
One must become more conscious when reading food labels when at the grocery store, finding new and creative recipes to cook that include all of the necessary nutrients and making sure you have a consistent and healthy diet.
If you are a newly turned vegetarian, you will be surprised as to how many of your favorite meals that involve animal meat can be cooked into their vegetarian-friendly version.
With the increasing number of vegetarians, you can find a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan products at your local grocery store.
Being a vegetarian does not have to be hard. You can choose to make elaborate meals if you enjoy cooking and trying new recipes or you can choose to keep it simple and make some quick and easy meals.
The most important thing about being vegetarian is to have a healthy and balanced diet, which would also be the case for any other daily diet.
You must make sure you are consuming a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, lots of greens, whole grain products, nuts and seeds, and of course, limit your consumption of sweets or fatty foods.
The History of Vegetarianism
Eat like a peasant, live like a king.
With the increasing amount of exposure on vegetarianism and veganism, people may think that this is a fresh new concept that just came out a few years ago, not knowing that an all plant-based diet has existed since ancient times.
In Medieval times, for example, only the high, richer classes would be able to afford to eat meat, cheese, and drink wine, ale, etc. Even sweet products were very expensive to obtain back then.
You could easily tell who was upper class by how they looked. They were often bigger and, maybe in today’s eyes, not so healthy looking.
If you have recently visited a museum, you may remember seeing old paintings of kings and queens, who are mostly pictured on the heavier side.
On the other hand, people who were considered lower class were living on a vegetarian diet. Not by choice or because it was trendy back then, but because they could not afford to purchase meat or animal products.
I was because of this that lower-class people were leaner and living longer than their kings and queens.
Vegetarianism has historically been a huge part of some cultural and religious beliefs in some countries, such as India.
After the introduction of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, still some of the most practiced religions in India today, people began to look to vegetarianism.
All of these religions believe in the concept of ahimsa, which means not to harm and have compassion, mainly towards all living things, including animals.
Even though none of these religions prohibit the consumption of meat, they do live by this concept and prefer not to consume any animals.
The Health Benefits of Becoming Vegetarian
People can choose to make the switch to a vegetarian diet for many reasons.
It could be plain a simple such as not enjoying the taste of animal meat or they believe that plant-based diets are healthier.
Other people choose to become vegetarian due to religious beliefs. As discussed earlier, people who practice Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism believe in the practice of ahimsa, which means to do no harm, specifically towards animals.
Some may not want to contribute to meat consumption due to concerns for our environment. Issues include animal waste, pollution of land and water, and deforestation, which can then lead to more farms for cattle.
Some people can choose to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle for ethical reasons such as not wanting to contribute to animals being killed or harmed. These same people are also against animals being unethically raised on industrial farms.
One last common reason why people choose vegetarian diets is due to not wanting to consume additional chemicals or hormones that most animals that are being raised in industrial farms are given.
No matter the reason for becoming a vegetarian, if you lead a healthy and well-balanced vegetarian diet, there are many health benefits that can come from it.
When consuming all the necessary nutrients, vegetarians have been associated with having lower levels of obesity, reduced risks of heart diseases and lower blood pressure.
Vegetarians tend to consume less fat, higher amounts of fiber, potassium and vitamin C.
In addition, vegetarians tend to adopt a healthier lifestyle overall such as being more active, which can also attribute to being a healthier community overall.
Advice From the Best US Vegetarian Food Bloggers
If you are a new vegetarian and feel the need for some advice, healthy tips or wish to be connected to other vegetarians out there, you are in luck!
With today’s increasing use of social media and the Internet, you can easily be connected to anyone from across the globe or across your street that shares similar interests as you.
There are many vegetarians and vegans out there that are sharing their journeys to the public to either share with other people that are new to this lifestyle or to encourage people to become more health-conscious.
We have composed a great list of top vegetarians and vegans that you can follow online via their social media pages and online blogs.
These people are not only vegetarians and vegans just like yourself, but they are also experts, with most of them being registered and licensed dietitians.
These vegetarian bloggers share their daily meals, creative and delicious recipes, healthy vegetarian tips, healthy vegetarian alternatives to animal meat and products and their daily life as a vegetarian.
10 Amazing Vegetarian Recipes To Cook At Home
After discussing vegetarianism and the amazing ways in which you can continue living a healthy life, now it’s time to discuss the good stuff, FOOD!
Whether you are a vegetarian or not, vegetarian meals can always be delicious!
There are many vegetarian recipes out there that have been inspired by meat-based meals but turned into their healthier version.
You can turn just about any cuisine into their vegetarian version.
Let’s take Italian for example, you can make delicious vegetarian lasagna, minestrone soup that is already naturally vegetarian, ricotta and spinach stuffed pasta cannolis, lentil Bolognese pasta and really the list can go on and on.
As for Mexican food, a cuisine that uses large amounts of animal meat, you can also turn some of their popular dishes and make them vegetarian.
You can make some delicious vegetarian tacos, bean and cheese enchiladas, vegetarian tamales, heart of palms ceviche and again our list can continue!
Indian food is an easy cuisine for vegetarians to cook because most of Indian dishes are already naturally vegetarian. Indian food is delicious, spicy and can be easily made by finding thousands of recipes online.
If you are into Asian cuisine, such as Japanese, you can also find delicious vegetarian sushi or vegetarian tempura recipes online.
Like we mentioned before any cuisine can have its vegetarian version.
What is even better to hear is that with the increasing number of vegetarians in the United States, more and more restaurants are opening up that are catered to vegetarians and vegans.
Even traditional restaurants are offering vegetarian options on their menus to cater to all customers.
Finding foods that you can eat while being a vegetarian or vegan should be the least of your concerns as your options are endless!