Vegetarianism isn’t an extreme that involves chalky bakery products and feminist hippies. You don’t have to sentence yourself to a lifetime of chomping on romaine lettuce and feeling awkward in group settings and holidays. Vegetarianism is a beautiful way of living that is better for your body, wallet, animals, and the planet. Yup, that’s right – it’s cheaper, healthier, and damn easy to do, especially given its popularity today. Um, sorry, but even Beyoncé went vegan – and anyone who’s done it will probably tell you that it wasn’t that hard and they felt like a rockstar.
Personally, nixing meat makes me feel lighter, healthier, faster, and more wholesome. I easily get plenty of protein. I don’t eat too many carbs. I’m currently training for a marathon and have barely any issues with tiredness, recovery, fatigue or indigestion, as many first-time marathoners do. And my diet is so cheap and easy I barely have to think about it.
The most important thing to remember about being vegetarian or vegan is this: nobody is perfect. It’s okay to slip up or fall off the wagon. Never forget that every month, day or even meal spent cruelty-free makes a difference.
Here’s a few of the plant-based proteins I always keep on hand to whip together meals. The easiest thing is to cook the things you’re used to, but just replace them with plant-based options:
Veggie burgers, tempeh, lentils, mock ground beef crumbles, tofu, and every kind of bean on the planet.
For recipes, it’s great to use “meaty” vegetables like butternut squash, mushrooms and even avocados because their thick texture easily makes up for the lack of meat.
If you’re not vegan, the easiest thing is to snag some pasta/salad/quesadilla with cheese. If you are, get creative: I’ll often order side dishes, such as steamed broccoli, brown rice, and a baked potato and have an impressive meal for a lower price and save loads of calories, fat, sodium and sugar.
Another great option is dragging your carnivorous friends to ethnic restaurants, especially Vietnamese, Thai, Mediterranean and Indian food, which have dishes that are traditionally vegetarian and/or vegan. My ultimate favorite is Lebanese food, followed quickly by Vietnamese Tofu Pho and Vegetable Sour Soup.
Here’s a few infographics on the benefits of eating cruelty free 🙂 Have a great day!