Becoming a vegetarian is a fairly easy decision to make. People then tend to run into problems when trying to put their plan into action. This is generally because they have not really thought about the different types of vegetarian that there are and which type is most suitable for their lifestyle or health. Another reason is that they have not actually formulated a plan for the transfer from meat eater to vegetarianism. This article takes a quick look at some of the things you need to take into account when planning your conversion.
Firstly you will want to decide, from the many types of vegetarian, which one is for you. Here is a brief overview of the various flavours of vegetarianism:
Vegan -- A Vegan does not partake in the consumption of any animal product, whether it's food, clothing, furniture, cosmetics. They also do not consume any products that are produced by animals such as honey. Veganism is a complete way of life and is practised by people concerned with animal welfare, the environment and sustainability of the human population.
Semi-Vegetarian -- This is a slightly controversial category because it does actually include eating some very small quantities of either poultry (Pollotarian) or fish (Pescotarian). It's a very healthy diet and many people choose to follow it they are unable to give up meat completely.
Lacto-Vegetarian -- This form of vegetarianism includes the consumption of dairy products such as milk, cheese and butter.
Ovo-Vegetarian -- No dairy products are consumed by this group of vegetarians but they do consume eggs.
Ovo-Lacto-Vegetarian -- This is a combination of Lacto-Vegetarianism and Ovo-Vegetarianism and is one of the most common types of vegetarianism practised.
Raw Vegetarian -- This is where you only eat uncooked vegetarian food because of the degradation of nutrients during the cooking process.
Fruitarian -- One of the rarest forms of vegetarianism, this group only consumes fruit and fruit derivatives i.e. fruit, seeds and nuts.
Secondly and very importantly you need to decide whether or not you can actually become a vegetarian because of health conditions and whether you need to take some additional medical advice or obtain special medical support to help you with the transition.
Thirdly you need to research and consider where you are going to source your produce, products and any local cafes, bars, restaurants and are certified as serving vegetarian food in-line with the type of vegetarian you have chosen to become.
Fourthly you need to make a a plan for the transition period, which foods you are going to eliminate from your diet, what you are going to replace them with and when you are going to do this. Initially you really do need to make a formal plan so that you make sure that you are incorporating all the nutrients that you need into your new regime. You may of course wish to take supplements but these are not an adequate substitute for a nutritionally balanced diet. This will all become second nature to you but initially you really do need to keep an eye on your diet.
Finally you need to put your plan into action! Good luck and in no time at all you will be reaping the benefits of becoming a vegetarian.