3 Easy Steps To Become A Healthy Vegetarian by Erik Leipoldt

You want to gain health and lose weight? But you are too anxious due to the usual misinformation that flies around about vegetarian diets, like you cannot get enough protein, iron or calcium on a vegetarian diet? Or “it is all too hard! “ You certainly can get complete nutrition from a vegetarian diet. It is not hard and you can start today.

Take three steps to see yourself on the way to a healthier life. It’s simple: know why you want to try a vegetarian diet; get the right information without being overwhelmed by it; then… do it.

A good vegetarian diet is indeed a good thing. But as with everything an unbalanced one is not. Just any low calorie and vegetarian recipe or easy vegetarian recipe will not do. If you have been a meat eater for many years your body may need to adjust to a supply of minerals that are of different proportions to vegetarian diets. That is why it is important to set out on the road of vegetarianism with some knowledge about its benefits and pitfalls.

But first, if you want to commit yourself to anything, it is important to know your motivations for doing just that. No motivation, no perseverance. Here are some reasons that motivate millions of people to eat their vegetarian meal today:

Weight loss
Many people take to a vegetarian diet or specifically a low calorie and vegetarian recipes regime because they think a “carrot-and-lettuce’ diet will slim them down. They may see vegetarianism as a kind of punishment for a body that has gone off the rails. Consequently, unless they are lucky and
stumble across information that shows them how delicious a true vegetarian diet can be, they are at risk of returning to their old diets as soon as some weight has come off. A balanced vegetarian diet may indeed give enduring weight loss benefits.

Health reasons
Studies suggest that vegetarians have a significantly reduced risk of death from heart disease (about30%) than meat eaters, including those who eat fish and poultry. As the iron in meat is more available to our bodies than in plants, it is more likely that iron-overload occurs in our blood as meat eaters age. This is a problem as high iron levels are associated with cancer risk. Some studies show a reduced cancer risk for vegetarians. But because many vegetarians also exercise, do not smoke and do not drink much alcohol, that benefit is a bit hard to pin down. Do it all, and be sure to be healthy! There are many more health reasons to go vegetarian.

Religious reasons
Some religions proscribe a vegetarian diet, with some going to great lengths to destroy as little life as possible (What’s that? Oh, no, of course I am not talking about destroying human lives as a result of their diet… smartie! But you do have a sense of humour, often a typical vegetarian trait). Reasons can
include reaping good karma but some also maintain a healthy body so their spiritual life may have better chances to flourish.

Environmental reasons
Meat production is many times more energy-intensive than is growing of plant food. Great swathes of forest land have been cut to run cattle and the grazing of cattle on marginal lands causes soil erosion. In our overpopulated world where our use of energy has already outstripped the earth’s capacity for
renewal, overemphasis on meat consumption is self-destructive. Particularly when there are no compelling health reasons not to abstain from meat altogether. Many more environmental reasons exist, including reduction of suffering to animals.

Your reasons
There are many reasons for going vegetarian. You may be motivated by a combination of the above reasons or have a completely different, and valid reason. Be clear in your mind what that reason is and use that as your driving force.

A major pitfall of vegetarianism is that some people who change abruptly from meat eating to vegetarianism find that this does not make them feel any better. Don’t blame the vegetarian diet and give it some time. Treat your body with the respect it deserves. If your motivation is right, meaning you know why you are becoming vegetarian, you will put some effort into finding the right information and do not proceed in a hurry. Reduce your meat intake gradually and set yourself a reasonable time limit to get used to your vegetarian diet.

You can buy books on the subject or see a naturopath who can map out a transition plan for you. Talk to some vegetarians you know and you’ll find they are happy to share some recipes with you. Heck, they may even invite you to share their experience directly with them and invite you to dinner. If they don’t, take yourself (and them?) to a good vegetarian eating place. You can see that even just finding out about vegetarian food can be fun!

Yes, a vegetarian diet can easily contain all the nutrition that a human body needs. Therefore, the secret is in being clear in why you want to become vegetarian, get good information on any vegetarian recipe, low calorie and vegetarian recipe that you can find. There are many easy vegetarian recipe books out there that inform you on how to obtain all the nutrition you need and take you little time to prepare.

Of course there are unhealthy vegetarian diets. A balanced diet is the key. Having some basic knowledge about what foods you should include in your vegetarian diet is an essential starting point.

Vegetarian food can be absolutely delicious. Do it right from the start and you won’t look back. And… depending on how you eat now, a vegetarian diet can be easier on your wallet too!

Here’s to your health!

About the Author:
Erik Leipoldt has been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for some 30 years and his children were raised vegetarian. He writes about vegetarianism, and other subjects, from his personal experience and knowledge found along the track. See his blog: low–calorie–and–vegetarian–recipe.blogspot.com. He holds a PhD in Philosophy.

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