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The 5 things you need to know before becoming a vegetarian or vegan

Maybe you want to lose some weight, get more energy,  improve your health, or you’re just tired of eating meat. For me, it started as a way for me to get some relief from the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

If you’re thinking about becoming vegetarian or vegan, here are four things that you need to know to help you on your journey.

  1. Be prepared for the negativity.  When family members, friends, and co-workers hear about your new eating habits, be prepared for all sorts of discouraging comments and questions.  What will you eat?  Don’t lose too much weight!  What’s wrong with eating some meat? You’re going to die anyway, you might as well eat what you want. 
  2. Meal prep, meal prep, meal prep.  During my transition to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, if I didn’t have the right types of foods already cooked or available I found myself reaching for some chicken or eating lots of bread just to feel full (no bueno).  When you’re already starving, it is much easier to fall off the wagon especially when you’re at work or out and about.  Grocery shopping and planning out my meals for the week, or at least a few days in advance, always helps me to stay on track.
  3. Do your research.  Just because it’s not animal flesh doesn’t mean it’s better for you.  Meat substitutes are lacking the meat but, they are still processed foods which means that some brands are high in sodium and preservatives.  Research which brands have cleaner ingredients such as Beyond Meat and limit the number of times per week you have meat substitutes.  My rule now is no more than three times a week.
  4. Patience is a virtue.  Change will not come overnight.  You will have days where you may want to give it all up but, remember why you started and do not beat yourself up if you are not reaching your goal as quickly as I you wanted to.  It takes time and you will always be learning what works for you and your body.