So you're thinking about becoming a vegan or vegetarian? It can be a bit scary thinking about a dietary change, but going meatless is well worth the effort! Before taking the plunge into the non-meat world, try getting some more information by reading some vegetarian magazines or the Omnivore's Dilemma.
To get started, you'll need to know the difference between a Vegetarian and a Vegan. While a vegetarian does not eat meat, a vegan does not eat anything produced by an animal, including dairy products and eggs.
A general vegetarian diet excludes direct meat products. There are also several subcategories of vegetarianism.
* Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian: This type of vegetarian will eat milk and egg products but does not eat any sort of animal flesh or meat including fish.
* Lacto-Vegetarian: This is a person who eats milk products but does not eat eggs or any animal meat including fish.
* Pescatarian: This is a person who does not eat any type of meat with the exclusion of fish.
Once deciding what type of vegetarianism you're interested in, there are tons of alternative foods out there! Boca makes wonderful veggie burgers and Morningstar has delectable sausage links with absolutely no meat by-products! There are also more and more vegetarian restaurants popping up all over the country. Try a vegetarian cookbook for some more ideas.
If you decide to become a vegetarian, it is usually beneficial to include protein supplements and/or vitamins in your daily diet. While it's not difficult to get the recommended amount of protein, it will take a little awareness. Try protein bars for a quick snack. Special K makes some of the better tasting (and better priced!) bars.
A vegan diet is much stricter than a vegetarian one. It excludes all meat, egg and dairy products. Because of this, vegans often have to search out alternative cooking methods and ingredients. But don't fear, it's much easier than it sounds!
Silk soy milk is a great cooking alternative for most recipes and there are several egg substitutes on the market right now. However, for more interesting options, try searching for some recipes in a vegan cookbook. You should be able to find everything from macaroni and cheese to meat loaf (sans meat of course).