Seven simple steps to going and staying veggie
1. Take your time
If it suits you to do things gradually, take your time. Some people give up red meat first, then poultry, then fish. Others eat vegetarian food one day a week, then two or three days, and eventually every day. The important thing is to work out what will suit you and stick with it.
2. Don’t be put off by a bit of teasing or ill-informed scare stories
Vegetarians are occasionally the brunt of jokes and prejudices – usually from people who know very little about their own health and dietary needs. The more you know and understand about vegetarianism, the more confident you will be.
3. Try something new
Take a fresh look around the shelves of your local supermarket and health food shop and get to know as many different vegetarian foods as possible. This includes meat alternatives like mince and sausages made from soya or Quorn™, tofu, pulses, cous cous and, of course, fruit and vegetables.
4. Buy a vegetarian cookbook
Or borrow one from your local library. Whether you need simple step-by-step instructions or gourmet dishes to impress your friends, there are literally hundreds of vegetarian cookbooks around. Alternatively, you can view our database of recipes for free.
5. Learn about nutrition and what you need to stay healthy
Eating a healthy vegetarian diet is easy (see our Basic Information sheet) but if you’ve grown up eating meat, you will have to change some of your habits. The easiest way to stay healthy is to understand what your body needs.
6. Go free-range and start looking out for non-veggie ingredients
As you get more confident about vegetarian food, take the next step by making sure you always buy free-range eggs and vegetarian cheese. Start avoiding foods that contain hidden non-vegetarian ingredients using our veggie aware A-Z information sheet.
7. Don’t go it alone
Make sure you tell any vegetarian friends that you are going veggie and ask for their support and advice. Join the Vegetarian Society to make sure that you always have access to our expert advisors, information-packed quarterly magazine and discounts in all sorts of veggie-friendly places. And, to avoid any embarrassment when friends are cooking for you, remember to let them know in advance that you are vegetarian.