Many people contemplate becoming a vegetarian at one point or another. Some consider a meatless diet because they feel sorry for the animals. Others think a vegetarian way of eating will improve their health.
However, out of those well-intentioned people very few actually follow through and change their way of eating. The idea of completely giving up meat forms a big stumbling block for most.
For some reason, when it comes to vegetarian cooking, most people only see the "extremist" approach: either give up meat completely or you might as well include the meat in every meal. This "all or nothing" thinking becomes a mental barrier that keeps a lot of people from eating more vegetarian meals.
How about finding a happy medium? Drastic changes to one's diet never last. Do not beat yourself up for eating meat. There is no need to give it up completely. Just try eating a little less of it, that's all.
Start right now by making one meatless dinner every week. Keep everything else the same. Eating just one vegetarian dinner every week is definitely doable and easy. It will be just a nice change instead of deprivation!
If you think going meatless one day a week would not make a big difference, consider these simple numbers: if everyone ate vegetarian meals just one day a week, it would save one out of seven animals. Out of 92 million animals that are consumed in the United States alone every year, over 13 million animals would be spared. This is a huge impact!
In addition to doing good for our planet, you'll enjoy great health benefits by including more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, nutrients, anti-oxidants and fiber - all the things that are good for us. They can help with weight loss and prevent diseases. Numerous studies show that diets high in fruits
and vegetables reduce the risks of deadly diseases such as cancer, heart attack and stroke.
Also, by trying out new dishes, you will break your food routine and discover new tasty recipes and food combinations. It's really nice to eat something different once in a while instead of being stuck in a food rut.
This simple shift of mindset from "all or nothing" to a happy middle ground will do wonders. Vegetarian eating does not need to be a full-time commitment, sacrifice and strive for unattainable perfection. Just do what you can to eat a little less meat, have fun trying new vegetarian meals and enjoy the benefits.
by Melanie Mendelson, (c) 2004
About the Author: Melanie Mendelson is the author of "Vegetarian Main Dishes - Yummy Recipes That Even Meat Eaters Will Love". Visit her website at http://www.vegetarian-recipes-cookbook.com