A diet without meat is quacktastic!

Making healthier, wiser, and kinder decisions!

In today's society, food is a big deal. There are countless of places to eat from fast-food chains  to the high scale, classy restaurants, and a grocery store or a Super Wal-Mart every ten miles or less. When faced with all these choices, we act like little children and simply don't know what to do with ourselves. What is healthy, cheap, and delicious? Usually, those options are pick two and sacrifice the third and more likely than not, the "healthy" option is the first one to go. 

So how does one make the transition to being a vegetarian? It is easier than you might think! Living without meat isn't difficult once you learn a few easy, delicious AND cheap tricks! First off, make sure you are investing in this lifestyle decision. Don't do it because it is a fad, or "in", or because everyone else in 11th grade thinks it is cool. Do it because you want to, whatever those reasons are. 

As a college student, the hardest aspects of life to manage are time and money. Not only am I a college student, employed, but I am a vegetarian and I have found that the hardest obstacle is finding food that is cheap and delicious and not meat. Before I had made this decision, if I was desperate and short on time in-between work and school, I would run and get a quick Chicken Sandwich from Burger King or some equivalent. Not only was it fast but it was a $1! Awesome, but awful. I usually ended up feeling sick and disgusting after having had eating, and might as well have just skipped dinner that night. Now, I find that I can't just run off somewhere and get something as quick and as cheap. Even salads are fast food chains are expensive nowadays.

The best solution for this is: invest in instant oatmeal and soups. When you are on the go, grab one and cook it really quick before work. Hopefully you are lucky enough to have a microwave! Sometime I will bring some cut up apples with peanut butter or a yogurt to work as well. These quick, home brought meals are really yummy, easy, and inexpensive. If you can't cook anything, and can't refrigerate it either, trail-mix is lovely!

The difficulty of the transition will depend on how often you eat meat in the first place. If you are accustomed to eating bacon in the AM, a hamburger at lunch, and chicken for dinner, it may be challenging at first. There are alternatives! Eat eggs and fruit in the morning, or try fake-bacon which you can probably find at your grocery store. (Be careful with Wal-Mart, they have a very limited selection for vegans and vegetarians with the "fo-meats"). At lunch, try a veggie sandwich or a salad. For dinner there are countless of options from pastas, meat-less tacos, burritos and so forth. Get creative and expand your food horizon! 

Being a vegetarian is something personal, so if you make a mistake it is ok. After one month of being a vegetarian I came home after a long weekend of work and had pizza with pepperoni on it and was half-way through when I had realized. It is ok! There isn't a strict guideline on this. You can still go back if you choose. You can also go forward, as well, and be a strict vegetarian or a vegan. Replacing milk with soy milk is an example, and a personal choice of my own. However, I still eat yogurt and cheese! The choices are yours and they are endless!

Vegetarian Food Pyramid
Credit: http://cdn.moneyfunk.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/pyramid.jpg