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Becoming a vegetarian is something that some do easily, while others struggle. The people that find it easy, are often ones that tend not to like meat, poultry or fish in general. Yet, for the ones that struggle, they often give up meat for moral and ethical reasons or, increasingly, for their health. Some meat is produced with questionable standards towards livestock. And some meat, particularly red meat or processed meats, have long been proven to be bad for a person’s body.
So, what do you do if you fall into the latter group? Where you actually really enjoy eating meat, but have given it up for the good of your overall health or because you have a moral objection to meat or how it is farmed. Here, we look at one key way that you can arm yourself with the best chance possible of being a long-lasting vegetarian while enjoying what you eat too. For, without doubt, the best way you can help yourself enjoy being a veggie is to plan - something that vegetarian meal delivery services or a vegetarian subscription box (UK based ones) can help with no end.
Meal planning can be a helpful tool for any person or household. But when it comes to having specific dietary requirements it becomes even more crucial. The reason being is that by planning meals out in advance you can do several things. Firstly, you will stop the amount of food you waste. Fruit and veg - a large part of a vegetarian’s diet - can go off quickly. So, without effective meal planning, you may be prone to overbuying goods in the supermarket, thinking that you will use it that week, only to see it go mouldy before you get to include it into a meal.
Secondly, meal planning when you are veggie ensures that you get a varied diet. A varied diet is one of the most helpful ways that you can make sure that your body gets all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to run optimally. When it comes to being a veggie, you need to be careful you are getting enough iron (often found in red meat) and protein. You could, of course, plan meals in such a detailed way that you know to the very milligram how much Vitamin D or C you are ingesting daily. But, that level of detail should not be required if you plan a large variety of meal across a week. Plus, it is just more interesting to eat a variety of meals too.
So how can you help yourself eat well as a veggie? What should you try to include in your meal kit delivery planning sessions? Here are just a few tips:
Eating seasonally is a sure-fire way that you can improve your chances of getting the most vitamins and nutrients you can from fruit and veg. When produce is grown in season, it naturally contains more nutritional value than produce that has been force grown. Plus, it tastes better too. Look for food that is on offer as that will often be in season, or simply use a vegetarian subscription box (UK based though) to ensure that you are getting seasonal food. These boxes will be providing seasonal food not only because creators and chefs know that it tastes better and is cheaper, but because it is better for the environment too.
In general, vegetarian meal delivery services are fantastic for planning meals each week, or weeks in advance. While you will know that you are eating seasonally, it is also such a quick way to know that you are eating a varied diet which means you can be confident that your diet is also balanced. Another key way that vegetarian meal delivery services can help a person plan for their vegetarian way of life, is that the variety that these meal delivery services provide, make eating vegetarian food so much more exciting. You will not be stuck eating the same pasta dishes or stir-fries.
It is crucial when you are meal planning that you ensure you are getting as much protein as you can over the week from plant-based and dairy sources as you would from meat. You also need to know what to eat with those protein sources. For, the body finds it difficult to form the incomplete amino-acid strands from plant based sources that meat-based protein has in full. However, the human body can make up complete amino acid chains if it eats protein sources alongside Vitamin C. So ensure when you plan that you include plenty of fruit and vegetables that have Vitamin C in it, along with high protein sources.
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Finally, meal planning when you are vegetarian can be crucial in any effort not to overindulge. While eating a diet full of fruit and veg is to be commended, that is not the only thing that vegetarians eat. It can therefore be tempting to eat a diet based heavily on refined carbs like pasta as well as fat laden dairy. While these do have their time and place, if a person is too reliant on refined carbs or dairy, they may find that they put on weight or lack the vitamins and minerals they need for their body to operate properly. Meal planning ensures that, through variety, you do not overindulge all the time.
Just because a vegetarian diet has some restrictions placed on it, it does not mean that it needs to be highly restrictive. There are so many ways to enjoy meals that are not based around meat and fish. Meal planning is one of the most important ways to ensure that you are eating a varied diet that is not only good for you, but also exciting for your taste buds. Eating food that continually excites and pleases you is the best way to ensure you stick to this type of diet - for whatever reason you chose to go on it in the first place.