Some Amazing Healthy Eating Tips for New Vegetarians

January is a good time for all to opt for a fresh start. This is the time to make new resolutions, refocus, and wonder about your goals in life. For most people, it could be giving up non-vegetarian food and turn into vegetarians by following some tips for new vegetarians.

Obviously, it is not easy for everyone and seems like a big step if you are used to eating non-vegetarian meals. Also, it involves a great deal of a mental shift. That’s why you need to look for some tips for going vegetarian. So, if you are thinking of turning vegetarian, these tips for new vegetarians will help you a bit.


tips for new vegetarians

Do not feel pressured in labeling yourself

Today, there are a variety of dietary labels available out there, such as plant-based, vegan, omnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian, including lacto/lacto-ovo/ovo, and whatnot! However, you do not really have to label yourself if you prefer to.

If you have made the choice to become vegetarians, then it should be yours entirely. Usually, vegetarians eat both eggs and dairy. So, you can give up one or the other if you like to. You can follow a plant-based diet but can still eat honey. If you eat 99% vegetarian with an occasional piece of fish, then nobody can tell you otherwise.

So, if you are comfortable with the foods you eat, that’s only what matters. Otherwise, you need to change your diet now.

Go with changes at your own speed

When you go with ‘all or nothing’ style, you cannot really make any progress. So, if you are not yet ready to consume vegetarian foods in one go, you need to take baby steps towards decreasing your meat intake.

Here are some different strategies you can follow to bring out some changes:

  • Go for meatless Monday! To begin with, you need to eat vegetarian only on one day a week.
  • Give up just one meat at one time. You can start by not eating red meat but still going for fish and chicken. Then, move onto the next meat once you are ready.
  • Eat vegetarian from Monday to Friday and keep weekends for having meat.
  • Ensure you incorporate vegetarian breakfasts and vegetarian lunches but have some meat in dinners.
  • Decide on certain meals that you will always make vegetarian but not others. For instance, go for vegetarian pizza always and still have chicken curry.

So, reduce the meat intake but at your own speed. If you are comfortable with the changes, then you will stick to it. Otherwise, you are going to feel forced for having a complete diet turmoil at just one go.

Begin with foods that you already consume

Even when you are a true meat lover, probably you still eat all kinds of vegetarian meals, such as beans on a sandwich, margherita pizza, vegetable soup, tomatoey pasta, scrambled eggs, etc. Most popular dishes can be or are vegetarian, like pasta with pesto sauce or marinara, vegetable lasagna, fried tofu vegetable, or bean burritos.

It is best to have some familiar dishes on the menu to get the feeling that everything has not changed much.        Also, there are definitely more recipes in your present diet that you can easily turn into vegetarians with just some simple changes.

For barbecues, you can try soy or veggie burgers, marinated tempeh or tofu, and fruit kabobs, and soy hot dogs. Even grilled vegetables are perfect!

It is not that you have to eat exotic meals packed with bizarre veggie ingredients. It is possible to create a nice vegetarian curry, burgers, veggie meatballs, and more effortlessly. All you need to do is to make familiar foods vegetarian!

Go for meat substitutes

If you are thinking about how to modify your existing meaty favorites into vegetarian versions, you need to look for meat substitutes. In the market, there are all kinds of veggie products available that resemble meat, such as chicken-style items, beef-style mince, meatballs, nuggets, burgers, etc. Sometimes, you have to make a straightforward swap for enjoying the meatless version of the most loved cuisine of yours without any efforts made.

While meat substitutes help you to ease into vegetarianism with meals that you are well-acquainted with, these substitutes do not work for all. When you are a fervent steak lover who is going vegetarian just for health or environmental reasons, there is a possibility that veggie imitation steak will leave you a bit disappointed.

Go for vegetarian proteins

Luckily, there are all sorts of vegetarian proteins. So, you do not really have to bother about eating processed meat substitutes if you do not like them. You can go for vegetarian protein forms, such as chickpeas, beans, lentils, eggs, tofu, cheese, seeds, nuts, etc. which you will like for what they are. 

Due to their great nutrient content, having peas and beans is suggested for everyone, non-vegetarians and vegetarians alike. So, enjoy three-bean salad, split pea soup, vegetarian chili, a hummus-packed pita sandwich.

Eat foods with vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found naturally in animal products. If you are going vegetarian, then select fortified foods like soy products or cereals, or consume a supplement for vitamin B12 if they do not incorporate any animal product. Look for the Nutritional Facts label in fortified products for vitamin B12.

Consider having more protein

Your protein requirements can be met easily by consuming a range of plant foods. Some great sources of protein for vegetarians include peas, beans, soy products like tempeh and tofu, and nuts. Also, lacto-ovo vegetarians can have protein from dairy foods and eggs.

Look for great sources of calcium

For building teeth and bones, calcium is used. Most vegetarians like to have dairy products, which are amazing sources of calcium. For vegetarians, other calcium sources are calcium-fortified items like breakfast cereals, orange juice, and soymilk. Also, go for tofu having calcium sulfate and leafy dark green vegetables like bok choy, turnip, collard, and mustard greens.

Follow different vegetable versions

A range of vegetarian items may taste or look like their non-veg counterparts. However, they are generally low in saturated fat and do not contain cholesterol.  You can have soy-based sausage links or patties for breakfast. Or you can try falafel (chickpea patties) or bean burgers instead of hamburgers for dinner.

Make small changes at restaurants

Many restaurants make vegetarian modifications to their menu items by opting for substitutes like meatless sauces and nonmeat products like tofu and beans for meat. They can add pasta or vegetables instead of meat. Also, you can ask for the vegetable options that they offer.

Always have a well-stocked pantry

Today, we develop our own store of quick go-to recipes, which we can make without using brainpower after a long hectic day at the office. If you are used to rustling up non-vegetarian meals, then it may need more efforts to come up with an easy, quick veg meal. So, if you do not like to revert back or eat just beans on toast all the time, it is important to have vegetarian ingredients in your kitchen.

If you look into your kitchen cupboards and find that they are full of delicious foods that you can consume, you would not think about the things that you cannot eat. If you are looking for snacks, then there could be nothing better than nuts. Go for unsalted nuts as a great snack and even use them in main dishes or salads. Add pecans, walnuts, or almonds rather than meat or cheese to a bowl of green salad.

Cook with recipes to start off

Until you become an expert at cooking vegetarian food, it is better to try cooking with recipes sometimes. Without the juice and added flavor of meat, you may like to put in more thought to how you will have plenty of flavor into the vegetarian cooking. With time, you will definitely learn how to do that.

Vegetarian foods can be made irresistible just like the meaty items you are used to. However, you may have to give your foods a bit more consideration than usual by using plenty of spice, a range of veggies, fresh herbs, and more.

That’s why it is suggested to put a recipe in front of your eyes for better inspiration. It is not that you have to follow the exact recipe but it may spark some ideas in your mind about how to make delicious vegetarian meals.

Also, watch this video to know about tips on becoming vegetarian.


So, these are some of the tips for new beginners. The golden rule is to go easy on yourself. If you get tempted once in a while, eat something that you really want to eat and get back on the track the next day.

It really does not matter whether you are eating meat, not eating meat at all, or eating meat every now. It is fine if your choice does not fall under a strict category like vegan, pescatarian, or vegetarian. What you do not eat or eat is only your business! So, make a choice that truly makes you happy!

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