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 Vegetarian dishes > GOING VEGETARIAN

Many people want to move toward a vegetarian diet, but they are afraid it will be too complicated or difficult. We address some of the common fears people have about "converting."

I"d have to quit cold turkey (so to speak:)

There are as many different ways to become a vegetarian as there are vegetarians. You certainly don"t have to stop eating meat all at once. In fact, one of the most common paths to a vegetarian diet is a step-by-step approach, which usually begins with cutting out red meat, then eliminating other meats one by one, chicken or fish being the last to go. At that point, it"s a fairly easy jump over to the veggie world.

I"d miss the taste

GOING VEGETARIAN Some vegetarians do find themselves missing meat. When this phenomenon is explored, they often find it"s not so much the actual meat they"re missing as the seasonings or the associations that go along with it. For example, my family has always made Swedish meatballs on Christmas Eve -- and we missed them, until we realized that we could make them again using tofu sausage. Meat substitutes, which are now readily available in most grocery stores, bear a remarkable resemblance to their animal-derived counterparts, and can easily cure the "missing meat blues."

I"d have to combine the right food

This is a myth that got its start years ago -- and was debunked years ago -- yet persists even today. The key is to eat a balanced diet. There"s no need to combine the "right" foods together in each meal. If you simply eat a healthy overall diet of vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes, you"ll be fine. See the Vegetarian Food Pyramid for more information on daily recommendations.

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