Incorporating a Vegetarian Lifestyle into a Meat Lover's Meal Plan

You may be curious on what it might be like to live a vegetarian lifestyle or you just want to make healthier food choices. For me it was about I just had a baby girl and I wanted to find a way to lose the baby weight without going on any crazy diets. So, how can you incorporate your vegetarian lifestyle into your family meals?

One of the first things you need to know is the benefit of incorporating vegetarian dishes into your weekly meal plan. 

According to the American Dietetic Association, people who have a vegetarian lifestyle usually have: 

- Lower blood pressure;
- Lower risk of cancer and heart diseases;
- Lower rates of type 2 diabetes and hypertension;
- Lower cholesterol level;
- Slimmer waistline

Although you are aware of the great benefits of eating this way, most of you will not give it a chance. Some of those reasons include you do not know where to start or you think the food taste awful or vegetarian dishes are too complicated to prepare. 

Think about how much money you could save by trying out a few vegetarian dishes a week.  Meat is traditionally more expensive than fruits and vegetables. And on the long run, this will translate into saving a lot of money. I have seen my family’s grocery bill go down from $200 a week to under $150 per week. It may seem like only a few dollars, but if you take $50 and times that by 52-weeks that is a total savings of $2600 a year. For my husband and I that is a quick 5-day trip to Puerto Rico.

So, how can you get started? Here are 4 tips that will help you with the process: 

#1 Start Small: 

The first thing you need to do is to look at your regular meals. Let's say that you eat meat at every meal. What you can do is to start having one day without meat. This will compensate the fact they won't be eating meat during one day and you'll start to create the routine and habit, at the same time. When you see that your family is enjoying the meatless meals for the 1-day per week, then you can try to increase from 1 day to 2 or 3 days without any meal. 

#2 Using Veggies In A Creative Way: 

Most of you are wondering how you're going to get your spouse or kids to eat more veggies when they are so picky. The secret is by giving the veggies to them when they go unnoticed. A simple example is to add some cauliflower when you're making mashed potatoes. They won't notice the flavor and the dish will be a lot creamy and smooth. Another creative idea is you can create a tasty sauce and mix it in sautéed veggies.

#3 Try out Different Flavors and Recipes:

When your family first hears that you are talking about introducing vegetarian dishes, they immediately think bland food. So, you need to prove to them they are completely wrong and wrong! And one of the best things you can do is to make sure that you keep experimenting new flavors and recipes. You can make an Asian inspired dish on one night, while for the next go around, you might want to try out a Mexican dish. Another thing that tends to help is adding different fresh herbs to your dishes. 

So if you are still not convinced, check out some of my vegetarian recipes in the food section of Most of the dishes you can make in 30 minutes or less.

Bon Appetit!