Hey friends – welcome back to our site! We missed you!

Beginning your journey to vegetarianism may seem like a task too daunting to take on. We are a few weeks into this month’s challenge and we have already learned so many AWESOME things about ourselves, our will power and our bodies. To make this process and journey easier for you we have composed a list of “do’s” and “don’ts”. We hope this helps, and we look forward to hearing about the changes that you have made to live a cleaner, leaner and greener life!

DON’T –

Eat Lackluster Foods: if you look down at your plate and see 3 shades of brown, you are doing it all wrong! 

DO –

Create A Rainbow Fridge: stock your refrigerator with fresh and colorful eats. You’ve likely heard it said before that the more colorful the meal, the healthier the meal. 

BLAND…

Photo credit: Kamal Gaur via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

…to WHAM!

DON’T –

Rely On Old Habits: Mrs. GGC here – take a page from my book and do NOT get sucked into the same boring food routine. There are only so many times that you can stomach a spinach salad and fruit for lunch. 

DO –

Expand Those Tastebuds: do not fear the unknown. Try new foods and flavor combinations. Mr. GGC and I recently worked with tempeh, an ingredient that we were both pretty hesitant about. We were VERY pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was (Yummmmm).

Photo credit: SalTheColourGeek via VisualHunt / CC BY

DON’T –

Get Hooked On The Pre-made Meals: though good when in a pinch, we strongly recommend that you stay away from pre-prepared vegetarian meals. These foods are usually high in sodium and likely contain ingredients that you want to avoid, such as palm oil.

DO –

Work Those Cooking Skills: make your own meals! There is something so satisfying about preparing a healthy meal for yourself, and they usually taste 10 times better than the frozen stuff. Channel your inner Julia Child – except stay away from the duck :). 

DON’T –

Forget The Protein: during the first week of our challenge, we made this mistake. We both came home from work so hungry every day, and we found ourselves snacking late at night. We had forgotten that when you give up meat two things may happen. One, your body may crave more food so snack throughout the day. Two, you need to find substitutes for the protein that your body is lacking.

DO –

Go NUTS For Nuts: these little treats pack a strong protein punch. Try mixing your favorite type with dark chocolate chips, dried fruit and/or granola for a sweet and salty snack on the go that will keep you energized.

DON’T –

Let One Bad Meal Deter You: we all make mistakes. Just ask Mr. GGC who has had to eat his fair share of failed dishes because, well – Mrs. GGC was NOT the best cook. Do not let one rough day or one bad meal prevent you from achieving your goal. 

DO –

Persist And Resist: the first few days are challenging. The first time that you go out to eat, you may be tempted to order the fried chicken. However, we promise that if you can make it a week, you can make it 2 weeks and then soon enough, you will stop missing the meat altogether. It takes 2 weeks to create a habit. You can do it if you want to – we wouldn’t lead you astray. Just look at this kid! He’s loving that carrot.

Photo credit: theloushe via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

DON’T –

Wing It: Have you ever gone to the grocery store for cereal and suddenly you are spending $50 on snacks, drinks and sushi? One vital piece of advice that we can offer you if you want to live a healthier, sustainable lifestyle is to change your “lazy” ways. Eating healthy takes work. Changing your lifestyle takes work. Do NOT make these changes without a plan for how you are going to implement them. 

DO –

Meal Plan for the Win!: DO create a meal plan for the week and write up a grocery list. This will keep temptation at bay. It will also prevent you from ordering take out which typically has fewer vegetarian options AND is unkind to your wallet. We have always planned out our meals for the week before food shopping and it has saved us a great deal of time and frustration. We are also healthier eaters because of it!

So there you have it! Follow this simple advice and you are on your way to a meat-free lifestyle. And remember, if you can’t go meatless (or, you simply don’t want to) we challenge you to reduce the amount of meat that you are consuming each week. If my Sicilian mother can do it, so can you!

xoxo & comment below! I will be waiting 🙂

Mrs. GGC

 

 

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