Awesome Vegetarian Resources

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Dusti Arab of Minimalist Adventures.

Making the decision to become a vegetarian is a life changing choice, to say the least. Whether you were inspired by a desire to change your health for the better, to save the planet, or to respect other animals’ right to live, something inside you decided eating meat was no longer in your best interest. Anyone who has begun a vegetarian journey knows that right after the inspiration to become vegetarian hits you, the next thing that happens is…

“Now what?”

How on earth are you going to figure out how to be a vegetarian? Most of the meals you know how to cook use meat as the focus of the meal! And, you don’t know any vegetarians! If it isn’t obvious how much our culture revolves around consumption of meat, have you ever heard of a traditional Thanksgiving Tofurky? (The kid at school whose family had it as the main course was duly pitied by the rest of us.)

To quell your fears, I have assembled the ultimate toolkit for becoming vegetarian. Here you will find resources on why to go veggie, how to get started, shopping lists, and even some encouragement!

Why be vegetarian?

      In case you weren’t 100% positive you wanted to give the veggie lifestyle a shot, here is the story of how I realized a personal call to change my diet to reflect my values. -

Why Go Veg?

This is a killer wake up call on why going vegan is the sustainable decision to make. Complete with the facts, great sourcing, and a well constructed argument, Ali knows his stuff. – Why Veganism is an Insult to our Intelligence

Questions answered about why others become vegetarians, as well as the different kinds of vegetarians. – Becoming a Vegetarian

A useful FAQ from the Vegetarian Resource Group. – FAQ

The basics and some additional resources. – Vegetarian 101

How to be a vegetarian:

      A classic Zen Habits post discussing the whys and hows of vegetarian living. -

How to become a vegetarian the easy way

This is the best guide I have found out there on vegetarian eating. A mere 16 pages, it debunks the protein and calcium myths, gives advice for the pregnant vegetarian, how to go from vegetarian to vegan, how to raise vegetarian kids, and more! It also offers a great guide to your new “food pyramid.” – PCRM Vegetarian Starter Kit Vegetarian

The online version of PETA’s vegetarian starter kit – PETA Vegetarian Starter Kit

Nutritional information for vegetarians. – Health and Nutrition

How to dine out vegetarian-style. A vital bit of information for those of us on the go. – Vegetarian Dining Out

Free stuff!

      PETA gives away a great starter kit. (By the way, don’t be too afraid of PETA. They are less crazy than they used to be.)

http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/free-vegetarian-starter-kit.aspx

Already a vegetarian? Here is a free book to help you go vegan. - Vegan Guide

Another rocking guide to vegan eating. – Ultimate Vegan Guide

A vegetarian guide focusing on healthful veggie eating. – Healthy Vegetarian

Substitution help:

      Making weird ingredients substitutions to get B12 just got less frustrating. Here is a list of the major ones you will see and what they are. -

Vegan Cooking Substitutions

This is a bit more in depth on the substitutions you can make in all of your normal recipes. – Ingredient Substitution List

Shopping lists to help you out:

      Be a junk food vegetarian with this list. All the foods you never realized were vegan. Like Little Debbie Cake Donuts. Score! -

Vegetarian Shopping

This is a solid list that will fit many tastes and budgets. - Vegan Essentials Shopping List

A shopping list… for the lazy vegan. – Master Shopping List

Your first vegetarian pantry shopping list. Get all of your staples! - The Ultimate Shopping List

Definitions to help:

      Are you unsure what the heck a lacto-ovo whatever is? There is help.

http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/vegetarian.html

What the hell is nutritional yeast? – Weird Ingredients

Recipes:

      Fast, easy vegetarian recipes. Give ‘em a shot! You may even recognize a few of them. -

Easy Recipes

Found this one and tried it. YUM! – Lemon Orzo Primavera

A comprehensive list of recipes for all seasons of the vegetarian’s life, including holidays! – Vegetarian Recipes

The site to go to for dinner tonight. I have yet to try a bad recipe on this site. – Veg Web

The science:

      Some scientific facts about vegetarian diets.

http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/updates/vegetarian_diets_health_benefits.php

Why maybe the science itself isn’t the most important part of a vegetarian diet. – Science, Non-science, Nonsense and Nastiness in the Vegetarian World

Get extra support:

      Do you really need a boost? Accidently fall off the veggie train? Get a Veg Coach. -

Veg Coach

This has link some great tips for the initial jump into vegetarianism. – Making the Transition

Further reading:

      Extensive list of vegetarian research and reading. -

Vegetarian Nutritional Resource List

A minimalist with a vegan focus. Lots of valuables resources on this site! - Elegant Simple Vegan

As of today, I have been a vegetarian for two weeks. I even cut out milk, in addition to meat! After a couple of days, you really don’t miss it. My biggest concern was cutting out chicken, but there are so many great faux meat products that it has been easy. Oh, and get this: I found out I’ve known the guy who invented Tofurky for years. I went to school with his kids!

I’ve successfully gone out three times and eaten totally veggie without a problem getting enough of the right nutrients, and my boyfriend is even onboard! It’s been awesome so far, and I only expect it to get better as I network with other vegetarians with their awesome recipes *hint, hint.* :)

Dusti Arab is student, mother, and writer of Minimalist Adventures. Read her blog and follow her on twitter.

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Comments

  1. Carrie says

    holy cow (sorry, couldn’t resist!) what a fantastic resource!!! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. says

    Great list of links. It’s so important for those interested in vegetarianism to do it correctly. When I became a vegetarian 13 years ago, I only had access to books; if I could do it again, I would definitely seek out the advice and support of the online community.

  3. Odette Bragg says

    Thank you so much for all the resources. I gave up beef, chicken and pork about three or four months ago and don’t miss it at all.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Way to go Odette. I gave up beef, chicken and pork first and then a few years later, dropped seafood too. My body is definitely happier!

  4. says

    Just wanted to say thanks for the great post and loads of resources. I have been vegan for a number of years, but there were a few links in there I found useful, too! I love to see people changing their lives in such a positive way- becoming vegan was one of the best choices I have ever made. Better for the animals, better for the planet, better for my body, and better for my soul. It’s nice when something as easy as choosing better foods can do so much good and bring our behaviour more in line with our values. =)

  5. says

    THANK YOU for posting this. I have been vegan since February of 2010 and it was the best decision i’ve ever made. This is a great compilation of resources and I am glad to see someone sharing that not eating meat is one of the most green things you can do.

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