Looking to add more plant-based foods into your life? If so, you’re not alone. A 2012 Harris Poll conducted by the Vegetarian Resource Group found that 47% of US adults eat at least one vegetarian meal a week. Here are some tips for doing so:
- Try more international foods. You’re likely to find plenty of vegetarian options in Thai, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Indian, and Mexican cuisine. My favorite is Ethiopian, truly the food of the gods.
- Try some of the vegetarian options being offered in mainstream restaurant chains. Whether it’s the bean burrito loaded with guacamole at Chipotle, the Bangkok Curry with tofu at Noodles & Company, or the Johnny Rockets veggie burger with all your favorite fixin’s, you’re likely to find a filling and delicious vegetarian meal at about any restaurant you go to.
- Load up on cookbooks. Some of the popular ones out there are: Veganomicon, Vegan on the Cheap, and the feistily-titled Vegan With a Vengeance. If you’d like a free starter guide with recipes and nutritional information, you can order that here, through the organization that I am part of, Vegan Outreach.
- Try some meat substitutes. Meat analogs – meatless products that taste like your favorite meats — have come a long way in just the last decade, and they are now to be found in just about any mainstream supermarket you go to. My favorites are the grain-based sausages from Field Roast, the Tofurky beer brats, and the Crispy Tenders from Gardein.
As a fifteen-year vegan, opting for plant-based foods has been a big part of my physical and psychological well-being. It’s given me the opportunity to try a bunch of delicious new foods that were previously off my radar and to eat in a manner that promotes being kind to animals – a value that I hold dear.
Millions of Americans are incorporating vegetarian meals into their diet. Will you be the next? There’s never been a better time to eat vegetarian than now.
Jon Camp is Director of Outreach for Vegan Outreach, a non-profit animal advocacy organization that promotes vegan eating as a way to reduce animal suffering. To find out more about their work, please visit veganoutreach.org.