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Making the Vegan or Vegetarian Transition

Going vegetarian is easy. Grocery stores are always stocked with colorful vegetables and plenty of other vegan foods. Almost all grocery stores now carry delicious faux meat products, too—from veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs to vegetarian chicken nuggets, ribs, steak strips, and more. With all these great products available, it’s easier than ever to whip up delicious meat-free meals at home. Going out to eat couldn’t be easier too! With more and more people becoming vegetarian these days, most restaurants now offer great-tasting, healthy vegetarian selections.

We’ve listed our top six tips for making your transition to a vegetarian diet easy and delicious. We have also provided some “everyday eating” ideas for each meal (and snack!) of the day. If you want more help making the transition, take our “Pledge To Be Vegan for 30 Days.”

Bon appétit!

Top Six Tips

1. Make vegetarian versions of your favorite meals.
2. Explore thousands of delicious vegetarian recipes.
3. Try some tasty faux meats and dairy alternatives.
4. Sample vegetarian microwaveable meals and convenience foods.
5. Search online for the best vegetarian-friendly restaurants in your area.
6. Explore the amazing variety of meat-free ethnic foods.

Ideas for Everyday Eating

We have thousands of delicious recipes searchable by meal category and type of cuisine. Here are some of our favorites! (Click on the links below to read more.)

•    Breakfast and Brunch
•    Lunch
•    Dinner
•    Side Dishes
•    Desserts
•    Appetizers
•    Sandwiches
•    Pizza Toppings
•    Quick-and-Easy Snacks
•    Barbecues and Picnics
•    Accidentally Vegan

More Ideas for Vegetarian Living
(Click on each tip below to read more.)

•    Dining With Friends and Family
•    Eating While On the Road
•    Raising Vegetarian Kids and Teenagers
•    Where to Find Vegan Groceries
•    Eating On a Budget
•    Going Vegetarian: All at Once or Gradually?
•    A Note About Tiny Amounts of Animal Products in Foods
•    How to Go Vegan

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  • Angel says:

    Hi guys, I’m slowly making the transition to vegetarianism. My issue with it is the cost. Why is it so costly to eat so healthy? Farmer’s markets aren’t that much cheaper, and in some cases, the same price as produce from Vons or Albertson’s. I’m down to try recipes and transition my family of 6, but I don’t want to have to break the bank in order to do so. If anyone can provide any additional tips, I’d greatly appreciate it because this is a lifestyle I really would like to commit to; thanks!!

  • Jesse says:

    In have seen some talk about telling your family that you wanna be vegetarian/vegan but your family would make it hard. My family is very anti vegetarian/vegan. When I told them I didn’t really do it as a process. I just went all out and told them I am a vegetarian. They yelled at me and said some pretty mean stuff but now they are use to it but you just have to stand your ground for a few weeks and they back off.

  • Vince says:

    I have been a vegetarian for almost for 14 months and never felt better.Now I’m trying to talk to my friend to turn vegetarian and shes trying .As of this moment i have been drinking Almond milk and love it .I just wished i would have done this a long time ago guess its never too late .
    one more thing watch out for those veggie product that has GMO soy that’s one more thing that I’m staying away from

  • Sierra says:

    To every one that wants to make the transition but have family holding you back. I cannot say from personal experince how that would turn out.. I came out as a vegan when I lived on my own.. But I can say making smaller steps towards being a vegan might help.. like saying you just dont want to eat red meat at first.. then add no chicken.. and so on.. I again can not say how that will turn out.. everyone is going to laugh or say things to make you feel like veganism is a cult… trust me that never goes away.. but I think it is awesome yall want to start!

  • Shelley says:

    I have been transitioning for about 7 months now! It is all a process ! Do not beat yourself up! Just start out replacing meals with fresh juices and incorporating more fresh vegetables and fruit into your diet! As time goes by, you will find that your body will start responding to the fresh raw fruits, veggies and juices with greater urgency! I am currently reading 80/10/10 by Dr. Douglas Graham who is a raw vegan and I watch a lot of Dan McDonald the Liferegenerator on YouTube! He is very informative and knowledgeable on raw veganism and the ansistion process! Continued success to all of you and as Freelee the Banana girl also on Youtube would say ” Go Fruit yourself”!

  • Blackrose9053 says:

    Hi I have been trying to go vegetarian but me granparents are agaist it what should i do?

  • Sam says:

    @SadieC. Hi SadieC I have the very same problem. I started the 30 day challenge 2 days ago, told my family I was thinking of becoming Vegan and I just got laughed at. What I did was bought my own food such as almond milk, vegan marg etc. just buy yourself some essentials that you use everyday. My family buy fruit and veg so I didn’t need to buy any of that. And instead of my mum buying me sweets on her weekly shop I will ask her to buy me some grapes or apples etc. I’m sure your family will come round to the idea as much are mine are starting too. For example my father said he was boiling veg and potatoes for tea I will be having all that but i will have vegan sausage instead and have boiled potatoes instead of mashed. You will get through it. Hope all goes well.

  • littlelights21 says:

    I have been a vegetarian for 10 months. I had been considering it for a while, but then I saw PETAs video “meet your meat” and becoming a vegetarian was the easiest thing. I have felt great ever since I mad the transition. However, Every time I try becoming full vegan, I loose so much weight that I can’t maintain the diet without endangering my health. So does anyone have any tips on how I would go about becoming full vegan without my ribs poking out?

  • SadieC. says:

    I would love to try the Vegan for a Month transition to help get me started, but I still live with my parents, who are strongly against vegetarianism…How should I do this!?

  • Equin says:

    @TAS , I have been a vegetarian for ten years now. 2 weeks ago I watched the movie “Earthlings” and even though I have seen numerous documentaries about where our foods come from, nothing effected me as much as this one. So I figured the dairy industry is equally brutal and equally harmful for our body, so why not go vegan? I felt my vegetarian diet was not enough -so I hear you!- went vegan cold turkey. I still find out baking tips and other dairy replacements, but I am feeling great so far, best decision I have ever made !

  • mommyjen7 says:

    help. I have been vegan for about five months now and was a cheese/egg/chicken breast addict. I have absolutely no problem not eating any meat but I have tried dozens of meat (and particularly cheese) substitutes and every one literally turns my stomach. I am getting desperate. Am I destines to a life of baked potatoes and beans?

  • Andrew says:

    Is it more unethical to eat an animal, or to domesticate an animal and subject it and it’s offspring to generations of abuse by forcing human affection on these captives?
    Currently I am guilty of both, and while I ate vegetarian today it doesn’t happen enough…
    Frankly I house several cats and have recently been feeling guilty about there existence. I treat them very well, but, and although I saved them from worse c

  • TAS says:

    Obviously there is a difference between the vegan and vegetarian diet, yet this article speaks to a vegetarian diet but has a “Pledge To Be Vegan for 30 Days.”

    I have entertained the idea off and on for over a decade to follow one or the other, I believe the time is growing closer in making significant changes in my diet for optimal health. I tend to get overwhelmed when researching and considering these changes.

    I’ve come to understand that perhaps the most beneficial to my health, carbon foot-print and to animals would be to go the vegan route which feels more of a challenge to me. Yet going vegetarian doesn’t seem like enough. I know that is ridiculous and not fact, for I would still be making a positive change.

    Any insight would be appreciated.

  • Shiela says:

    Wow… I love the “Make vegetarian versions of your favorite meals.” part!

  • Becky says:

    Is there somewhere I can find out if some ready to eat foods are veg friendly? For example, I recently found out that Frosted Mini Wheats contained gelatin. I’m looking for some sort of reference material about every day foods. thanks

  • Donna says:

    I want to become a vegan. Where do I start? What can’t I eat? What can I eat?

  • Holley says:

    Any suggestion for a newbie that also has an allergy to barley, and a little intolerate of tomatoes and corn. I am having a hard time with the substitutes because they all seem to have barley or barley malt in them. I can’t eat tofu for all 3 meals each day. Any ideas? Please help.

  • Mary says:

    For free, delicious recipes and pictures that even non-vegans love, go to:

  • Mary says:

    Free, excellent vegan recipes that even non-vegans love.

  • TribalTwinSC says:

    I just watched the documentary, “Food, INC.” and was reminded of how terrible animals in this world are treated to feel people who don’t even stop to think about where the animals come from or how much they had to suffer. It just disgusted me so. Humans are so selfish. I don’t make a lot of money. I hope I can find affordable ways to stop supporting these horrific meat packing companies.

  • Cat says:

    I’m a new ovo-vegitarian (7 weeks now) and I have been having bloating for the last 4 days. My dietitian said to try the FODMAPS diet but that leaves me with nothing to eat! I don’t eat dairy and have eliminated soy and beans; have never had an issue with wheat but have reduced. All I’m eating now is oatmeal, eggs, lettuce, quinoa and rice. I’ve heard bloating is a issue for a lot of new vegans and vegitarians. Any tips?

  • Chloe says:

    I’m 15 and live in a very small town, the only store we really have is walmart, and they don’t really have anything but a couple kinds of veggie burgers and some vegan sliced cheese. So, if you live in a small town, its kinda hard.

  • Kris says:

    CeCe, you are wrong on that. There are many types of vegetarians. Some do not eat eggs or milk, other eat only fish etc. read some of the other articles here on this site to see what I mean.

  • John says:

    I wonder when will someone stand for ‘plant’ rights. Afterall plants are living organism too and eating them sounds too selfish to me… wouldn’t you agree?

  • Amanda says:

    Juan- eating vegetaian and vegan is actually not as expensive as you would think. You should take a step back and start getting creative. Beans, rice, and veggies will always be cheaper than steak and other meaty meals. There is a book called “vegan on the cheap” with a lot of yummy and cheap meals! Good Luck!

  • Juan Carlos Galeano says:

    I’m trying to become a vegetarian,but the prices of the vegetarian food are so high

  • Shaunia says:

    I have been a vegetarian since August and plan on going Vegan. I love it and never plan on going back. Love eating healthier and thinking of new dishes

  • CeCe says:

    I am just going to say that go vegan and going vegetarian are 2 different things. Vegan is no products from animals weather it be the meat or eggs or dairy. Being a vegetarian you can eat eggs and dairy.

  • Lauretta says:

    ILoveMyArabian: Target, Cub, Rainbow, etc have faux meat in their frozen section. Its fairly mainstream now.

  • Ben says:

    No matter what your personal feelings/philosophy are, you have to admit that the general consensus of health professionals is that a vegetarian diet is the most healthy. All sorts of organizations, from the National Institute of Health to the Mayo Clinic agree that the less meat you eat, especially red meat, the healthier you’ll be.

    A quick search of websites, including have great tips for cheap and easy veggie-friendly meals. Almost anything you can make that has meat as an ingredient can be made with a meat substitute or just without.

    The easiest thing to do to get started, which is working for me, is to just begin by cutting down on what meat you eat and serve. Start trying to cut red meat out, instead using ground turkey or chicken in place of beef. Like with making any dietary change, it’s easier to do in stages, working your way to being completely meat-free.

  • Dora says:

    I have been vegan for almost a year now and so has my family, we feel better than ever and eat plenty of delicious food. Just wanted to share this with all those who are thinking about it.

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