A Vegetarian Lifestyle: 8 Easy Ways To Prepare Yourself

assorted fruits and vegetables

(BlackDoctor.org) — The statistics are clear: four out of five African Americans are overweight or obese. Combined with the troubling rates of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, we have become our worst enemy through poor weight management, minimal exercise, and eating unhealthy.

Temporary health solutions will not change our health circumstances; our collective battle with weight and unhealthy eating requires a lifestyle change. There are numerous African Americans adopting vegetarian and vegan lifestyles as one solution and rethinking their ongoing relationship with meat. Can a meatless lifestyle benefit more African Americans? And, how do our perceptions of these eating lifestyles influence our willingness to engage with them?

Being a vegetarian is not nearly as difficult as it used to be. While a 2003 survey found that only 2.8 percent of Americans identify as strictly vegetarian, over the past 20 years, vegetarian-friendly products, restaurants and — most importantly — mindsets have become the norm across most of the country. Still, for people who grew up with meat at the center of their meals, shifting toward a flesh-free diet can pose significant challenges. Here are a few survival-guide tips for transitioning seamlessly (and deliciously) into a vegetarian lifestyle.

This guide was designed for vegetarians who do not eat meat, fish or fowl but do eat eggs and dairy. Many of the tips — though not all — would work for vegans as well.