How to Become a Vegetarian

A touch of grazing

Lost the taste for animal-dominant meals like grandma's special meat loaf? Looking to lose weight and gain energy? Then it may be time for you to ditch the cow and go veggie.

But how does one start to eliminate the main staple of mainstream American cuisine?

Slowly, says Stephanie Carrico, who has been a full-time vegetarian for four years and a red-meat mutineer for 15. "It's like the 12-Step program," she says. "I gave up the real heavy stuff first, like steak, then slowly gave up other meats like chicken and fish, and replaced those with rice and lots of soy products."

One of the biggest challenges is to supplement the loss of protein that meat provides, so we suggest a natural whey protein powder, available at health food shops and grocery stores with an organic flair. Balance out the new diet with daily vitamin intake and exercise, and be on your way to a green-friendly lifestyle.

Sprouts Farmers Market, three Valley locations (12415 North Tatum Boulevard, 9301 East Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale, 1959 West Ray Road in Chandler), stocks organic veggies and a wide selection of health and wellness products. Go to www.sprouts.com.

Hi-Health World of Nutrition, 51 Valley locations, specializes in high-quality supplements and foods for physical well-being. See www.hihealth.com.

Green, New American Vegetarian, at 2240 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, serves vegetarian and vegan-friendly fare every day except Sundays. Call 480-941-9003 or check out www.greenvegetarian.com.

Supreme Master Ching Hai Vegetarian House, 3239 East Indian School Road, dishes out 100 percent veggie cuisine with a Far East flair. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Call 602-264-3480 or visit www.veggiehouse.com.

 
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