Considering going green? Whether you can’t imagine noshing on cute animals, wanna slash your impact on the Earth or eat in a more heart-healthy way, GL’s got the dirt on doing it right.
Plan Like a Pro
When you go veggie, you need to take extra time to plan your meals. The school caf, restaurants or your relatives’ houses may not always be ready for your meat-free ways. Pack your own well-balanced lunches for school and call ahead before you eat out—good restaurants will be able to let you know what veggie-only meals they have. Extended fam isn’t veg-friendly? Volunteer to whip up a yummy vegetable side to share.
Rock the Whole Range
Don’t just restrict yourself to iceberg salads or the bagels you find at the snack bar. Every meal should include a ton of color and variety. Try scrambled tofu with peppers and salsa in the a.m., soup or chili with beans for lunch and whole-wheat noodles with veggies and spices for din. Invest in a cookbook to keep it fresh (we dig OK, So Now You’re a Vegetarian
, $12, amazon.com).
Geek Out on those Greens
Veggie girls gotta eat smart to make up for the nutrients normally found in meat. Dark leafy greens (kale, chard), dairy, beans and lentils are stellar substitutes, so incorporate ’em into your meals. Talk to your doc about whether you should take a vitamin, too.
Not ready to go full-on veggie? Then, um, don’t. Be a flexitarian (they try to avoid meat), cut out red meat or take the “Meatless Mondays” challenge by simply eliminating the stuff once a week. Any way you slice it, adding greens to your diet is always a plus.