Is it hard to switch from being an omnivore into a vegetarian?!
It really isn't all about vegetable salads - although you should make an effort of eating at least one bulky raw salad per day... and green smoothies (you won't taste the spinach much, I promise - and it's a great way of incorporating greens into your diet). Since you're 15, I'm assuming that you don't have that much time to cook yourself - so, you might want to share a few of the recipes I'm going to tell you about with your mother... it might even inspire her to cook healthier. Or, of course, if she's cooking something with meat, for instance burritos, it wouldn't hurt to ask her to use beans instead of meat just for your plate. Or ground tempeh instead of ground meat. In fact, Mexicans traditionally use beans in place of meat in a lot of dishes that have become Americanized.
The reason you're drawing a blank when you think of vegetarian food is because you're accustomed to having all your meals centered around at least some kind of fleshfood, with maybe the occasional salad, rice, pasta. But once you eliminate meat from your diet - you're left with everything else that nature provides in abundance... Leafy greens, vegetables, sea vegetables, fruits, legumes/beans, seeds, nuts, soy, grains/rice/wheat, oils, spices... and eggs and dairy if you are going to ovo-lacto-vegetarian route.
Along the way, you'll discover food you never knew existed. Have you heard of quinoa? Amaranth? Buckwheat? Freekeh? Chia seeds? Hemp seeds? Oat milk? Goji berries? Kale? Tempeh? Edamame? Persimmon? Etc, etc. One of the most rewarding things about a vegetarian/vegan diet is that you get to experiment with so many grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables from around the world. The ironic part is that you end up having a more varied/complete diet than those a lot of those folks who go on about veg*an diets being bland, and just about lettuce and carrots.
In your case, at least for now, I would take advantage of faux meat products to help you with your transition towards a vegetarian/vegan diet. Seitan (wheat gluten "meat") is a great one that tastes just like meat if spiced/flavored the right way. Tempeh (fermented soy) can also be flavored and has a meaty texture to it. You can do pretty much anything with it... you can grind it up and cook it w/ taco seasoning to give it the flavor of ground meat and make vegan tacos with guacamole & salsa: http://www.phoebebites.com/2011/01/tempe… Or even a "BLT" salad: http://veganyumyum.com/2009/07/blt-salad… For those days where you just want something quick to eat, I would recommend Amy's Organic California Burgers - http://www.amys.com/products/product-det… They are not processed like Boca Burgers and taste much better too.
Then you have an abundance of grains. Other than brown rice, quinoa is a must for your diet. It's a complete source of protein, a great source of iron and calcium. Amaranth is also a super food and a complete source of protein but harder to find - you might want to check your local health food store. Then there is bulgur wheat... I recently discovered a sumptuous Turkish dish that uses it as a base - for a spicy tabbouleh salad and I highly recommend it: http://almostturkish.blogspot.com/2007/0…
I can really keep going on and on about the wonders of plant-based food, and I didn't even go into depth with what you can do with legumes/beans, nuts and seeds. I'll just leave you with my favorite links/recipes since I've been going on for too long, lol:
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/ (for veg*an nutrition info; debunks a lot of myths)
I gave up meat cold turkey when I was 16. All I ate when I was an omnivore was ham and chicken, literally like every single day of my life. I'm not a huge fan of veggies either but I check out cookbooks and can make really cool tasting stuff out of regular boring veggies. Being a vegetarian doesn't mean living off salads, you can still eat eggs and milk if you're lacto-ovo vegetarian, and grains, nuts, and fruits. You can get some pretty delicious fake meat if you have trouble making the transition, Quorn is a good brand of fake chicken.
I have been a vegetarian for a year now. and before i was definitely an omnivore. it's actually incredibly easy, people think it's gonna be really hard. like you have to eat only vegetables and stuff. but it's actually quite delicious. the only thing kinda hard is that you have to start checking labels to make sure there's no meat in the things you eat.
The best way to become a vegetarian is to understand why, exactly, you are becoming a vegetarian. Are you doing it for health, environmental, political reasons? Once you nail down your reason, you can tap that core value every time you feel tempted to eat meat, and it will make your transition to becoming vegetarian an easier process.
Try becoming vegetarian slowly. Your body will need time to adjust to life without the calorically dense food. If you're concerned about protein - the number 1 concern of most people - stock up on vegetarian protein foods. This might include whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, etc.), beans, fake meats, cheese, etc. Also consider weening yourself off of meat in a structured way - like eating meat twice a week for a month, then once a week the next month, until month three when your meat free and fully adjusted.
One of the most fun ways to do this is to have some sort of celebration for the last night you eat meat. Invite some omnivorous friends over, and truly appreciate that last chunk of meat. Then say farewell.
Do your research and figure out what nutrients might be lacking in your diet. This is more of an issue for vegans, but there are some that you should look out for in the vegetarian diet like vitamin B12 (although this is usually an overblown concern).
All the best to you on your transition - it's worth it!
Yes,maybe the first step is the most difficult,however i am not agree you to be a vegetarian,as you are so yong,you must eat meat to keep your boby balance,so you can eat vegetable salads most and eat less meat.
There is bread, pasta, grains, cheese pizza, veggie pot pie, and falafel is a great meat alternative. lots of stuff