Deciding to switch to a vegetarian diet and lifestyle can be a marvelously fun and rewarding experience. But be sure to cover all your bases before you begin. There are a number of important things to consider before you get started that will help to smooth out the transition. Just take the time to think things through a bit first.

For starters, you'll want to define for yourself exactly why you want to give up meat meat. Is it for reasons of health, weight loss, religious concerns or maybe a keen interest in animal rights? You'll need to be very clear about this or you'reiable to succumb to every difficult or challenging situation you encounter and lose your resolve.

You'll also soon find out that your decision to go meatless will very quickly affect other people around you. Ideally, your decision will elicit only support and encouragement from your peers. But your decision may affect others (especially those close to you) in a negative way. They may regard your decision as a rejection of their chosen lifestyle and become defensive towards you. You just need to be prepared if this happens and not overreact.

Do you prepare your own food at home? Do you eat out often with friends? Do you do a lot of traveling with others? Deciding to become vegetarian will pose challenges, not only for you, but for your companions and loved ones as well if you have not decided to take full responsibility for your decision. You do not want to become a burden on others just in order to please your personal fancy.

It's also a good idea to educate yourself a little about nutrition. Just because you do not eat meat does not mean that you've adopted a healthy diet. You can make a lot of very wrong health decisions regarding what to eat if your new diet is not nutritionally sound. Take the time to get an understanding of the basics of nutrition and your experience will be much more to your satisfaction. You can easily eat well and sleep well on a meatless diet if you first learn how to eat smart.

We started out as new, struggling vegetarians long before the days when you could find organic foods or tofu dogs at the local supermarket. Credible information and people with experience as vegetarians were a real scarcity back then. But we learned a lot and kept adapting and experimenting with new ideas and recipes.

We now have a very practical and satisfying vegetarian diet plan that we totally enjoy following and are very comfortable with. The emphasis of our meatless meal plans is on healthful vegetarian cuisine. Others may choose to emphasize a different focus. Whatever your decision, just be sure to do a little due diligence beforehand. It can mean the difference between starting an enjoyable culinary adventure or suffering through a lot of negative emotions and hurt feelings. When avoidable, life is too short for the latter.

So, here's to enjoying your culinary adventure. Bon app├ętit!