Tips on Becoming a Vegetarian

First things first, let me get one thing straight: this is not a post in which I try to convince anyone to become vegetarian. This is a post for those who are interested in becoming a vegetarian and are committed to giving it a try. With that being said, as I approach the one year anniversary of becoming a vegetarian, I thought it would be fun to share some of my tips for going vegetarian for you all! If you’re interested in trying the  vegetarian life check out this post! 

How to Become a Vegetarian

Do your research. Look into the health benefits of going vegetarian or vegan, look into the meat industry and the way in which animals are treated, look at some of the ecological and environmental effects that meat production has on the earth. The more you know, the better you’ll feel about your decision. Also decide what kind of vegetarian you want to be. Do you want to cut out meat, but still eat seafood (pescatarian)? Do you want to cut out meat altogether (a typical vegetarian)? Or do you want to cut out all animal products, including eggs and dairy (vegan)? Get informed and make a choice!

Decide your reasons for going vegetarian. People will constantly ask you why you decided to become a vegetarian, and sometimes when the cravings set in you too will wonder why you ever decided to make such a huge lifestyle change. That’s why it’s important to have a concrete reason for going vegetarian to keep in the back of your mind. Are you against animal cruelty and the lack of standards in the meat industry? Do you want to eat healthier and embrace a more plant based, nutrient rich diet? Or do you believe that vegetarianism helps the environment by reducing the carbon footprint that goes along with raising and processing meat? Whatever your reason, make up your mind and research it. It will totally help you through this process and give you valuable insight into the benefits of the veg life!

Slowly ween yourself off meat products and try a variety of vegetarian options. Start by having a vegetarian day once a week, or one meal each day. Then, slowly increase the amount of plant-based foods you eat and decrease the meat. Cut out red meat, then poultry, then seafood if you choose. Try a variety of vegetarian dishes. Try out things like soy, tempeh, and daiya  cheese if your going vegan and decide if the change is something you could see yourself commiting to long term. Check out the wealth of vegan/vegetarian restaurants out there. You may be thinking “what will I eat” but there is actually a ton of variety where plant/soy based diets are concerned and many damn good meat alternatives too! Just search your local veggie joints, there are more and more popping up all the time since the healthier lifestyle is being embraced by so many nowadays!

Pace Yourelf! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a total diet change wont happen in a day either. Set out for gradually going completely vegetarian for a month, and analyze how you feel and how you like it. Don’t go into it thinking that it’s forever, and don’t beat yourself up if you slip or you realize that after the month vegetarianism just isn’t for you. Simply the effort of trying is commendable, and may be just one step on your vegetarian journey.

Don’t forget to get adequate amounts of vitamins and protein. Often after switching to a vegetarian diet, certain vitamins and nutrients your body usually gets from meat are no longer consumed in a high enough quantity unless you are diligent about replacing meat with specific foods that also contain similar levels of certain things like iron and protein. Do your research  and you will find that it is actually not difficult to obtain those things through many plant based foods like tofu, quinoa and beans plus many more! You should be consuming a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and protein which easily can be gained from fruits, veggies, grains, legumes and soy products. Your diet should be contributing most of the valuable things your body needs like iron and protein, but sometimes it’s hard to get all of the important stuff in through diet alone, which is where vitamins step in!

Learn to cook. Even though more and more vegetarian options can be found at restaurants, and many vegetarian eateries are popping up, learning to cook and make your own meals can really help you in becoming a vegetarian and save money. I personally love going on Pinterest and searching vegetarian meals, and finding ways to recreate some of my old meat favourites into vegetarian masterpieces. Trust me when I say that cooking vegetarian is a fun adventure filled with flavour and new tastes!

Hope this helps! If you’re already a vegetarian, feel free to share some of your own tips in the comments below!

Xoxo, Ana.

Workout Tops: My Cutest Picks

Who says breaking a sweat can’t be cute? Nothing makes a gruelling workout more bearable than looking totally stylish while doing it! Have a look at my top picks for adorable workout tops, and check out my butt and legs workout here for some fitness inspiration. Coming soon: cute workout bottoms, running shoes, and accessories; stay tuned!

  1. Victoria’s Secret Seamless Muscle Tank $39.50
  2. Nike Flow Graphic Women Training Tank $68
  3. Victoria’s Secret Double-cut Tank $29.50
  4. Adidas Women’s Original Tank Top $45
  5. Nike Elastika Graphic Women Training Tank $42
  6. The Player by Victoria’s Secret Logo Tank $26.50
  1. Lightweight by Victoria’s Secret Sport Bra $25
  2. Nike Pro Hero $95
  3. Victoria’s Secret Strappy Plunge Sports Bra $29.50
  4. Lulu Lemon Ready, Set, Sweat Bra $58
  5. The Player by Victoria’s Secret Sport Bra $32.50
  6. Nike Pro Classic $35

Have fun getting fit! Xoxo, Ana.

My Workout: Butt and Legs

With summer on its way, I know that every girl is probably, maybe freaking out just a bit about getting into shape. With all those crop tops, short shorts, and bikinis to be worn, that soft layer around your middle and inner thighs that’s been growing since Thanksgiving is suddenly on display for everyone to see. Well fear no more! Here is a butt and legs workout I often do when I’m looking to tone up. Keep in mind that I’m not a personal trainer or health professional; these are just the moves that I find effective! Almost all moves can be done with or without weights, and should be done in 3 sets of 10 a couple times a week.
Regular Squat Workout Regular Squats

Start in standing position with your feet as wide as your shoulders and slightly turned out. Lower bum down into a seated position, keeping your knees hovering over your feet. Go as deep as you can to really feel the burn. Feel free to add dumbbells or a weight bar over your shoulders. 10 lbs is a good place to start. If this feels easy, try pulse squats, where you do not completely straighten your legs when raising, or a jumping squat. Works entire glute and legs.

 

Regular Lunges WorkoutRegular Lunges

Start in a standing position with legs about a foot apart. Bring right leg back and bend the left so that your front leg makes a 90 degree angle. Alternate between legs. Again like squats, feel free to add dumbbells, a weight bar, pulse lunge, or switch jump lunge. Works quads and glutes.

Leg Raises WorkoutLeg Raises

On a yoga mat, lie on your side, raising your top leg up and the other leg raised slightly above the ground. This move can be intensified by adding ankle weights. Do 30 reps on each leg for 3 sets. Works inner and outer thighs.

Sumo Squat WorkoutSumo Squats

Start in standing position with legs as far apart as you can. Lower bum down into a seated position, going once again as deep as you can. Feel free to add dumbbells or a weight bar over your shoulders, and to intensify this exercise by pulsing instead of completely straightening. Works quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

Curtsey Lunge WorkoutCurtsey Lunge

Start in standing position with legs shoulder width apart. Take your right leg and bring it behind you and to the left, while bending your left leg into a 90 degree angle. Alternate between legs. Feel free to add dumbbells, a weight bar, pulse curtsey lunge, or switch jump curtsey lunge. Works quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

Glute Bridge WorkoutGlute Bridge

On a yoga mat, lie down on your back with your legs pulled up and your feet flat on the ground. Raise bum up so that your body creates a bridge. Raise and drop down 10 times. On the 10th rep, remain elevated and hold this bridge pose for 10 seconds, then pulse in bridge pose for 10 reps. Do 3 sets of these 3 different variations. This one certainly burns, but that means it’s working! Works glutes and hamstrings.

Quad Leg Lift Workout

Leg Lifts

On a yoga mat, start on all fours. Raise your right leg straight up and then back down, alternating each leg for 10 reps. Then repeat this set, pulsing the leg instead of put it back down. The great thing about leg lifts is that they are super modifiable so that you can work every glute muscle! Keep your leg straight, bend it, kick it out the side, or circle it! It’s all up to you. Works glutes.

 

Side Lunge WorkoutSide Lunges

Start in a standing position with legs about a foot apart. Bring right leg up and out to the side. Alternate between legs. Feel free to add dumbbells or a weight bar. Works quads and glutes.

Deadlift WorkoutDead Lift 

This one requires weight, unless you do a one-legged dead lift, using your body as a weight. If you prefer the two-legged version, which I found works better, then stand with feet shoulder width apart holding onto a weight bar. Then slowly bring the weight bar down towards your feet until your legs and back form an “L” shape. Works hamstrings, glutes, and back.
Have a great workout!

Xoxo, Ana.