Of course, you're not always going to be eating at home. One challenge many new vegetarians face is eating out. Particularly in the United States, restaurants are accustomed to customers expecting meat in every dish. For vegetarians, this obviously presents a problem.
However, these days, nearly all restaurants have some meat-free option, and it's usually pretty tasty. Certain cuisines fare better than others: if you're not already a fan of Thai, Indian or Chinese food, now's a great time to give them a try. These and many other culinary traditions have years of history creating great meatless dishes, some with tofu or seitan, some with simply vegetables.
Vegetarian food is hearty, filling, and just as good as its meat-laden brethren. You should also expect questions, especially from non-vegetarian family members and friends, along the lines of, "No, but what do you eat??" Many people see meat as the centerpiece of their dish (even if it's not, by taste or caloric content), and can't imagine food without it. But don't be fooled or let them be fooled - most dishes aren't primarily meat, and you're eating as well or better than they are!
Completed on June 5, 2009 at 2:56 a.m.