Cooking vegetarian meals is a lot like following a good road map or guideline. Most cooking instructions or recipes are just that ñ a good road map. Cooking is chemistry; you add the ingredients, heat or cold at the correct time and out pops a delicious meal.

There are four or five different categories of vegetarians but only three main categories; and all are vegetarian to one degree or another. Preparing vegetarian meals will not require that you shop in specialty stores. Most groceries now carry organic fruits and vegetables and some organic dried staples.

Vegetarian meals are at their best when you use the best ingredients. The best ingredients are free of herbicides and pesticides and are organically grown. When you are preparing meals you should know and apply good food combination principles, not only for taste and appearance but also to so you receive all the important nutrients throughout the day.

Shopping for organic and vegetarian ingredients should not be difficult. Most groceries now carry organic produce and organically prepared prepackaged foods. Organically prepared foods are marked ìorganically grownî.

You should read the labels on processed and pre-packaged foods to figure out if they really are vegetarian. Some foods that you would think are vegetarian also include animal by-products or gelatin in the preparation.

Another tip to good vegetarian meals and lifestyle is to include a fast every week or two. The fast is 24 hours in length. People can chose to drink juices during the fast or not. If you do chose juice try to use freshly juiced fruits and vegetables to receive the most from the fresh enzymes and nutrients.

Fasting will help to clear your digestive system and help your body to work more efficiently. Only in todayís society have we learned to eat three meals a day each and every day. Our hunting and gathering ancestors often went a day or two without food, if food wasnít available.

If you are cooking vegetarian meals for children you must take care to meet their special nutritional needs. Because most vegetarian foods are low in fat you have to include fat in their diets, especially if they are less than 2 years. Fat is vital to the brain growth of children less than 2.

Another advantage to eating vegetarian meals is that the need to count calories is almost nil. Most of the foods you are eating are low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients. Even the foods that are high in fat like nuts, seeds and avocados do not cause cholesterol issues since they are plant source of fat and not animal source.

As a vegetarian lifestyle becomes more popular restaurants are including vegetarian meals on their menu. Restaurants are also likely to make some accommodations to their current foods to make a meal that you can eat.

Eating and cooking vegetarian meals doesnít have to be boring. Include foods you donít normally eat, taste a variety of fruits and vegetables. Youíll be surprised at how the variety makes your meals more pleasurable.