How To Maintain A Strict Vegetarian Diet in Nigeria


 Maintaining a strict diet in Nigeria is no child’s play. Given the nature of food available based on our culturally classified meals, limited variety of meal options, and routine meals that we have grown accustomed to while growing up. The mentality of meat, fish, turkey, or chicken as the crown of every meal in Nigerians has made sticking to a vegetarian diet harder. Hard; although possible, having a strict diet is still possible. Below are ways of achieving them.

1. Address your mindset. To achieve a strict diet in Nigeria, the reason for which the individual wants to go on the diet journey has to be known. Knowing this reason for embarking on this journey would strengthen the individual’s resolve to achieve success in strict dieting.

2. Do be in a rush to become a vegetarian. A very clear illustration of this point is that of a chain smoker/ smoking addict. When he or she is to go through rehab, he or she is subjected to a step-by-step process of withdrawal and replacements with good habits. While striving to become a vegetarian, do not be in a rush to drop every non-vegetarian meal or food product such as meat, turkey, bacon, chicken, and so on. Suddenly dropping these meals would be difficult as the craving for it would suddenly be so intense and uncontrollable; thereby making the individual have a relapse on eating non-vegetarian meals. The best way of dropping these non-vegetable meals or food products is to slowly reduce the number of intakes, and make a break-in rate of intake, starting with a day on and another day off till eventually, non-vegetarian meals are stopped completely.

3. Replace non-vegetarian meals with lots of vegetables. With reference to the example stated above, just the way a chain smoker is made to replace his habits by either reading, chewing gum, or undergoing therapy, a person embarking on the journey of strict dieting is to replace all non-vegetarian meals with lots of greens such as vegetables, coleslaws and proteinous meals such as beans should be included in the diet.

4. Consume more fruits on daily basis. Fruits contain different constituents that enrich and nourish the body and can also serve as supplements and replacements for non-vegetarian food products

5. Develop a healthy food timetable. In developing a food timetable, meals that are within reach and readily available should be what the menu contains because when scarcely gotten foods are added to the list, this puts the individual at risk of going back on his or her diet plan. The thought of ‘it is a one-time thing, it will not kill me’ would become inevitable.

6. Have an accountability partner. For a person on a diet plan, having an individual who would periodically check in on the person’s progress and be able to put the person back on track or talk him or her out of bunking the dieting rules is a good start to achieving a strict non-vegetarian diet.

7. Go online! Many times the greens we consider weeds in Nigeria are highly nutritious vegetables. An individual willing to go on strict vegetarian dieting should be ready to go online to search for varieties of vegetables to replace non-vegetarian meals.

8. While buying good products; especially canned ones, check and read the labels/ instructions to ensure they do not contain any non-vegetarian recipes.

Scientifically, vegetables do more good to the body than any food ingredient or spices. Proteinous meals are also better advised as they are bodybuilders. Drawn below is a prototype of a Nigerian vegetarian weekly meals timetable. (This is subject to adjustment by user’s preference and tribal morsels.)

 DAYSBreakfastLunch Dinner
SUNDAYBread toasts, boiled egg, and teaMorsel and soup of choiceFruits and salad
MONDAYPancakes and juiceBoiled plantain with fried sauceBeans
TUESDAYPap/custard and fruitsPotato/ yam porridge with vegetablesRoasted plantain, groundnut, and juice
WEDNESDAYSaladRice, beans, and vegetables of choiceNoodles/fruits of choice
THURSDAYYam and EggPasta and boiled eggsMoi-Moi
FRIDAYWheat/ oatmeal/ cerealsMorsel oFried yam/potatoes with sauce
SATURDAYAkara and papPastries/sandwiches and juiceRice, plantain, and vegetables


1. Lose excess weight- oftentimes, weight gain is attributed to consumption of livestock such as beef, pork turkey; canned products such as hot dogs, and so on. Vegetables however are known to help in lowering body weight and at the same time provide nourishment for the body. Replacing the livestock being consumed with vegetables would help take off the excess weight over time and also keep off the unnecessary fat.

2. Reduce chances of getting ill- vegetables give fresh nourishment, boost the immune system and aid the general metabolism of the body system thereby reducing the chances of getting ill.

3. Reduce feeding cost- Vegetables can easily be grown in small am large quantities for consumption and also for income; thereby reducing the cost of money spent on buying food products and livestock.

4. Personal healthy living plan- having known the advantages of being a vegetarian and the general requirements for living a healthy life and if possible, extending life span, learned individuals may decide to become vegetarians.

5. Doctor’s prescription- sometimes, doctors advise and help patients come up with healthy vegetarian food plans to aid their treatments. Patients are often advised to go through a strict dieting process including people with high blood pressure, aging elders, and so on.

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