Thinking about becoming vegetarian but afraid of a life full of bland salads?
You have nothing to fear, according to Adam Guthrie, a Berry-based real estate agent who has been following a vegetarian diet for more than 20 years.
He says there are a huge range of easy-to-prepare, delicious meals for both vegetarians and vegans.
Originally a chef, he suggests basing each meal on the staples of brown rice, lentils and legumes, and then creating your own menu from there.
From scrambled tofu on sourdough for breakfast to salad wraps with vegies straight from the garden for lunch to curried lentil pies for dinner, Guthrie ensures that he, his wife and two daughters keep their diets interesting.
Guthrie says this way of eating takes a little planning when you start out but becomes second nature soon enough.
But being a vegetarian doesn't give you a licence to eat all the potato chips you want.
Guthrie says a diet based on foods as they come from the ground is best.
"Even on a vegan diet you can still eat unhealthily. There's a lot of vegetarian and vegan alternatives becoming available now that are all very processed," Guthrie says.
"Whole food, food packaged exactly as nature provides it, is the way; the reason being the nutrients and the calorie composition is perfect; you get all this fibre with the nutrients you need."
Whether a vegetarian diet meets nutritional requirements is a concern for non-vegetarians.
A research review by the Medical Journal of Australia this year found vegetarian diets can meet all the recommended levels of protein, calcium, iron and zinc. The only concern noted was a lack of the vitamin B12 in vegan diets.
Guthrie takes a B12 supplement but says he meets all his other dietary needs by eating whole foods and tofu.
"People often ask where I get protein. Well, everything that grows out of the ground is made up of amino acids and amino acids form protein," he says.
Although he has recently completed a nutrition course, Guthrie insists he isn't a dietitian, but does say eating this way has been the best change he ever made to his lifestyle.
Aside from losing close to 40 kilograms when he first gave up animal products at 21 and generally feeling healthier, excluding animal products from his diet has given him a greater sense of well-being.
Guthrie has launched an online cooking school, ifeelgood.com.au, featuring video demonstrations and information on vegetarian diets.