I cannot stress more to anyone looking to change their lifestyle to educate themselves. It is the first, most important thing anyone should do when thinking about making a major change in your life, especially when becoming a vegetarian/or vegan. It can be very confusing, ineffective if you do not educate yourself. I'm serious. I cannot stress this enough.
When I first became a vegetarian, I tried to educate myself but failed. This resulted in me ending up with iron anemia. Iron anemia is when you feel so lethargic 24/7 and absolutely have no energy. I was miserable until I educated myself and learned better, so I'm here to educate you and provide you with some websites if you are looking into becoming a vegetarian/or vegan.
The first, most important, thing is protein. Now I know a lot of you out there think that its oh-so-impossible for us vegetarians to get enough protein but boy are you wrong. Where do you think cows, who are vegans, get their nutrients from, huh? Well, the two most best sources are legumes and nuts, and they are easily able to be incorporated into any meal. Other sources are pasta, dairy, mock meats, eggs, grains like rice. And I'm pretty sure women are supposed to get above 40g of protein each day, and men are supposed to get much higher than us. And if your lifting, working out, or exercising, you should be incorporating even more protein.
Another important thing is fiber. Now becoming a vegetarian has helped my digestion tons. It even helped lessen my boyfriend's IBS, which I also use to have a slight case of, but it's now gone. But when I turned vegetarian I didn't receive as much fiber as I should which resulted in so much bloating that it wasn't fun. Fiber is in a lot of things such as legumes(great source is lentils), whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. How much fiber should you get? I'm not too sure on that one. My spicy burrito recipe has a lot of fiber in it though with the lentils and brown rice.
You should also pay attention to Fatty Acids, and no matter what anyone tells you, not all fats are bad for you. A girl in one of my classes believed all fats, no matter what, are bad for you, but your body needs those fats! I had eczema for a few days because I hadn't gotten enough fatty acids. Good sources: chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut milk, olive oil, avocados.
Any girl should also be vary cautious on your iron intake. If you don't get enough, you might get iron anemia as I've had or miss your period. Of course guys don't have to worry on this one as much as us, but there are many great sources of iron such as dark green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and legumes also have some too.
And anyone looking for mock meats, I highly suggest the brand Gardein. It's made from wonderful ingredients, things you can actually pronounce. Other brands are made with not so good ingredients, so I usually stick with Gardein. You can find it at your local Target, Kroger, or Whole Foods. Go to their website to see their products and list of ingredients.
Two wonderful websites I've found:
^Has many wonderful recipes.
^Wonderful Info on Vegan/Vegetarian Nutrition