8-Ways to Eat Less Meat
So you want to reduce your meat intake? You have come to the right place! This website is a great place to find easy and nutritious plant-based meals. I have also written this article on 8 Ways to Eat Less Meat for anyone starting out on a vegan journey or are just looking to reduce their animal product intake.
Reducing meat intake isn’t so outrageous anymore like it once was. Now, more and more people are seeing the benefits to eating less animal products. We are so lucky now it’s so easy to be vegan. The grocery stores and even the fast food chains are flooded with new plant-based products everyday.
But, even with all these new options, if you spent your whole life surrounding your meals around meat and dairy it can definitely be a learning experience.
The following text is here to give you some confidence on where to begin, so keep reading!
#1: Should I Quit Completely or Slowly Reduce my Intake?
I get this question a lot. When I first went Vegan almost 8 years ago, I though I was going to reduce my consumption slowly over time but to my surprise I ended up cutting it all out immediately. I believe the reason I was able to do this is because I grew up with a Chef for a father who gave me a lot of cooking knowledge over the years. I had the knowledge to be able to cook myself a variety of meals without missing the animals products, but not everyone has the same culinary background or knowledge of nutrition and that’s OKAY!
My best advice is to just start! Take it day by day because you may be a reducer or you may be an immediate vegan. There is a risk when pressuring yourself to cut it out all together. You don’t want to jump back into your old habits so do what you think is best for you. Most importantly don’t be hard on yourself, everyone has their own set of circumstances and only you know your life, body and best course of action.
#2: Explore and Experiment:
Think of eating less animal products not as a restriction but as an opportunity to have a whole new variety of foods. Being plant-based is so far from limiting, there are so many different varieties of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds on top of all the veggie alternatives available.
Eat meals that are rich in color and variety. Spend some extra time at your store browsing the fruits and vegetables you haven’t tried before along with the vegan products. Trial and error is the best way to learn. Try picking up something new every time and try different ways of cooking it. Don’t be discouraged if your meals look bland and boring at first, once you find what you like and what you don’t like, meals will come together much more easily!
To veganize is to make something that would normally contain animal products in a way that eliminates them but is just as delicious! Many things you are eating may already be vegan or easily converted into something vegan. The easiest is pasta dishes (most noodles are vegan). Try substituting the protein in your dishes with substitutes such as veggie meats, black beans, chickpeas, lentils or tofu. You can easily make all your all-time favorites with plant-based alternatives. Check out some of them below:
There is nothing that ruins eating habits more than the days where we come home exhausted with nothing in the fridge because we didn’t plan ahead of time. This happens to everyone so don’t be discouraged if it happens now and again. Try to find 15-minutes on your day off, to plan out your meals a few days in advance . Also plan to have the meal ingredients for one staple dish you can always make when you are extra tired and don’t feel like cooking. Mine is this Simple Vegan Curry.
#5: Join Networks a read Blogs/Cookbooks
The amount of resources out there now are unbelievable. In addition to blogs like this one 😉 there are also tons of amazing Vegan cookbooks, YouTube channels, Instagram accounts etc. Something that was an unbelievable help for me was Facebook Networks. If you do a simple Facebook search you can find useful Veg/Vegan groups. Some share recipes and some can be specific to your location where people share their greatest vegan finds, restaurants and events where you can connect with other people near you.
Experimenting with food is extremely fun, but make sure to take some time to learn about nutrition. A veg/vegan diet can provide you with all the necessary nutrients but like any diet, if you don’t have the right balance you can be lacking in certain areas. Plant-food contains a good variety of protein, but make sure to get lots of greens as they are very nutrient dense. You can also try tracking your nutrients on Apps like MyFitnessPal, Chronometer and the Fitbit App.
A great motivator for staying on track is educating yourself about the health and environmental impacts of meat consumption. This knowledge will make you think twice before eating that bacon. There are many resources where you can find this information such as www.nutritionfacts.org and documentaries such as What the Health, Game Changers and Cowspiracy.
#8: Don’t give up!
As mentioned previously, this can be a learning process for many people. As with any learning process it can be discouraging at times and mistakes that happen. Don’t let this knock you down. Eating more plant-based foods gets easier and easier with time. Before you know it you will forget a time where you revolved every meal around animal products. Your body will be nourished with a variety of foods, your skin will glow and your energy increased!
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Disclaimer: The blog sets out a variety of materials relating to nutrition and is to be used for educational and non-commercial purposes only; the author(s) of the blog do not intend the blog to be a source of advice. Please retain and seek the advice of a doctor or registered dietician and use your own good judgement before choosing to act on any information included in the blog. If you choose to rely on the materials, you do so entirely at your own risk.