Meatless Mondays look super cool on Instagram, but there are many
more super cool reasons to hit the like button on the concept of reducing your meat consumption than just that!
Besides improving your own wellbeing and sky-rocketing your health levels, the environmental impact that comes from cutting down on meat and animal products is extraordinary. Apart from increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes, eating meat makes us more resistant to antibiotics and it’s now proven that it increases the overall cancer mortality. The stats show that globally, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined, not to mention the water amount needed to grow crops for animals to be fed with or the land use for that matter. Just ponder over the fact that it takes 2393 liters of water to make a single hamburger.
On top of that, if you care about animal welfare and enjoy using the hashtag #crueltyfree you have more than enough reasons to consider giving it a go. And rejoice, it’s much simpler than it sounds and it can be sizably fun too!
Here are 5 cheery ways to cut down on meat without feeling restricted to diets and complicated meal plans.
1. Do cut down on processed meat
To make the transition so easy that you won’t even notice, try eliminating processed meat first. This step will bring you closer to your final goal, whether that is to go vegetarian, vegan, or simply eat less meat on a weekly basis. Home cooked meals play an important role here, making it easier for you to have control over what you consume instead of relying on store-bought options, most likely of lower quality. Plus you get to show off your cooking skills and impress yourself above all. High five yourself at the end of each cooking endeavor is mandatory, okay?
2. Do create veggie-centric meals
Base your meal plan on delicious, seasonal and local, fresh produce instead of any kind of meat. Even if you choose not to completely eliminate meat from your diet, a few simple changes like that can have a major impact on your wellbeing. Legumes will fill you up and give you a boost of energy to get through the day, while a rainbow of fresh vegetables will keep things interesting on your healthy table. How about a hearty mushroom burger or a nutrient-packed green burger?
3. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Baby steps work best compared to massive changes which may seem scary and trigger negative feelings.
Try meatless days where you cook exciting recipes based on other ingredients. Start with a single day per week and see how you feel about it. Move on to two and gradually add more if you feel the need to. Try vegetarianism and then veganism. Accept any setbacks as part of the process. Remember that it’s up to you and you are always in control of your preferences and diet changes. Nothing has to change unless you want to. When you look at it this way, it feels so freeing and unbinding, doesn’t it?
4 Do get all the support you need
Motivating blogs, inspirational forums, and health apps are a great resource of support when it comes to changing your lifestyle habits to the better. Make sure to be picky and get your inspo from reliable sources that get their facts right. Browse through healthy recipes to get the creative juices flowing and dive into uplifting, educational articles about a healthier lifestyle and a meatless diet to get the boost you need. Luckily we got plenty of both on Nutrient.
5. Don’t look for meat substitutes or fake meat products
Instead of prolonging the transition and trying to trick your taste buds to be convinced that certain products feel or taste like actual meat, try training them to gradually enjoy and savor a wider range of flavors. That’s the great thing about taste buds; they can be retrained to like the things you should be eating and it takes approximately 6-8 weeks to reprogram your palette. Compared to a lifetime of delicious new healthy meatless treats, that’s completely insignificant, right?
Summing up, cutting down on meat or animal products isn’t as scary as it may seem in the beginning. A balanced plan that will provide your body with all the essential nutrients is the key goal here and we hate restrictive diets as much as you do.
We’re so glad we are on the same page!