Although the time for New Year’s Resolutions is long gone, there’s no reason not to try to change to a vegan diet or at least start eating less meat. Whether it’s for health reasons, moral reasons, or anti-animal cruelty, reducing your meat intake is an overall great choice. But the transition can be a bit tricky, so here are 10 simple tips for eating less meat in 2018!
1. Start off with a vegetarian diet
Instead of jumping straight into an all vegan diet, ease into it with a vegetarian diet! Do this by adding more vegetables to your plate and reducing your meat intake.
Vegetarian diets include animal by-products such as milk, eggs, and cheeses. This makes the shift a bit easier, as it eases carnivores into a life without meat.
Following a transition to a vegetarian diet, you can slowly incorporate dairy substitutes such as soy and almond products.
2. Make a meal plan
Organization is the key to success, and it rings just as true for diets. Plan your meals at the beginning of the week, and start making and packaging them early if you have the chance! This way you have no excuse to not eat your veggies!
For hot meals, take all the ingredients and put them in a container together with a smaller container for spices or sauces. Then when it’s time, take it out, throw it in the pan and cook yourself up something fantastic!
3. Find protein alternatives
One big concern I hear is that there aren’t enough protein alternatives when you make the conversion. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Soy, seitan, rice, beans, quinoa, nuts—they are all jam-packed with protein. Several veggies, such as peas, kale, and spinach are also quick and easy ways to get more protein in your life.
4. Watch vegan documentaries
Although it sounds strange, watching documentaries that promote vegetarianism or veganism can help jumpstart the switch to more green. First of all, they show the generally grotesque side of the meat industry which already makes it much less appetizing. Additionally, they also provide insights into the benefits of vegetarianism/veganism and give good tips of their own.
This post from Live Kindly gives the rundown of the 15 vegan documentaries you need to watch.
5. Take it day by day
Understand that the process doesn’t happen in a day. Making a switch, especially if you’ve never lived a meat-free life before, is no easy feat. Try each day to take a new stride, but don’t beat yourself up if you make a slight transgression. Set goals in your diet transition, in increments of one week, one month, three months, etc. When you start conquering those goals, it’ll make it a lot easier to continue on as you start to feel a sense of accomplishment.
6. Start collecting recipe books
Being vegan doesn’t mean eating rabbit food with some bland tofu on the side. Instead, it gives you an avenue to explore different recipes and combinations. And what better way to help you discover this but with a library of recipes to choose from?
Our friends at Plant-Based wrote up on the top 10 vegan recipe books you need. Click here to read more.
7. Get creative!
Shake things up a bit when you’re cooking! Every day is an opportunity to mess around with something new. Maybe try a sauce you’ve been dying to try but never got a chance to. How about that weird food combo that you’ve been scared to put together? Now’s your chance to get creative!
This awesome article by Life Hacks has 50 new recipes to play around with. Click here to read more.
8. Make meat a side
It’s difficult to make the transition, so it makes it much easier to slowly phase meat out rather than quitting cold-turkey (pun intended). Make your mains vegetable-/grain-/soy-based, and have a side of meat instead. Having a BBQ? Make grilled veggies your main with some meat skewers on the side.
Here are a bunch of other vegan ideas for the next BBQ, from appetizers to dessert!
9. Up your salad game
PSA: SALADS ARE NOT JUST LETTUCE! You can make a proper meal out of a salad if you do it just right. So it’s about time you trick out your salads into yummy on-the-go lunches or crisp dinners.
Try out this taco salad for a Mexican fiesta, or a nice and fresh cucumber salad. Want something more adventurous? Try out this blueberry walnut salad for a fruity twist to your traditional salad. Looking for more of a protein-packed salad? This tasty jalapeno lime quinoa salad is perfect for you!
10. Celebrate your first steps to eating less meat!
Rewarding yourself is a huge motivational tool to keep reducing your meat intake. You can do this through checkmarks on the calendar, giving yourself a sticker, or having a little snack for every day you go not eating meat!
Well there you have it, 10 simple tips for eating less meat this year! What are your tips to eating less meat? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’ve made your way through these steps and want to give yourself the ultimate test, take the 30 Days Meatless Mornings Challenge and be on your way to feeling GREAT!: