There are plenty of benefits to eating a little less meat, such as being better able to control your weight, managing your blood pressure, and reducing your chance of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. However, if you’re a proud and happy meat eater, you might wonder if you will be able to go for entire days without eating meat. It doesn’t have to be that difficult, of course. Here, we’re going to look at some tips to help you consume a little less meat. Even if you go one day a week without eating meat, you will start to feel better about your health.
Make a commitment (and know your goals)
Really committing to a goal can make you more likely to fulfill it. What does this mean, exactly? Well, first of all, consider why you want to eat less meat, and then make sure that you tell people about it. You don’t have to spread the word far and wide, but if you tell your family about it or if you mention it when going out for a meal with friends, then you are more likely to feel accountable and therefore less likely to cheat on yourself.
Look for vegetarian swaps for some of your favorite meals
If you have a few meals that you love to dig into, then you might be able to enjoy them just as well without any kind of meat in them. Look for meals that you enjoy the entirety of, where the meat isn’t the star of the show, so to speak. For instance, with this vegetarian lasagna from smittenkitchen.com, you still get the delicious cheese, tomato sauce, and the texture of the pasta. It’s easy to replace meat with all manner of ingredients, including some of the more basic staple vegetables that can soak up all that flavor.
Get a good soup going
One of the things about meat is that it’s not only filling, but it takes time to eat, as well. If you can get yourself a good, flavorful and savory meal that you can take your time with, then your cravings for food after are going to be reduced. This healthy Mexican soup from thebellyrulesthemind.net can be just perfect for that, filling your belly while the lentils and carrots are chewy and textured enough to keep you busy. A good, hearty soup or stew is always a tempting meal, even when it has no meat.
Don’t neglect a good bean dish
Aside from being a thick and hearty soup, the recipe above also makes good use of beans. Not only can beans be a decent source of some proteins, but they also add a nice deal of substance to meals that you think might otherwise be lacking it. You can use beans to replace things like ground beef in a lot of meals, especially any stews or sauce-heavy meals.
Try some faux meat options
If you feel like the texture of meat and the place that it plays in your meals is too hard to replace, then it is worth noting that there are several meat alternatives that are getting closer and closer to the real thing, and can help you ensure that you’re still getting the protein content you need in your diet. Check out these suggestions at thespruceeats.com to get an idea of the meat alternatives currently on the market. The most popular ones tend to use mushrooms to replicate the chewiness of meat and if you use them to make something like spaghetti bolognese, you can replace the lack of meatiness in their taste with sauce and seasoning.
Tofu has a role to play, too
It’s one of the most popular foodstuffs in an entire continent, it should be no surprise that tofu is so widely embraced by vegetarians and those trying to eat a little less meat. You can boil it to get it soft and chewy or you can crisp it to bring out a little extra savory flavor, but tofu is such a versatile ingredient it can go with almost everything. It has a somewhat neutral taste by itself, but you can bring out umami notes by combining it with other soy products like miso soup and soy sauce.
The tips above aren’t going to try and convince you to become a vegetarian for life. Instead, little changes to your diet can a lot easier to replicate and keep up over longer periods of time. Hopefully, the tips above can get you set on the right path.
This is a collaborative post.