In the previous post,we explored the benefits of a plant-based diet (see link). While there are plenty of reasons to reduce the amount of meat we eat, whether they are environmental or health related reasons, committing to such a big change can be scary and sometimes difficult. The key, for most, is not to eliminate meat completely , but to simply start with eating less of it, and explore the versatility of vegetables.
Here are 5 simple tips, along with a delicious vegetarian recipe that will help you get your journey started.
Tip #1 Introduce a fixed meatless day in your week
While attempting to eat less or phase out meat completely, it often helps in the beginning to schedule at least one fixed day a week where you eliminate meat from your diet. This is the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with possible meat substitutes, or test out new vegetarian recipes.
Tip #2 Get inspired
There are so many ways to gain inspiration for vegetarian dishes: buy yourself a vegetarian cookbook, look online for veg-only recipes, or go out for dinner to a vegetarian restaurant. While you might think it's difficult to imagine a meal without meat in it, there are a lot of sources from where you can gain knowledge and a whole new perspective on cooking with vegetables.
Tip #3 Make plants the star of your dish
If you don't want to make the switch to vegetarianism in one go, you could try reducing your meat consumption by putting more emphasis on vegetables, rather than on the meat. Put some extra love in preparing your veggies rather than just seeing them as a side dish. The more effort you put in the preparation of your legumes, the more they can serve as a meat substitute.
Tip #4 Set realistic goals
Do not set unrealistic goals for yourself, especially when you are used to eating meat on a regular basis. Completely phasing out meat from one day to another is not easy, and for some people it might be a better option to try phasing out categories of meat gradually. You could start with cutting red meat out of your diet first, and then continue with other types. Another solution could be to just try eating vegetarian for a week. You will probably see it's not that difficult at all!
Tip #5 It's all about preparing & planning
Planning ahead will definitely make it easier to not make any last-minute bad decisions. One way to avoid this is by planning your meals ahead. As previously mentioned, a big part of preparing involves finding recipes or browsing through cookbooks for delicious meat alternatives. The better prepared you are, the less likely you will be tempted to resort to junk food.
For more inspiration & recipes, check out the Simple Feast Recipe app, that you can download on iTunes or Google Play.