3 Ways to Reduce Your Meat Consumption
The health benefits of eating less meat, along with the ethical/environmental considerations, has left many of us turning towards vegetarian (or flexitarian) lifestyles. But we’re all too aware that sometimes it’s just not that easy. For a multitude of reasons, cutting meat out of your diet isn’t always possible. If you’re hoping to add some more plant-based cuisine into your life and just need some help or inspiration when finding ways to reduce your meat consumption, then read on! If you’re anything like me, I needed all the help I could get…
First up, a little background on me. I went from “if a meal doesn’t have meat in it, then it’s not a meal”, to a majorly plant based diet. This transition certainly didn’t happen overnight. First, I became a pescatarian, then a vegetarian and now a vegan, which happened over a 2.5 year period! It’s definitely not easy, but the three things below helped me on my journey and they may help you too.
MEAT FREE MONDAYS
Giving up meat for just one day a week may sound a little silly, and you might think what’s the point? Why Monday? Why not Tuesday? And you’d be right, you can select any day you like! It may seem like one day a week won’t make a difference, but you’d be surprised by the impact it can have. Every little helps, and by allocating just one day a week to going meat free, you’ll already be making a positive impact on both your health and the environment.
Meat-Free Monday became popular in 2009 when Paul McCartney (the Hey Jude bloke from The Beatles) and two of his daughters set up a non-profit campaign that encouraged people to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one plant-based day each week. So pick any day you like, but I probably wouldn’t start with a weekend! We know you Aussies love a barbie, and the Brits are prone to a big old Sunday roast… So choose whichever day works for you, and dedicate that day to plant based meals only.
LOOK TO THE DISHES OF COUNTRIES WITH PRIMARILY VEGETARIAN CUISINES
This will most likely be one of the most helpful ways to reduce your meat consumption. As a relatively experienced traveller (and a big foodie!), I love nothing more than experiencing new cuisines. For me, it helps that I’m also quite handy in the kitchen. There are many vegetarian heavy cuisines out there. I’ve spent a lot of time in Sri Lanka, and I’ve also travelled to India. These are two countries with unbelievable dishes, that are actually primarily traditionally vegetarian! There’s an abundance of free recipes on the internet these days too, making it easier than ever to find something you’ll love.
Check out our Sri Lankan Dhal recipe here, for an incredibly tasty and vegan dish you will definitely make twice.
DO MORE RESEARCH
Many people, myself included, make the choice to cut out meat for the benefit of our bodies or the environment. You’ve probably read many articles or listened to a ton of people telling you that you can’t get enough protein from a plant-based diet, but have you read many that tell you where to get your protein from if you’re not eating meat? There’s tons of research out there, from blogs to articles and even documentaries. So read up, cross check everything you find and make the decision yourself, instead of listening to what you’ve always been told. The more research you do, the better you’ll feel about whatever dietary choices you choose to make!
So there you have it, this is my roundup of the best 3 ways to reduce your meat consumption. It’s all trial and error, and it’s okay if you fall back into old habits or forget a meat free Monday once in a while. If reducing your meat intake is something you feel strongly about, finding what works for you is the best way to do it!
WRITTEN BY: Jack Andrew