If you are looking to eat less meat, whether because you are concerned about the environment, concerned about animal rights, or simply because you want to live a healthier lifestyle, then there are lots of things you can do to lower your consumption to a level you are much happier with as you will see below.
1. Start with meatless Mondays
Meatless Mondays has caught on a lot as a concept lately, and it can be a great way to start eating less meat. Basically, you commit to eating no meat for one day of the week – it doesn’t even have to be a Monday – and you replace your usual steaks and chicken breasts with things like this delicious baked stuffed mushrooms recipe. Doing so enables you to start experimenting more with different forms of protein, and because it is just one day, it is not so overwhelming. If you later, then, want to reduce your consumption even further, or even give up meat completely, you will find it a lot easier to do so.
2. Use meat substitutes
Perhaps, one of the easiest ways to start eating less meat is to use substitutes for the meat you would usually eating. For example, it’s really easy to find products like mock duck or seitan burger patties, which can replace the real thing.
Many people find this easier at first because they do not have to come up with lots of new recipes, they can simply replace their usual beef patty with a seitan one or use tofu in that chicken fried rice dish instead, and it will ensure that you get all of the protein you need without the meat, while also affording you the comfort of a familiar dish, albeit with a slight difference in texture and flavor when it comes to the “meat” element.
3. Plan in advance
When you aren’t used to eating many meat-free dishes, then planning in advance is often a good idea as it will make the process of eating a more plant-based diet easier to get to grips with.
For example, if you meal plan for the entire week, you can build in meals or even whole days without meat, and make sure as much of the prep is done in advance. You can ensure that you have pre-soaked the lentils for that delicious curry or that you have plenty of tofu in the fridge so you don’t need to think too hard about how to get your protein on meat-free days, and it will just make the whole process go more smoothly.
4. Try out more world cuisines
We have a pretty meat-heavy diet in this country, and this can make it difficult for us to come up with meat-free dishes. Not only that, but many people who do not like meat substitutes find it difficult to cook the food that is predominant here.
The good news is, there are many parts of the world, India for example, where most of the food that is eaten is vegetarian. So, by looking to other countries for meat-free food inspiration, you can often find tried and tested delicious cuisine, more easily than you can when trying to adapt what you eat in this country.
5. Download an app
There are lots of apps, like Happy Cow, which make it easy to find restaurants in your area that serve vegetarian and vegan food. Eating out in this country is getting better all of the time when it comes to veggie and vegan options, but depending on where you are, it can still be difficult to find somewhere. By having an app on your phone, you can easily find somewhere suitable on meat-free Mondays or whenever you just don’t feel like eating meat.
6. Add grains and veggies
Many people do not think meat-free meals can be as filling, but if you experiment with adding lots more veggies and grains to every meal, you will find that you feel just as full as you would after a steak dinner, in fact, you might even feel more satisfied as you will be getting a lot more vitamins and minerals than you were before.
There are many reasons why you might be looking to eat less meat than you are now, and as you can see, doing so does not have to be too hard. You can still eat a perfectly healthy diet without having to inconvenience yourself, so if you want to eat less meat, go for it.