Everyone should start consuming less meat to help out our planet but it can seem like a daunting task. So how do you start eating less meat? We started eating less meat in 2016 when we first moved out of home. We have stuck with our low meat diet since then so we wanted to share some ways in which you can reduce your consumption too.
Start eating less meat
1. Eat smaller portions of meat
The easiest way to eat less meat is to start eating smaller portions of meat in your meals. To do this look at the recipes you usually create and see how much meat is going into each dish. If you usually put 500 grams of chicken or red meat into your dish start by lowering that to 400g, then 300g, then 200g, and so on. Add other foods like grains, lentils, legumes, and vegetables into your dishes to make up for the smaller portion of meat. This is exactly what we did.
2. Meat-free Mondays
Another really easy way to reduce your meat intake is to cut it out of your diet for just one day a week. Meat-free Mondays or Meatless Monday are popular trends and another good way to start. Once you feel more comfortable you can slowly grow this to include two, three or even more days without meat.
Eating less meat doesn’t mean you need to cut it out of your diet altogether, however, limiting the amount you eat on a weekly basis is important and will make a huge difference to the planet.
3. Eat the same foods
Another thing to do is to continue eating the same foods you enjoy eating. If you enjoy burgers and fries then continue to eat burgers and fries. Do you enjoy making lasagne? Then continue making that lasagne, the only difference should be the ingredients you use. Rather than creating your burger with a beef patty try making a black bean patty. Instead of using beef or chicken in your lasagne, swap it for a mix of vegetables like spinach, pumpkin, capsicum and zucchini. You can apply this concept to any dish. Meat-free nachos, vegetable stir fry, vegetarian pizza, vegetable ramen. Any dish you can think of, just make it meatless.
Eating the same foods you normally enjoy eating means you will be more likely to eat the meatless alternative going forward.
4. Eat meat and animal product alternatives
If you are like a lot of people who go vegetarian or vegan but still crave the taste of meat and animal products then there is a growing number of alternatives that are not made from animals. With the growing popularity of veganism, environmentally conscious people and sustainability, meat and animal product alternatives are becoming more readily available. From meat-free sausages, fake bacon, and chicken, to vegan cheese, egg and milk substitutes. These products are made entirely free of animal products and while they are not exactly the same, they are becoming increasingly similar in taste and texture.
5. Eat meat on special occasions
Rather than consume meat on a regular basis, save it for eating out, or for special occasions throughout the year. Sometimes when Kayleigh and I go out for dinner we will order a dish that has meat in it. When we visit family and friends for celebrations, like birthdays or Christmas, we will often be treated to meat dishes. These are the times we eat more meat than what we do in our normal diets. Most days of the week we eat no meat, so consuming meat is more of a treat for us.