It’s about that time of year where we all vow to give something up. It used to be things such as chocolate, sweets and crisps. However, for a large portion of people, it now tends to be meat and animal products.
The term #veganuary is hung on every short term New Years resolution, strewn across social media and shoved down our throats before we even have time to consider any other option.
Before we go any further, this blog post is not a ‘don’t do Veganuary’, but it’s also certainly not pro the plan that banishes all animal products and throws your usual diet on its head overnight.
The bottom line is yes, we should all eat a little less meat, and be more aware of the animal-based products we do buy. However, in a world of rules, regulations and restrictions, packing it in altogether is not the answer us two TTH’ers would preach.
So what is? Reduce the frequency and quantity of your weekly meat-based meals, look for higher welfare when you can, regulate the amount of processed meats you eat and remind yourself often that animal-based isn’t always the answer. It’s proven that less meat means a more happy planet.
Science tells us that a plant-based diet provokes many health benefits, and sees a future in the longevity of our planet. Articles outline the endless pros for plant-based and we’re with them so why not work on just reducing your overall consumption long term, rather than attempting to cut it all out before returning to weeks packed full of bacon butties and chorizo topped eggs. Reducing your meat intake hosts a similar message to that we’re hit with when it comes to puppies, and we all know we can’t resist those. Think about it like they do at dogs trust, ‘reducing your meat intake is not just for January it is for life’ and you could aid some incredible long term changes that boost both your personal health and that of the planets.
That’s where we’re at, so we thought we’d share a few ways that have worked for us in cutting down our consumption.
1. Try cutting down, rather than cutting out. Whilst there’s no doubt it’s worked for some, completely abolishing whole food groups is not the most sensible choice for your gut. Furthermore, it may only lead to ‘binging’ on them as ‘a treat’ or giving up completely as it was too hard. Try to be a little more conscious around the amount of meat you do eat, be that at home, or out for post Parkrun brunch. This leads us to point 2…
2. Plan your plant-based. Try implementing say two or three nights a week you’re going to try meat-free. Substitute your usual steak Thursdays for an alternative, and make double to do your for lunch on Friday. Another option is to make a pact with yourself that on brunch on Sunday, post long run you’re going to go plant-based, and opt for avo as opposed to bacon. And hey, we’re not asking you to go the whole hog, if halloumi is what you’re after pick that! Simply just slot in easy spots to make your swaps.
3. Be a bit creative. Going plant-based doesn’t mean going to the vegan aisle of the supermarket and picking up ready-made (and perhaps processed) products galore. Opt for whole foods and easy alternatives. For example, if you love chilli why not swap your mince for beans? If it’s a fillet of salmon you crave why not try a miso roasted aubergine with toasted cashew.
4. Embrace the opportunity. That’s right, now’s your time to shine in the kitchen and make some long term change whilst you’re at it. Pick a few simple recipes to start, we’ve popped some below and hey, you may even find meat-free becomes more regular than you think!