One of the best ways to make your life a lot better for the planet is to incorporate some meatless meals in some days. Meat production and consumption is responsible for a lot of negative impacts on the planet. Factory farming is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all transportation systems combined (PETA). Additionally, forests are cleared to make room for the factory farms, contributing to global deforestation and further expediting climate change.
However, even with all the bad stuff, we know that going meatless can be really intimidating. With a lot of stigma surrounding vegetarianism and veganism, it can be really hard to get started and find a way that works for you. We wanted to share some tips with you to make it a lot less daunting. There are some really yummy ways to be kinder to the planet!
- Start slow!
If you're intimidated by getting started, set some small goals for gradually adding meatless alternatives into your routine. For example, adding 1 meatless meal a week into your meal planning is a great goal to get you started, whether you cook for yourself at home or go out to eat! This way, you can see how many options you have, and you can ease yourself into it. It’s also fun to challenge yourself and keep yourself accountable. A tip for this is to establish one day a week to make or buy a meatless meal.
- Go meat by meat!
Another approach to try out is to eliminate one kind of meat at a time. If you're still intimidated by Beef has the worst impact on the planet, so start there and work your way to pork, chicken, and fish. This way you can still have some of your faves, but make your impact less. This is also a good tip for easing yourself into vegetarianism if you're interested in that. Maybe challenge yourself to avoid a certain kind of meat a week! Reducing your consumption at all is a great step toward eating greener.
- Try meat alternatives!
An easy way to cook meatless meals for the first time is to use the many meat alternatives that are available. A lot of these can be cooked the same as meat products, so they can easily transition some of your fav recipes into meat-free options. Try making burgers or meat sauce with Beyond Meat instead of beef or turkey. A go-to of ours is to make a stir fry with tofu rather than chicken. Check the packaging to grab an option that is minimally processed!
- When in doubt, use beans!
If you're concerned about getting enough protein and are not sure where to start with meatless recipes, try eating beans with your meals. There are tons of kinds, and make a really easy swap that still gets your body the protein it needs. Try chickpeas on your salads instead of chicken or black beans with rice as a side dish. One of my favorites is pasta with white beans as the protein! So yummy! (recipe will be linked below for you guys)
- Meal plan & have fun!
A good way to avoid getting overwhelmed while getting started is to have a plan going into the week. If you plan your meatless meals in advance, you can add all the ingredients to your shopping list to make sure you have what you need. This is also a great motivator to explore recipes and experiment with new foods. Mixing it up with different meals every week can make the meatless challenge a lot of fun as well!
Here are some really easy meatless recipes so you can try out these tips for yourself:
Hopefully you give these a try and challenge yourself to set some goals to eat some more meatless meals in the near future! Or, if you have any meat-free recipe recommendations, send them our way! Bon appetit!
See you soon!