Whether you want to stop eating meat once and for all or just want to embrace the Meat Free Mondays movement, it might feel overwhelming to tweak a way of eating you’ve been following for years.
Regardless of the reasons you might have for adopting a meat-free diet, or at least reduce your meat consumption, the truth is, there’s a myriad of health benefits in a whole-food plant-based diet. According to Harvard Medical School, “Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
There are several different types of vegetarian diets: vegetarian, vegan, partial vegetarian, and flexitarian. Whether you want to become a vegan or flexitarian, you can find easy ways to make a smooth transition.
Choose One Day a Week To Go Meatless
“Even going meatless one day a week can make a difference,” said Sharon Palmer, a registered dietitian and author of “Plant-Powered for Life.” On the Meatless Monday website, you can find quick and easy recipes for all your meals.
Add More Veggies To Your Meals
Once you get used to eating at least a meatless meal once a week, you can think about adding more veggies, legumes and whole grains to your meals. For instance, if you like to have a Ceaser salad for lunch, you can switch to a salad with vegetables only.
Veganize Your Meals
The next step is to add more and more vegetarian or vegan meals to your diet. Anything is valid, from choosing a plant-based milk option for coffee, trying meatless burgers, and skipping the meat and adding vegetables into your recipe.
Plan Your Trip To The Supermarket
Grocery shopping can get more complicated if you’re just starting the whole vegetarian or vegan thing. So, before heading to your favorite grocery store, plan yourself first. Take a look at some new veggie recipes, write down the vegetables and legumes you need to buy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here’s a master list with plant-based essentials.
Seek Out Veggie-Friendly Restaurants
Take this opportunity to find some new places to eat. A myriad of plant-based restaurants serves all kinds of meals and cuisines — from fast-food to fine restaurants. You can find a nearby veggie-friendly restaurant at Happy Cow, the # 1 source for vegan and veg-friendly restaurants around the world in 180+ countries.