Hi, I'm Sophie. I'm a Postgraduate Student studying a Research degree in Media and Cultural Studies. I'm also a photographer and big lover of dogs!
The key way to cut down on meat is swapping some meals each week for veggie alternatives. Not only is this proven to be one of the best ways to help contribute towards tackling environmental issues, but it can also show health benefits. Here are 5 ways that you could cut down on meat in your diet:
1. Increase the vegetable and grains in your meals
If you’re particularly resistant to removing meat from your meals to begin with, this is a great way to ease yourself into reducing meat. By slowly introducing more veggies and cutting down on your meat, you can transition yourself into some fully veggie meals.
For example, if you normally have two sausages in a meal, have just one and a handful of greens instead. If you love two rashers of bacon on your breakfast sandwich, replace one with sliced tomato.
Not only will this reduce the volume of meat you’re eating, but it’s also likely to reduce your weekly food bill and is likely to also improve your overall health.
2. Treat meat as a side, not a main
Protein in the form of meat is often posed as the star of the show for any meal, with other food groups centred around them.
Instead, why not try putting your veggies as the star? Putting them as the focus of the dish will not only diversify your cooking but also enable you to ensure you are getting the most out of your five-a-day goal.
This way, you can still enjoy animal products while also minimising how much of your plate they take up.
3. Switch to veggie stocks
Replacing meat-based stock with a veggie alternative in your meals can be a subtle yet effective way to cut down on meat in your diet.
Vegetable stock cubes are available alongside their meat counterparts and are typically comparable in price. However, veggie stock can also be a way to make zero waste. You can use the parts of vegetables that you would normally throw away, along with some herbs and spices, and create a vegetable stock out of what would have otherwise been wasted.
4. Look at veggie substitutes
If you feel ready to, you can start to switch out some of the meat in your diet for veggie substitutes. Often people are under the misconception that this will impact your protein intake, but it is important to note that protein can be derived from many foods besides meat. Tofu, nuts, seeds, pulses – edible seeds that grow in pods, including all beans and peas like chickpeas, lentils, garden peas, black beans, etc. – and vegetables, are all good sources of protein.
5. Get involved with Meatless Monday
Meatless Monday is a global movement that encourages people to reduce meat in their diet for their health and the health of the planet. They have a simple message, which encourages everyone to skip eating meat just one day of the week.
Starting each week by practising Meatless Monday can lead people to eat more fruits, vegetables and plant-based meals throughout the rest of the week. Not only this, but as it is global it means that there can often be a lot of online support and sharing of recipes to help make this easier!
So why not try one of these to help you start cutting down on meat in your diet? Maybe start by setting yourself a challenge, like how many different vegetables can you get into a meal? Eat your veggies day would be the perfect time to try this, so let us know how you get on!