6 painfully easy ways to cut down on your meat intake for 2019
It's actually grand, tbh.
Look lads, in an ideal world, none of us would eat meat, dairy, eggs, or anything else that has anything to do with an animal.
Our diets would be plant based, filled with lentils, sweet potato, and cheese substitutes that don't quite taste the same but still get the job done.
But we don't live in an ideal world, and probably never will, and that's grand because everybody is only doing their best and we shouldn't get mad at people just because they enjoy a regular latte every now and again.
Despite all of this, Flexitarianism is very much on the rise, and although it may be easy for veggies and vegans to wonder why people don't just commit already, if somebody wants to cut down on their meat intake that should only be a good thing, so fair play.
According to Just Eat, there was a 55 percent increase in users seeking out vegetarian dishes in 2018 compared to the previous year.
As well as this, the demand for gluten-free options on the platform also rose by 47 percent.
So people are clearly seeking out alternatives a lot more than they used to be, but what if you haven't made the move yet?
What if you don't know where to begin? What if you're afraid of committing and mistakenly think your entire diet will end up being rice and beans now that there's less meat?
Well, it won't be, so don't worry.
Instead, read these painfully easy tips to reduce your meat intake without compromising your delicious diet.
1. Start slow
Nobody's saying that you need to dump all your packs of ham right away, lads.
Any change of diet, no matter how small, can be incredibly daunting if you dive right in without warning.
So if you're mildly freaking out, start slow: get veg instead of meat in your burrito, do meat-free Fridays, stop getting pepperoni on your pizza just because it's aesthetically pleasing.
Cutting down doesn't have to be harrowing. It can actually be super grand.
2. Put cheese on everything
Sure, cutting down on meat will not help you lose those extra pounds you were maybe, possibly hoping to shed but cheese will fill that gaping animal hole that's now been left in your body.
It's delicious, it goes well with pretty much everything, and there's approximately 78 different kinds to choose from.
Get on the halloumi buzz. Get on it hard.
3. Cook for yourself on the regular
Learn to cook (well) and you'll never eat another piece of meat in your life.
No really, you won't.
One of the most common reasons people cite for not wanting to commit to vegetarianism is because they're afraid they won't have any options when they eat out - and they don't want to be a hassle for other people cooking for them.
Combat these fears by accepting that literally every restaurant has great veggie options these days - and also by learning to cook for yourself.
It's far easier to leave a dish meat free when you're making it yourself, know exactly what you like, and what will go unreal instead of some chicken or sausage or whatever.
You won't even notice the absence.
4. Give yourself a time limit
If you're worried about going fully veggie or vegan, give yourself a time limit - three months, one month, or even just a couple of weeks - and re-evaluate at the end.
If you felt like you missed meat too much, you can either decide to just cut down a bit, or go back to your carnivore diet.
However, chances are you'll discover that you really didn't miss it that much at all and you'll be able to continue on comfortably enough without.
5. Fall in love with falafel
Just force yourself to enjoy it because chances are you're going to be presented with a lot of it when eating out.
You don't necessarily need to add it to every single meal you eat, but a lot of restaurants and takeaway will offer one or the other with their veggie dishes.
And in fairness, when cooked right, both can be extremely satisfying, crisp, and just all round delicious.
6. Find meat substitutes
There are some unreal ones around.
Check Linda McCartney, check Quorn, check Cauldron, check whatever meat substitutes any local supermarkets have got on sale at the minute.
The vast majority of shops will offer subs for everything from burgers to sausages to chicken kievs - and while a few are a miss, a lot of them hit pretty hard.
No excuse, really.