It's World Meat Free Week: Here are 5 easy ways to cut back 3 weeks ago

It's World Meat Free Week: Here are 5 easy ways to cut back

It's never been easier to go plant-based.

Whether you’ve been thinking of reducing your meat intake, or cutting it out entirely, now's the time to go for it as World Meat Free Week is here. 

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People give up meat for a variety of reasons including animal rights, saving the environment, and, of course, the health benefits.

For me, it was a very Lisa Simpson style awakening around the age of 12 - I realised baby lambs were super cute and just didn’t want to eat meat anymore.

I get messages from friends all the time asking how I do it and to be honest, it’s not that hard once you get the hang of it. 

With that in mind, here are five tips to help you kickstart your meat-free journey.

Take your time

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During my first few months as a vegetarian, I felt like calling it a day any time I had a slip-up. But really, there’s no rush. Take the time to figure out what you like and what you don’t like - don't force yourself to eat something just because it's plant-based. You can even start by eliminating one type of meat at a time or having one meat free day a week. Take it slow and don't beat yourself up if you have a mishap.

Reduce meat to one meal a day

Going cold turkey is hard (excuse the pun), so limiting meat to one meal a day is a great place to start. Try eating vegetarian throughout the day and having meat with your dinner in the evenings. This is an actual lifestyle called ‘Vegan before 6 - and it’s a great way to start.

Replace meat with plant based ‘meat’

This isn’t exactly the best way to thrive on a plant-based diet, as meat substitutes can often be super processed. However, these products are lifesavers for the initial transition period. The good news is that there's a massive range to choose from nowadays, as major companies are keen to cash in on the veggie game (McDonalds are even releasing a vegan burger). There’s some amazing stuff out there, my personal favourites are Denny’s plant-based sausages and Linda McCartney’s veggie mince - so good you won’t be able to tell the difference.

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Play around with your favourite recipes

Don’t assume you have to give up your favourite non-veggie dishes. Instead, challenge yourself to make them vegetarian. It can be something as simple as replacing the chicken in your fajitas with a plant-based alternative. Sometimes, I noticed it wasn’t the meat I missed, but the flavours of certain sauces or spices I used with it. Play around with recipes until you find something just as tasty.

Educate yourself 

There are some very informative documentaries out there on the benefits of going meat-free, with a good selection available on Netflix. While some aren’t for the faint-hearted, if you really want to ditch the meat but find yourself struggling, it might be just what you need.

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