Eat less meat with meatless Mondays
New year, new you! Or so everyone claims. With January already under our tightening belts, gyms are thinning out again, resolutions are fracturing, and old habits are creeping back in. For those of us hoping to reduce our meat consumption in 2020, our resolution doesn’t have to be so military. This small lifestyle change could have a great impact on our health and our environment.
Go meatless one day a week
Bacon and eggs for breakfast. Grilled chicken Caesar salad for lunch. Lasagna Bolognese for supper. Your stomach may be growling in anticipation reading this. But according to “The Benefits of Meatless Monday,” studies show that replacing meat just one day a week with plant-based alternatives can lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Environmentally, you’d be reducing some serious greenhouse emissions. Global livestock production is said to create more than that of all transportation methods combined in the world.
Make meat the show opener, not the showstopper
Another way to reduce your meat intake is by reducing the space you give it on your plate. Meat should take up no more than 20 percent of a dish. It merely plays the supporting actor role; the main event is a plethora of beans and nuts, dark, hearty greens, ancient grains and other complex carbs. Your meat choice can lend a distinct texture depending on the cooking method you choose. That said, choose wisely: if nutrition is your concern, you may want to veer away from red, fatty meats. Consider oven-baked recipes of healthier cuts like salmon, chicken and turkey. Baking or roasting draws out more fat during the cooking process while simultaneously absorbing less oil.
Looking to cut out meat cold turkey?
Good for you! Give it a go and see how you like it. Remember, though: a life without meat isn’t a sentence of celery sticks and Granny Smiths. Calories count. Make sure you incorporate nuts, complex carbs and legumes into your dishes to get important nutrients and calories and feel satiated too. Also, you deserve to actually love what you’re tasting! Try recreating your favourite dishes with a meat replacement. If you’re a big fan of beef pad Thai, swap it out for tofu or a protein equivalent.