Considering turning veggie but worried that the smell of those sizzling sausages during BBQ season might be too much to handle? This week is National Vegetarian Week, so there’s no time like the present to think about how much meat you're consuming and give going veggie a try. We’re here to help with some realistic, top tips that’ll help keep you on track no matter what tempting smells are floating around at your next Summer party…
Baby Steps – Commit to Less Not None
No matter what those few ‘angry vegans’ on Instagram might have you believe, there’s no need to go cold turkey (pun intended!). It might work if you’re an all-or-nothing guy or gal, but otherwise going from carnivore to plant-lover overnight can be quite an overwhelming challenge. Try starting with doing Meat Free Monday’s, then go pescatarian, or only eat meat when you’re eating out. Do whatever makes reducing your meat-consumption seem do-able to you – every little helps!
“If you’ve gone 6 days veggie and are really craving that pulled pork, then go for it! The facts are there to suggest that any way you can reduce your meat consumption is going to have a huge impact on your health and the environment. Then, after a while, you’ll probably realise, like I did, that you aren’t craving that cheat anymore and you’re ready to go the whole veggie hog (oxymoron?).” - VEGGIELAD
No-one likes having someone’s opinion shoved in their face, but telling your friends, family and even your Twitter followers that you’re making the change will make it a lot harder to backtrack. Failing publicly will seem so much worse and explaining why you’re ordering a steak for dinner is never going to be fun.
Whatever you do, don’t just swap out your usual portion of meat for more veggies or plain pulses. Buy new cookbooks, try out exciting restaurants or spend your evening checking out some plant-based recipe blogs. Explore new cuisines and take the opportunity to branch out from your usual mid-week dinners to make things a little more exciting. Research how to make your favourite meaty meals veggie or vegan-friendly, and you'll soon see the fun, rather than the struggle, in this new foodie adventure.
If you don’t have a better reason for doing this than ‘because this blog told me so’ then the change isn’t going to stick in the long-run. You need to make the reason for making a change bigger than your meaty cravings - whether it’s your health, the animals, the environment or a little bit of everything! People WILL be curious, so be prepared for their questions and stand strong in your opinion when people state theirs.
Get in Your Vitamins
For big meat-eaters, cutting it out entirely will be quite a change for your body. To stay fit and healthy, make sure to be aware of your protein, Iron and B-vitamin intake. Go wild on green leafy vegetables, seaweeds and B vitamin-rich foods such as Marmite, nutritional yeast and eggs.
Plan Your Meals
You've forgotten to prep your lunch and all of a sudden you find yourself rushing through the station on your way to a meeting, with 2 minutes to decide between a buttery sausage roll or a limp looking salad. Prepping your lunches in advance and planning out your dinners will not only make supermarket shopping a darn sight more efficient (and less costly!) but will also eliminate the opportunity to fall off the wagon.
Need some recipe inspiration? Check out our Recipe Pages, full of vegetarian and vegan-friendly, sweet and savoury recipes.