Here’s a nibble that falls under the “small change, big impact” category: designate one day a week where you take a break from meat. Why? Given that most of us fall short of our veggie quota and tend to eat more meat than we need, it’s a chance to even out the scales for a healthier body. And it’s good for the earth too; meat and poultry are much more energy-intensive to raise than vegetables. Cutting out meat just once a week (which adds up to 15% of your total diet, by the way) means your weekly meals have a smaller footprint on the planet.
Here are a few tips to help you go meatless any day of the week:
- Choose Meaty Vegetables – Vegetables like mushrooms, eggplant and winter squash have a succulent mouth feel to them that mimics that of meat.
- Experiment with Alternate Proteins and Whole Grains – Feature side dishes (like lentils or rice) and garnishes (think nuts) in more prominent roles. Lentils, nuts, eggs and tofu are all packed with protein and, paired with whole grains and vegetables, are surprisingly satisfying as a main meal.
- Be Liberal with Your Healthy Fats – Since plant-based foods tend to be less calorically-dense than meats, there’s freedom to indulge a bit more than usual in healthy fats. Using a liberal amount of Canola oil to crisp up tofu slices or drizzling your best extra virgin over slow-cooked white beans, for instance, will add considerably to the dish.
This week, make a day of your choosing meatless . . . you’ll be surprised how satisfying it can be.