A few of my awesome Twitter followers have been inspired to reduce their meat intake as a result of my blog/tweets. That makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over. Thanks guys! In return I thought a post with a few tips would be helpful and appreciated.
Tip #1: Don’t beat yourself up.
It’s wonderful to hear that people are taking an interest in their health, thinking about what they’re putting into their body and making a conscious effort. Often, people go for an all or nothing attitude and jump right in. This may work for some, but it’s overwhelming for others.
Taking small steps is what changing habits is all about.
If you forget your favourite dessert had gelatin in it, don’t beat yourself up, just realize that mistakes will happen and learn from it.
Tip #2: Read the labels
You may not have a severe allergy, but it’s still important to read the labels. You’d be surprised what’s in common foods. For example, here’s the ingredient deck for McCain® Deep ’n Delicious® Cake:
Water, sugar, enriched wheat flour, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, glucose solids, cocoa, palm oil shortening, skim milk powder, dried whole egg, baking powder, dextrose, salt, propylene glycol mono fatty acid esters, dried egg white, mono and digylcerides, artifical flavour, beef gelatin, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, xanthan gum, silicon dioxide, sodium aluminum phosphate, soya lecithin, corn starch, shellac, gum arabic. Contains: Wheat, Milk, Egg, Soy.
Doesn’t really sound so delicious now does it? I don’t recall my grandmother ever making a cake with glucose solids or dextrose, or polysorbate 60 for that matter. What grosses me out the most is the beef gelatin. I mean really? Is that necessary for a cake?
This kind of ‘food’ is common place and people eat it without thinking twice. Not to mention the lack of nutritional value in this ‘food’ item.
Check out this article about 10 weird and gross Ingredients in Processed Foods. It will really have you scratching your head why.
Tip #3: Don’t deny – try
When people decide they’re making a change the first thing they do is deny themselves sweets and items they deem bad. Everything in moderation is the key, but don’t deny yourself something healthy that can be made in another way than you’re used to. You can have a small piece of cake, dessert, chips – if you make them in a way that cuts out the fat, the cholesterol and sodium.
Instead of using eggs in a recipe, why not tofu, it makes for a lighter scramble/cake. Find the good fat foods, nuts, avocado, olive oil; they can be just as satisfying and better for you. By eating six small meals you can eliminate hunger and by snacking you’re keeping your sugar levels from dipping, thus causing the overeat/gorge.
Tip #4: Breaking the cheese habit
Like any habit, eating cheese is something learnt and something reinforced by chemical pleasure receptor. Breaking the habit not only reduces cholesterol, but it releases a chemical dependency in your brain. The strong pull of cheese is powerful and has even lured some vegans, however, the more you think about it the more you’ll find you have zero interest. I won’t go into the details about calves being killed due to humans consuming dairy products and the total unfair hypocrisy of humans stealing from babies. You can research that on your own. I’ve read enough articles to believe that milk isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
Yes, it won’t be exactly the same, but it is pretty darn close. In a lasagne, I’d like to see if you can really tell the difference, it’s amazing what science can do. No cholesterol, low in fat and zero harm caused.
Tip #5: Focus on what you CAN eat
The number one question is what DO you eat? The answer of course is everything. I mean, you don’t wake up and have a meat smoothie, you most likely have a vegetarian breakfast without thinking about it. As soon as that starts to happen you realize that you can apply this to everything and the details take care of themselves. Almond milk, tempeh, tofu, nuts, legumes, whole foods are just a stepping stone to your road to health.
Make informed decisions, make decisions that come from your heart and you’ll see how much bounce there is in your step after.