” I love meat! How do you get past the cravings,” a friend recently asked me. While she said it directly, that’s a sentiment that is nearly always expressed when non-vegetarians find out that I don’t eat meat. For those of you who are thinking of becoming vegan, or who just want to seriously cut down your flesh consumption, here are some steps to take.
1. Call it what it is. Instead of saying meat, when referencing dead animals, call it animal flesh. It sounds less appealing, but it is dead animal flesh. Meat: the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering (as a husk or shell). That’s according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
2. Cultivate your love of vegetables. Add one new vegetable into your routine a week. When shopping, pick a new vegetable and try it. You don’t need to buy multiple. One will do. Buy a zucchini. You don’t know what to do with it? Here’s a tip, nearly every type of vegetable taste delicious sautéed in olive oil with a sprinkle of sea salt.
3. Decrease your meat intake. Meatless Mondays is a thing for a reason. Even if you don’t do Meatless Mondays reduce the portion size of the meat on your plate and increase the amount of fruits and vegetables your eating at every meal. Another good tip in reduction is to reduce the size of your dinner plate over all. You will consume fewer calories.
4. Switch from actual meat for fake meat or meat substitutes. Unlike 1996 when I became vegetarian, there are some seriously good meat substitutes on the market. Also, the days of having to get the fake meat only at food co-op or specialty stores are also over. I live in a small South Carolina town and I can find meat substitutes at the local big-box store, and all of the super-markets in town. I am personally not big on fake meat because I love fruits and vegetables so much, but I will say that Gardein products are super delicious.
5. Stop eating meat for 21 days. It’s said a habit is created in that amount of time. So make it a habit to not eat meat.
I won’t tell you to go cold turkey if you are looking to become vegan/vegetarian, but the minute you stop for good, your turkey has gone cold.