So you want to cut down on eating meat, huh? The best way to cut down on anything is to actually make that decision. Once you made that decision. it’s a wrap!
I am going back now to when I gave it up, as a newly turned 16-year-old teenager. I had toyed with the idea of trying to take the challenge of not eating meat. As I walked past the Chinese restaurant with my cousin, Krystal and grandmother, I announced out of nowhere “I am not eating meat anymore”.
“You doing this today” I announced to myself. (Pretty much how all my decisions are made) I felt the need to start the challenge. This was a whim!
My spoken announcement was met with a chuckle, since I announced it out of nowhere after all. Not to mention I had certainly enjoyed eating meat and at that restaurant!
The very next day after I made my grand announcement to the world, that I wasn’t eating meat, my grandmother came home with dinner that included chicken. My announcement wasn’t on her mind. I ate that chicken leg, wing. I don’t know what it was. I’m 16, I don’t have options. That really only happened once. After that, my grandma respected my decisions. Sure of course she thought I was going through a phrase, that’s okay. Hell, I had no idea I was really going to stick with the experiment of not eating meat.
I had no idea that my little experiment would last me well into my thirties.
Semi Vegetarian– You pick some days of the week or month(s) when you do not want to eat meat. Pretty much, your diet is mainly vegetarian, but time to time indulge with seafood and poultry. I have a friend who often goes for months without eating any meat, but then she resumes it.
Pestcatarian-You are not eating any meat at all, but just seafood-For a very long time, I was a pestcatarian, I definitely did not have seafood at every meal, but I did eat it for sure. I slowly started to get turned off by eating fish. It just wasn’t working for me anymore.
I now enjoy a vegetarian, mainly vegan diet. (Stay Tuned for that post, vegan vs vegetarian vs the world). The most important thing is to do what works for YOU. I am sharing some things to keep in mind for when you are starting out. A pestcatarian or a semi-vegetarian is usual the beginning place, however these tips will work for any veggie diet
• Give me the seiten instead– Go for a meatless day. It does not have to be a Monday. It can be any day. The point of this day for someone, um transforming into a semi-vegetarian or pestcatarian 9any veggie) is get familiar with options. During these days, you can have meatless spaghetti, meatloaf made with chickpeas, or BBQ seiten as a substitute for pork, or even chicken.. You pretty much can enjoy the same meals with some substitutions. Use some of the same seasonings, you were always using. Make your food still taste good. This definitely make for a smooth transition.
• “Is meat in the cake”? –Guess what, all along you actually had moments when you are not eating meat. Have you enjoyed corn, cake, macaroni and cheese or cookies? Just because you do not eat meat, does not mean you are eating grass all day. Give yourself some credit.
• Don’t fall for “Just taste it”– Let everyone around you, (who you actually eat meals with) in on your change. I remember going to McDonald’s and just getting French fries with my friend, Beatrice after school. I was a newly turned non- meat eater but she did not pressure me to um eat a hamburger or anything. Yes, it was strange. It was foreign for us both. My grandmother really respected my decision of not eating meat. (pretty much two days later) I see a lot of people fall of the veggie wagon, because they do not have that support around them. Chances are you already know, how that bacon cheeseburger tastes. So don’t fall for the “Just taste it” Cook and Impress me with a mushroom steak, instead. Be firm about your decision. This is when meatless days come in to play too.You eat what you eat, I eat what I eat.
• Be prepared to get judged– People going to judge you. Let them. It’s foreign to them. I don’t recall trying to recruit other people, (who wasn’t interested) in the fight against not eating meat. One time I even got called “A starving model”. Let’s not even talk about the “Fried Chicken” comments. These comments were never by people who I considered a friend, anyway through.
Let me know how this journey is going for you.