Unless you’re very determined, going from meat-eater to vegan in one fell swoop isn’t going to work. This isn’t a fad diet: it should be a lifestyle change, so the best way to make a real difference in the longer-term is to take it one step at a time. You need a plan that you can stick with – and as you build up the meat-free wins, you can keep on reducing your intake in different and exciting ways. And if you want the occasional bacon butty, don’t beat yourself up about it. Every bit of meat that you don’t eat makes a difference.
Vegetables aren’t just about eating your greens. One of the best single pieces of advice for really enjoying your plant-based life is to make your plate as colourful as you can. Brightly-coloured fruits and veggies are not only visually tasty, but each colour also comes with some very specific health benefits. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, so you can pile your plate high!
We’re not going to list all the details here, because our friends at the British Heart Foundation have already done it – read all about the rainbow here.
You can improve your health, cut calories and help protect the environment by making a few swaps. And plant-based foods generally cook much more quickly than meat, which means lower energy bills and less time in the kitchen. What’s not to like?
There’s a growing range of plant-based milks in our supermarkets. They’re generally made by grinding the key ingredient, then diluting it with water. The plant milk you choose is a matter of personal taste and you might prefer different types for different uses. It’s great to have more than one choice!
You can also experiment with pea milk, rice milk, coconut milk – even potato milk! The good news is that all plant-based milks are much more environmentally friendly than cows’ milk.
People say that fruit and veg is lacking in flavour. We think that’s absolutely bananas!
Eating less meat isn’t all about salads and healthy eating: we can get as much protein from plant-based sources as we do meat – but without hurting the planet! There are tasty, protein-rich alternatives to fit every budget and lifestyle.
Top veggies for protein include peas, spinach, corn, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, kale and potatoes. Add plenty of lentils, tofu, chickpeas, beans, nuts and seeds into your diet too – they all pack a powerful protein punch!
Check out the plant-based section next time you visit the supermarket and see what’s out there – you might just find a new favourite!
Soup is a fantastic, healthy and nutritious way to up your veg intake and it keeps you full for ages, especially with a bit of crusty bread. It’s also a great way to sneak healthy veg into fussy kids. You can batch cook and freeze all plant-based soups in individual portions.
Gently fry an onion until it’s just softened. Add your soup ingredients (see below or search online), give it a stir, then add a veggie stock cube and water. Let it all simmer till softened, then blitz it with a blender, push it through a sieve or even leave it lumpy. Top soup combos?
A big part of environmentally-conscious eating is about cutting food waste. Think about how you store your food and it will keep much longer. For more information, have a look at Love Food, Hate Waste’s helpful Food Storage A-Z guide.