How To Grocery Shop If You’re Thinking About Cutting Back On Meat

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The impact of meat consumption on the planet is becoming more and more apparent each day. With study after study showcasing the negative effect red meat has on our bodies and the environment, we now know making the decision to cut down on meat can be super beneficial.

For starters, it’ll boost your health, improve your carbon footprint and might even minimise your spending but, most importantly, it’ll help out those cute lil’ animals. So, if you’re keen to make some changes but have no idea how, here are some handy guides to help you get through the hard part of the transition: grocery shopping!

Protein? No Problem

Contrary to popular belief, meat isn’t the only thing in the world that contains protein. (I know, shock horror!) If you’re concerned about healing your muscles after the gym or staying fuller for longer, you have plenty of options available. Tofu, quinoa, oats and broccoli are just a few of the ways to fuel your body. You’ll find that cans of lentils, chickpeas and beans also go for around $1 a can too, saving you a bunch of cash.

And don’t worry, swapping your slice of chicken for tofu will still give your body a good helping of the macronutrient. Of course, if you regularly participate in high-level endurance actives, you should probably talk to a professional.

Educate Yourself

Education is key. And no, I don’t mean getting a bachelors degree in nutrition. I mean, the more you read about what to substitute your meat with, the easier it will become. There are plenty of resources available to figure out what you can have instead of steak along side your three veg, including shopping lists, PETA’s Accidental Vegan list and substitution lists. Give a read of these before hitting the shops so you know exactly what to look out for.

What Do I Need to Supplement? 

One important part of education is figuring out what supplement you’ll need. The only help a vegan needs is with their B12 intake, so don’t go overboard with the expensive supplements. Do your research and figure out what vitamin and minerals you specifically to improve upon, or talk to a professional about what they’d recommend.

Getting a blood test every couple of months to check that everything’s in order is a great idea too.

Fake It Till You Make It 

Mock meat is readily available in most supermarkets if you’re super worried about missing out on burgers. The taste, consistency and texture can be a little strange at first but the pea or soy protein based items are a quick and easy way to get your fix. You’ll even find that their similar in price to the meat versions you’ve been eating.

Common substitutes include sausages, schnitzels, burger patties, and pies but give yourself some time because faux meat takes a while to get used to.

Update Your Recipes

It’s likely you’ll be able to alter your favourite curries, soups, burgers, platters, salads and pastas to become meat free. All you need to do is find a suitable substitute (tofu and cannellini beans are a great start) and experiment! If you’re looking for new recipe inspiration, some must follow meatless cooking pages include Bosh, The Tasty Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes.

Change The Way You Plan Your Meals 

The biggest change you can make to your meat consumptions is slowly altering your habits. So, instead of thinking, “what can I put next to this steak?” ask yourself, “what veggies am I keen for tonight?” Make vegetables the main part of the meal and the rest of the stuff your sides.

(Lead image: The Simpsons/FOX)