Deciding to go Meatless? Do this first!

December 22, 2020 in Life - No Comments

10 Tips for going meatless for 30 days. Here’s how I planned 30 days of meatless meals!

Earlier this year, like most people, I made the “resolution” to eat better and be more intentional about how I was feeding and fueling my body, mind, soul. And then 2020 revealed itself to be what it was going to be. A train wreck on our diets.

However, we were so glad that our original intention has helped us produce some really great new habits even amongst a pandemic and quarantine.

My husband and I did a 30 day meatless challenge within our home and discovered some interesting things. Not only were we able to really live meat less and adapt to a more Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian lifestyle, but it was actually delicious and fun!

January 2020, we completed 30 days of meatless meals and have since noticed a more healthier food mindset. What made us successful was planning it out 3 months in advance. We made a plan to win the challenge, be consistent, and be intentional. We started to plan out our challenge in October, right around the holidays. The thing about the end of the year shuffle is that it’s typically filled with delicious dishes with cherished loved ones, but it is also NOT THE TIME to be trying to be on a diet! I’m just going to be honest. Do yourself a favor and give yourself grace around the Fall/ Winter and holiday time. Go ahead and get that extra scoop! We all enjoy the comforts of delicious cooking, whether we eat meat or not, especially around the holidays.

We planned our 30 days after the holidays so it would give us time to enjoy our family meals without guilt, but also make note of the dishes we found ourselves wanting and eating most often. From there, we began to think up and research healthier alternatives.

Pinterest was the best place for discovering meatless recipes and other lists that helped the 30 day transition. I created a board specifically for meatless, vegan, and vegetarian dishes and referenced it constantly. (follow my board here: LINK)

Before we did our BIG grocery day, we checked what we had in our pantry and used those items first and then restocked and bought what we needed. If we did go to the store through out the challenge, it was for essential food items and fresh produce. When we ordered in, we opted for vegetarian only dishes from our favorite restaurants or searched for vegetarian/ vegan specific restaurants.

Disclaimer: we live in Atlanta, Atlanta has some of the best Black owned vegan, vegetarian, and soul food restaurants in the South… yes, I’m biased. We know it’s a privilege of living in a Black Mecca such as Atlanta and her ‘Burbs. There are a plethora of restaurants to choose from here but, some of my favorite Black owned vegan restaurants are Annie Laura’s Soul Food, Slutty Vegan, Slim & Husky’s, and Viva La Vegan.

But consider this, some of the best veggie plates I’ve ever had have been at soul food and BBQ spots and some of the freshest salads I’ve eaten have been at my local pizza spots.

There are options, but you have to be open to trying them out, Beloved.

10 Tips for going meatless for 30 days. Here’s how I planned 30 days of meatless meals!

1. Observe your eating behaviors. Keep a food journal for at least one week to know your favorite foods, flavors, and habits

2. Research. Pinterest is our friend.

3. Create a to ‘cook list’ for start planning all the major daily meals.

4. Check your pantry for lost ingredients. How else are you going to use up all those cans of beans?

5. Think of your favorite meals you currently make or take and discover meatless replacements.

6. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Buffalo Cauliflower is A HIT in our house!

7. Sub your favorite takeout dishes with it’s vegetarian component.

8. Remix last night’s leftovers with more vegetables. Herbed potatoes from dinner makes an amazing avocado breakfast scrambler in the morning!

9. When in doubt, salad out. One of my favorite things to get at my local pizza spot is a salad. They have delicious veggie combos and dressings. Add some breadsticks or bruschetta and…

10. Celebrate your culinary wins and continue to get better from your culinary lessons. My vegan chili is a champion in my household, but the first time I made it, it wasn’t the best. Keep trying and refining until it becomes a staple in your culinary arsenal.

Going meatless was a taste exploration that I didn’t know I needed. I was able to stretch my culinary chops and add healthier meals to my cook book.

Check out five of my favorite recipes below:

Buffalo cauliflower (from Vegan Heaven)

Chickpea Avocado Sandwich (from Be Plant Well )

Vegan Tex Mex Eggrolls (from Rabbit and Wolves)

Vegan Chili Nacho Bowl (from Wallflower Kitchen)

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Maple Glaze (from Yay for Food)

Thinking of adding more meatless meals to your life and need some inspiration? Follow my Meatless Recipes board on Pinterest here: https://pin.it/50rceFZ and be sure to hit the follow and like button when you save!

Check out the Meatless Highlights on my Instagram profile here to get more inspiration too and be sure to connect with me there!

soainspired

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