What to Know Before Giving Up Meat
By Sara Butler
A lot of people live a plant-based lifestyle. It can be done healthily, but if you’re considering giving up meat there are a few things you need to be aware of. Meatless diets have a lot of benefits, but there are definitely things you should know before you make the transition to a meat-free lifestyle.
Don’t Go Cold Turkey
If you’re going to give up meat, don’t go for an all-or-nothing mentality. You’ll probably be more successful if you eat into a meatless lifestyle rather than going for the gusto and cutting it out all at once.
Start with going meatless just one day a week, and just give up red meat or pork to start. Then you can transition to a plant-based lifestyle and eventually phase out all meat. When you take this approach, you can take the time to assess how you’re feeling and make tweaks along the way; if you’re considering going vegan and can eat no animal products at all, this approach is helpful.
Get a Variety
Variety is essential to any healthy diet but getting what you need just from plants means you need to pay extra attention to the assortment of foods you’re eating. You need leafy greens, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, legumes, seeds, fruits, and vegetables in a well-rounded vegetarian or vegan diet.
Take time out of your schedule each week for food prep. Put on some of your favorite music and put together some hearty stews, soups, salads, and entrees for the week. Many people find a few recipes they really like and rotate through them during the month.
If you find yourself in a bind without a meal prepped during the week, try to keep some easy to prepare stuff on hand such as canned beans, nut butter, whole-wheat couscous, veggie burgers, hummus, and vegetables on hand.
Do You Need Supplements
When you eat a plant-based diet, supplements may be necessary. Vitamin B12 is something vegetarians and vegans need to keep particular tabs on since it’s a vitamin found in animal products that your body needs. If you notice unusual fatigue, weakness, paranoia, or difficulty reasoning, then you may have a Vitamin B12 deficiency that requires medical attention.
Leaving meat behind is a big change to your lifestyle, but it can be good for you if you do it with your health as the priority!
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