Today I’m taking some time to share a strategy for helping you get started in your meat cancelling journey. These concepts really apply to anything, but they really helped me filter out some of the noise and preconceptions around diets focus on what felt best for me.
I encourage you to take a look and share your thoughts. I look forward to growing with you.
There is plenty of science out there about the benefits of reducing meat intake, red and processed meats in particular. You can find it in audio, video, and print format, so whatever your preferred method of consumption is (pun intended), seek out sources of information other than those that you are most familiar with.
While pure science is best, sometimes we admittedly like a good story to go along with it instead of pouring over research and statistics without faces or names.
For me? It was a Netflix documentary: The Game Changers
Why The Game Changers? As a 40 year old male, I naturally identified more with competitive athletes than I did with my office peers, even though my men’s recreational football and softball days are behind me.
Of course, remember to take all of this information in context, understanding that the producers of the information generally have something to gain if you jump on board. That concept applies to debates and counterpoints as well – just be mindful and try to verify anything presented as ‘fact’. Google is your friend.
Since I mentioned Game Changers, here’s a cool article on some of the more controversial pieces of the film that includes responses from the creators.
Knowledge is power; look for it, and be open to the idea that what you thought to be true may not be.
Give It A Try (with a buddy)
Nothing in life is permanent. We don’t need to get into a deep philosophical discussion about what that actually means. Commit to a definitive period – one week, one month – and at the end, recommit or renegotiate.
I started with a three week “challenge” to eliminate meat and dairy. This seemed like a massive undertaking, but for a short enough time that I could tough it out to the finish line, and immediately after, “celebrate” with a steak dinner.
My wife took on the challenge as well, and it was absolutely beneficial to have her support. I do understand that not everyone has that level of support at home, which is why we’re working daily to bring you support here. Need help or accountability? Reach out here and let me be your buddy.
At the close of three weeks, neither of us had any interest in rolling back the changes in our diets, and haven’t looked back.
You lose nothing by trying. We can make a decision to try something now, and if we don’t like it, change that decision and move on.
Commit to trying a few new things and you’ll start to notice a shift in your tastes and cravings.
Traditional American diets often have some piece of meat as the centerpiece of the meal. Trying to eliminate meat while keeping the same meal structure is tough. Changing your expectations on what a meal should or shouldn’t look like is next-level stuff. It takes time.
For me, in that first three weeks, meat replacement products were a focus:
- Which plant based meat tastes more like beef?
- Will THIS veggie burger be the ‘go-to’ one forever?
- Which plant based chicken tastes more like chicken?
- Is this faux bacon any good?
It’s easy to overdo it with these things – especially at first when everything is a novelty. Plant based doesn’t automatically mean “good for you”, so if you’re not a label reader, do your research outside the grocery store and go shopping with a plan.
Over time, I began to understand these as convenience items rather than staples. Don’t get me wrong – I still enjoy some of them – but they are less prominent in my diet.
A quick search of any of these terms will get you thinking outside the box:
- one pot vegan dinners
- vegan meat substitutes
- vegan pasta recipes
- vegan noodle dishes
Don’t expect to be perfect or have all of the answers. Small, consistent changes have more impact over time than drastic inconsistent ones.
These are things that have worked for me to help me get started.
What’s holding you back from making a change?