As you might have seen in my recent youtube video, I have made some pretty significant changes to my diet in the past few weeks. For those of you who would rather read than watch a video, this post is for you. I want to explain what changes I am making and the reasoning behind them.
What have I done?
Basically, I have reduced my red meat intake significantly. I used to eat it about two or more times a week, mainly in the form of minced beef, sausages, chorizo and bacon. I am not completely cutting it out, but I am reducing my intake to once or twice a year, or on very special occasions. If and when I do choose to indulge in a piece of red meat, I will ensure that it is well sourced and ethically reared.
I have also decreased my overall meat intake in all forms, and moved more towards a plant based diet. I am aiming to have a day or two a week which is completely meat free, and on the other days I am trying to keep meat to one meal when I can. I am opening myself up to consuming meals which don’t have meat in them, something I never even contemplated before. I used to think that a meal was incomplete without meat, but I have now realised it really isn’t. You can easily source protein from so many other places such as lentils, beans and eggs; and have a balanced vegetarian meal.
However, I want to say that I am not aiming to go fully vegetarian or vegan. That is not where I am trying to go with this. I just want to have a more varied diet which is rich in plants and focuses on good quality protein sources. I am not cutting anything out, as that just isn’t how I like to approach food. I am just switching it up, trying something new and hoping to make a difference.
Typically when someone makes a change like this, it is purely due to ethical reasons. While I am aware of the treatment of animals and the harsh production process required to put meat on the table, in all forms; that is not the sole reason I am reducing my meat intake, but it is a contributing factor.
There are two main reasons I am making these changes. The first is my digestion. I need to listen to my body. When I eat red meat I get serious digestive discomfort, including cramps and tummy troubles. I have been in denial about this, because I bloody love the taste of meat. But I know it can’t be good for me to be eating something which my body struggles to process.
The second reason is environmental. I have watched all the documentaries related to the production of meat in the past, and always thought I should reduce my intake as a result of what I have learnt. However, I never quite had enough motivation to do so. Then I watched Before The Flood, which also talks about the impacts of red meat production on climate change. This was the final push I needed to make this change. I don’t want to preach to you, but the production of red meat, especially beef, has a gigantic negative effect on our environment. I care greatly about our planet. One simple step I can take to help it is reducing my meat consumption, and I am more than willing to take it. If we all made one small change to our lifestyles to help the environment, the impact would be monumental. I truly believe that every little helps.
That is what I have been doing for the past few weeks, and you know what? It is so much easier than I thought it would be. I find myself having meat free days even more regularly than I expected. I am enjoying trying out new plant based meals and getting experimental in the kitchen. I feel happy in the knowledge that I am helping the environment with my choices. Sure, I am craving meat. Especially when I see people tucking into chorizo and bacon. But I know that what I am doing is coming from a good place, and I haven’t been tempted to give in to my cravings yet!
I know that not everyone will agree with these changes to my diet, and I don’t expect them to. But I kindly ask that you respect my choices, as I respect yours.
Lots of love