We’re all Human.
What we choose to put on our plates can come with a lot of baggage. Food is the bedrock of our family traditions and can be a huge part of our cultural identity. What you eat says a lot about who you are — what neighborhood you’re from, your ethnicity, your religion. The good news? Eating one plant-based meal a day isn’t about abandoning these precious memories and habits; it’s about playfully exploring how to reinvent and recreate your favorites, how to find (or improvise) a planet-friendly menu option and cashing in when you realize you can do this on the cheap.
I know meat and dairy aren’t good for me, but I like the flavor!
Let’s face it. To many of us, meat can taste good, and it represents lifelong memories and comfort. And then there’s our cheese addiction! But, hey, this is okay and normal.
Thankfully, it’s now easier than ever to indulge in the textures and flavors we seek from meat without the health or environmental consequences. Sad tofu no more — companies like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and Gardein have been honing in on replacements that have been known to fool people like your steak-and-eggs-lovin’ dear old dad.
Not a fan of faux meats or maybe you’re looking to avoid processed foods? You can still relish in a “meaty” stand-in (we’re looking at you, portobello mushrooms, jackfruit and tofu). What’s the key? Texture and seasonings. For example, if you can’t bear thinking about parting with chilli con queso, you can sub in lentils instead of ground beef to get a similar consistency.
Looking for more tips and inspiration? Head on over to our blog for recipes that are dude-approved.
Reinventing Rituals — Coffee anyone?
Wake up. Roll out of bed. Bumble around for our morning essential — a hot cup of coffee. Sound familiar?
Lucky for us, there are plenty of ways to ditch dairy in your morning java. There’s creamy coconut and tried-and-true soy creamers, barista-style hazelnut and fancy mac nut milks, almond-based half-and-half — even big wave surfer Laird Hamilton has jumped on board with his plant-based Laird Superfood Creamer. Say goodbye to morning bloat and hello to irresistible, dairy-free creamy goodness.
What do you crave at the end of a long day? We don’t know about you, but after making it through the rise and grind, all we can think of is some convenient takeout, or something comforting that reminds us of home.
You can still eat one plant-based meal a day even if it falls on a night like this. Call up your favorite thai food joint and ask them to add extra mushrooms or vegies instead of chicken, or make a batch of delicious, steamy mac. Looking for more tips on how to recreate your old favorites? Sign up for our newsletter, The OMD Beet, for regular inspiration and tips (bonus: you get a free plant-based Starter Guide).
There’s Nothing on the Menu!
While going out to eat may seem like a daunting task while trying to eat plant-based, you are not alone! According to recent research, 22% of people are limiting meat, seafood and poultry consumption.
Restaurants are slowly catching on to the demand as more people are looking to eat more plants, so there is hope for eating out. First, take a look to see if there’s something plant-based, like a veggie burger. No luck? Ask the kitchen to make modifications like ordering a pasta dish with marinara instead of being topped with bolognese sauce. You can also order side dishes to fill up like roasted veggies and a bread basket.
When in doubt, expand your horizons! Think of eating plant-based as an opportunity to experiment with trying new cuisines. You’d be surprised at the variety and incredible flavor different Indian, Japanese, Mexican and Ethiopian dishes offer that are completely plant-based.
Eating Plant-Based is Expensive, Right?
Like many things, you can make eating plant-based as cheap or as expensive as you want. It’s all in how you do it. There’s a common thread out there around how eating more fruits and veggies is expensive. While many of us do actually live in food deserts, there are still ways to make your buck go a little further.
If you lack access to a GMO-free, organic everything cornucopia of a farmers market for example (and a lot of us do!) you can still try eating a plant-based meal a day. Instead, try stocking up on pantry staples like canned beans, pasta, tomatoes and frozen vegetables so you limit the risk of waste. Or make big batches of meals that you can freeze to get the most mileage from your ingredients.
For more tips, check out this blog on how to shop plant-based on a budget.
I Don’t Have Time
Slicing, dicing, mincing … it’s a process! If you’re not one of those people who finds their zen while chopping veggies for your Monday night dinner, we have some tips for you:
Do it ahead
Want to know one of Suzy’s secrets? Slice up all your veggies and fruits for smoothies for the week on the weekend. That way, they’re waiting for you in the fridge or freezer when you’re ready so you can grab and go.
If you can, consider getting a food processor. It’s a favorite go-to for people who cry while chopping onions, or who have busy lives and don’t have time to listen a podcast while prepping a bundle of ingredients. Pro tip: check out your local thrift store, hit up a garage sale or even try Craigslist to get one for cheaper!
When in doubt, meal plan. Don’t know where to start? Check out our 7-Day Meal Planner!
I Can’t Do This Alone
Breaking out of social norms, like leaving meat and dairy off your plate, can feel lonely sometimes. That’s why we’re big fans of bringing people along in your journey. You don’t have to cause a lot of fanfare either if that’s easier. The solution? Share the delicious experience. Invite your family over for dinner, or bring a tasty dish to your office or kid’s classroom.