Going or Gone Meatless? Vegan Family Tips
Are you thinking of going Meatless in your household? Here are some tips to help the whole family go vegan.
We know first hand what a big decision it may be for you and your family. Millions of people around the world follow Vegetarian and vegan diets for various reasons, including ethical, religious, and health ones. For many choosing to eliminate meat from the diet stems from the many health benefits of a plant-based diet.
EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT MEATLESS DIET
There is much existing evidence supporting that eating vegetarian positively impacts heart health.
Additionally, a meatless diet can help prevent several cancers, and helps to ensure good digestive health.
In today’s world of health epidemics, one of the most important health benefits to going meatless might be the fact a plant-based diet can help prevent obesity as well as a helping prevent a plethora of other associated medical complications that result from obesity.
The bottom line: plant foods are the most naturally nutritious foods available. They were created by nature to provide us with key essential nutrients for good health, disease prevention, healthy aging, and vitality.
Going meatless can be an easy adjustment once you discover various dishes that can be prepared for a family of four deciding to embrace being vegetarians or vegans.
A Vegan/Vegetarian diet typically consists of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and plant-based fats, such as olive oil, can also include variant foods.
Vegetarians may add eggs or milk may depending on their personal dietary preferences.
There are many foods to choose from when looking for meat substitutes and they provide the essential protein your body needs. Some substitutes actually contain more protein than beef or chicken. The following are great sources of protein and make great as meat substitutes:
• Nuts, including peanuts ,walnuts and pistachios
• Seeds, including pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds
• Legumes – consisting of black beans, chickpeas, and lentils
• Soy – represented by edamame, tempeh, and tofu
• Grains, consisting of oats, whole wheat bread and buckwheat
• Dairy- made up of cheese, milk and yogurt (for lacto-vegetarians)
• Eggs for ovo-vegetarians
• Tofu and tempeh
Each of the foods listed above help make going meatless a delicious way for a family to easily adjust to a life without meat entrees. Going meatless is helpful because a vegetarian or vegan diet provides a higher fiber and carb intake, necessary for energy and refueling.
MAKE SOME SUBSTITUTIONS HERE AND THERE
No one says you must change your diet overnight. In some cases, you may want to try out the vegetarian or vegan routine by making occasional substitutions here and there. If you prefer to make the change slowly, then there is no need to overhaul your family’s entire menu right away.
Make some substitutions here and there, and rest assured any changes can make a big difference in your meal planning and fare. For example, Instead of chicken stir-fry on Tuesday, serve tofu stir-fry. Make chickpea burgers for Saturday’s picnic. Serve black beans instead of steak on Thursday.
PASTA WITH TOMATOES AND VEGGIES, HOLD THE MEAT
Hooked on spaghetti with meat sauce and not sure how you’ll make the switch? Simple, start by making spaghetti without beef, but instead, add tomatoes and many vegetables.
Try simply serving grilled vegetables more often as a side dish AND as a main course.
MAKING AN EASY TRANSITION WITH BUGERS
You won’t know until you’ve tried it! Veggie burgers can be a great substitute for ground beef. Stir-fry can include cubed tofu in the pan instead of chicken with veggies. If you fix tacos for dinner, try using black beans and the fixings instead of ground turkey or ground beef.
Some other ways to make going meatless an easy transition is by including substitutes like tofu, tempeh, seitan, legumes, or beans.
SOY MILK AND PROTEIN POWDER MAKE A SMOOTHIE A MEAL
Going vegetarian or vegan also includes drinking smoothies. Reduce your meat intake and increase your fruit consumption instead. Not only are the drinks easy to make, they are delicious as well. Add soymilk to the blender concoction if you prefer a creamier drink. Should you choose you could make a meal out of the drink by adding protein powder as well.
ADD A LARGE SALAD TO THE MENU
Make eating meat a thing of the past is simply done by including a large salad in your daily menu. Include baby spinach, earthy mushrooms, juicy tomatoes, and olives that have been drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Then add such vegetarian accompaniments as nuts, sliced applies and arugula.
GET SOME GUIDANCE AND HELP ALONG THE WAY
If you aren’t sure where to start or how to continue, get some help. Make family meal planning a breeze by investing in a good vegetarian cookbook or purchase a subscription to a vegetarian magazine.
You are not alone. Many families want to try a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle but are not sure how to proceed. You’ll be amazed at how easy it can be when you have a ready resource to guide you along the way.
MEATLESS STAPLES FOR THE VEGAN/ VEGETARIAN KITCHEN
If you have decided to tackle this new way of life, a new way of eating, you’ll need some basic staples for your kitchen. Be sure include potatoes, frozen vegetables, soy milk, flour, vegetable broth, olive oil, rice, pasta, mushrooms, black beans, and olives and include flavors and condiments such as vegan butter, balsamic vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, lemon juice and homemade salad dressings.
Remember, Deciding to embrace a meatless diet does not need to happen overnight. You can take it step by step and there are plenty of resources to help you along the way.
If you have any questions about what you’ve read, leave us a comment below.
Be sure to check out our free Vegan & Vegetarian Diet Guide