Here are healthy changes to meet your sustainable diet goals for you and the planet this year.
Transforming your diet can be easy and revitalizing. Don’t go cold turkey. You don’t have to go completely vegan to make a difference in your health and the planet. Finding a balanced lifestyle that works for you is what The Imperfect Eco is all about.
It’s important to get nutrition and vitamins from your diet. A plant-based diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes, and nuts, provides a smaller carbon footprint than meat products and gives you everything your body needs. Simple tricks and changes to meals and snacks can make a big difference. Keep up your 2022 sustainable goals with a plant-based diet and no red meat.
Impacts of Cows and Methane
One of the best things you can do for the planet is stop eating red meat. According to Let’s Talk Science, cows generate methane from digestion and waste. Methane is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere, preventing it from escaping and warming the planet.
Not only is red meat unhealthy for the planet, but it’s also bad for your body. Research shows that people who eat red meat are at an increased risk of death from heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. Get aligned with healthy earth and a healthy body.
Let’s discuss some foods and meals that can help you lead a plant-based lifestyle. Start to incorporate more of these food options every day or the next time you’re at the grocery store or searching the internet for great recipes. Here are a few tips:
1. Add veggies and fruits at least once a day.
2. Strive for veggies in every meal.
3. Add alternative protein sources.
4. Smoothies, snacks, and salads can provide a quick and extensive combination of energy, protein, and vitamins.
What gives you proteins besides meat?
Surprisingly, protein is in spinach, broccoli, edamame, green beans, avocado, peas, green peppers, kale, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, corn, beans, grains, potatoes, nuts, and many more found at this link. The key to a vegetarian diet is finding ways to combine foods that contain proteins. It is effortless once you start using more veggies, beans, rice, and potatoes. You can always turn to supplements if you need a little boost.
Rice and Beans
Rice and beans are a cheap and simple meal to get grains, protein, and fiber. Plus, you can add any vegetables! Another great addition to rice and beans is eggs depending on your own diet rules. Rice and beans are a great side dish or even the main base for a meal.
Fruits, vegetables, seeds, yogurt, protein powder, and more can be a whole meal mixed in one. There are endless options for smoothie combos that are a quick way to get a lot of essential foods. Although the mess can be intimidating, pour out what you can, and the rest easily washes off.
Salads don’t have to be bland and tasteless. Like smoothies, salads can be a quick and easy way to combine a lot of nutrients in one. Try to stray away from iceberg lettuce. Using spinach, spring mix, and chopped kale is a more nutritious base. Then add beans, pasta, peppers, broccoli, seeds, avocado, oranges, and anything else you find tasty!
In a pescatarian diet, you include seafood. Pescatarian is a popular option for people making a transition from eating meat. Shrimp is your best friend in this diet. Shrimp is a low-calorie protein source that is easy to cook, defrost, and eat out at restaurants. You can add vegetables and swap out meat for shrimp in anything from shrimp tacos to stir fry.
Local Vegan and Plant-Based Restaurants
Visit a local vegan restaurant near you. Different menus can inspire you. Plus, a local vegan restaurant can be a lifesaver on a tough day after work or even catering a party to keep your diet on track.
Meat and Dairy Alternatives
Love cheese? Don’t be discouraged. There are alternatives for cheese, milk, meat, and more. You can find chicken-less nuggets and vegan cheeses at any grocery store. Alternative dairy and meat products can support your imperfect journey while learning more.
Social Media Influencers
The accounts you follow on social media can be a big help for your diet, mental health, and lifestyle decisions. Many influencers and nutrition experts are online, ready to provide you with resources.
@PlantYou, @rachlmansfield, and @vegan_veganfoods on Instagram are great examples.
Don’t label it: Diet Combos, Mistakes, and Trying your best
Why pick and choose? How many diets have you tried and met with criticism or questions? Can you eat that? Is that meat? Don’t be discouraged by other people’s cutthroat rules for your diet. We are all learning.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other. There are many options and meals to incorporate these diet styles into everyday decisions. If you can find a balance between what is vital for your body and accessible to you, you can do it right without meeting anyone’s standard of “aren’t you vegetarian?” Kind of, I just try my best to eat less meat, eat more veggies, and do what works for me.