A meatless journey begins with the first Bite

Charting a meatless Course

From the ‘Meatless in Seattle’ Department

Ready, set, go!

Not sure where to start? First, just so we are on the same page, as we define ‘meatless’ we are referring to the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products in diet.

The consensus among the idiots at the Vegan Swamp is that winter is a challenging time to quit worshipping at the foot of the meat counter and dive head-first into the plant-based, whole foods approach to eating, especially if you live in a place like we do, the glorious (but chilly) Mid-West. Cold temps keep us mostly inside from December to mid-March, huddling in our faux fur robes, hands cupped around our steaming coffee mug, happily ensconced in the warmest place in the house, the kitchen. But that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed with a meatless plan in winter, it just takes a bit more effort.

Baby it’s cold Outside

Farmers markets with veggie stalls filled with that just-picked freshness of locally grown produce remain in hibernation until Phil emerges from his burrow and stays out, sometime near April. Those few spring-like days of warm temps that come around before then are nothing but a tease, real spring, like plant-based eating should be sustainable!

Meatless is challenging but not Impossible

It’s delightfully warm inside at whole-foods, and organic foods shops near you. Shop in comfort (just stay clear of the frozen foods isle) while perusing their plant-based selections. Even your local chain store has a lot to offer. Thank goodness for the folks that invented the perfect strawberry, kudos to the avocado growers, the bravery exhibited by the banana pickers, those who let us love lettuce year-round, all those colorful vegetables and fruits, stacked neatly and displayed in the produce department of your nearest market or grocer, now available at any time of the year.

Go recipe Hunting

All of those delicious items are just waiting for someone to gather up what’s needed for a vegan feast. Consult your favorite vegan cookbook or a vegan food blog that offers an abundance of unique ways to make veggies taste great. Food boredom is your sworn enemy.

All aboard for the meatless Monday Bandwagon

Make it easy on yourself. Vegans committed to a plant-based diet for personal health recommend a phased approach to meeting your meatless goals. Choose one day a week to start your meatless journey by eliminating meat for a single day to start or be flesh free for a main meal. Then gradually eliminate meat from future meals, starting with red meat. Follow that up by gradually eliminating pork and chicken, a plant-based journey that begins with a single bite!

Try new Foods

Going meatless doesn’t mean you are doomed to a life filled with nothing but salad greens and broccoli. While salads and vegetables such as broccoli are great, it’s a big nutritious world now. Take time to explore the produce section of your grocer, learn to make the most of what’s in season, although seasons don’t mean that much anymore with the advent of greenhouse growing on a large scale. Explore new cooking methods, spices and flavor combinations that can perk up any vegan friendly meal.

Keep your doctor in the Loop

And last but not least, any lifestyle changes or new diet should be shared with your medical team. They can also provide resources and support for your meatless journey. You will find that most physicians don’t have a problem with meatless diet plans. Especially docs like Neal Bernard whose opinion about beef leaves no room for doubt as to where he stands.

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