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Cut down on meat

(23 Posts)
ocelot41 Mon 26-Mar-18 20:08:20

We have cut right down on meat - going from eating it once or twice a day to once or twice a week, for environmental and long term health reasons. I have surprised myself by feeling great. Has anyone cut down on meat significantly? What were your experiences? Did you stay mainly veggie or did it sneak back up over time? Or did you go the other way and become completely veggie? Curious.

OP’s posts: |
whatareyoueatingNOW Tue 27-Mar-18 18:01:18

We went from full time meat eaters to twice a week. It started with a began January ( which was a failure because we couldn't manage to give up dairy)

We eat more meat through the winter , because we also try to eat seasonally, which means veg options can be a bit samey by February. But it evens out over the year. We would never go completely veggie, but I am happy that we are now healthier and more sustainable than ever, and I think it has had the unexpected effect of making my children far less fussy than their peers

ocelot41 Tue 27-Mar-18 18:20:00


OP’s posts: |
Vitalogy Tue 27-Mar-18 18:32:07

I've never been a big meat fan but ate chicken, which I've stopped these past few months, I've not missed it at all but love all kinds of fish so this is satisfying enough for me. So can't see this changing. I would really struggle to give up dairy, although on the milk front I'm having oat milk instead. Cheese, eggs and desserts with dairy I love.
What are you having as mains then OP?

Meltedicicle Tue 27-Mar-18 18:48:31

Interested in this thread! My friend became a vegan last year and I tried to go veggie at the same time but failed. This year however, i have tried again and also been back at the gym and done a sort of combined attack on health and fitness! It’s been a lot easier this year. I’ve borrowed my friend’s vegan cookbook and made more of an effort with new recipes etc. and got meal ideas off the vegan forum on here. I’ve decided that I don’t want to go fully veggie or vegan but like you, want to cut down so I only now have meat at the weekend, usually Sunday roast.

It’s a massive change for me as we used to have meat every day for lunch and tea usually so I do feel like I’ve achieved. DH and the DCs have more meat than me but have cut down. I do feel a lot healthier generally and definitely eating more fruit and veg than before. This time around I don’t miss meat like I did last year and actually preferred a few dishes without it (like enchiladas).

ocelot41 Tue 27-Mar-18 20:25:10

Hey! I am not alone then. Also like Melted I used to eat meat daily - now it's once or twice a week. It will be interesting to see if this general feeling better has a bearing on my PMT (which was getting atrocious). But either way, I am feeling better for it

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PrincessoftheSea Tue 27-Mar-18 21:42:53

We don't really eat meat at all anymore, though love fish and probably eat fish twice a week. On the other days I try to cook vegan, but I find it really difficult to avoid dairy and just try to reduce it from our diets. I feel healthy when I eat lots of vegs. I think you can eat very unhealthily as a vegan. Lots of carbs etc though

Cocothecat Tue 03-Apr-18 09:50:14

We are sort of in the same situation. We have been vegetarian-ish the last month or so. Maybe pescatarian? I don’t buy meat any more at the supermarket, but not ruling out eating any meat ever.
The main issue I am having is thinking up family friendly ideas to eat that are not drowning in cheese. That and the fact that my three year old is quite obsessed ham and sausages, basically pork products in general.

Meltedicicle Tue 03-Apr-18 10:26:55

Cocothecat, my similarly pork obsessed DD1 actually loves the Quorn range of cocktail sausages, ham and picnic eggs. The cheese fiend in our house is me but I've found mild veg curries, veggie chilli with quorn mince, tomato based pasta sauces etc all ok for the family and no cheese required. The Oh She Glows cookbook has a recipe for sweet potato enchiladas which has a creamy sauce made from avocado and I loved these as did DD2 although DD1 wasn't so keen.

Cocothecat Tue 03-Apr-18 21:42:41

Thanks, meltedicicle I think we might have to give some of those Quorn type things a go. I had been trying to avoid things that were sort of ‘fake meat’ but I guess that was really because they didn’t appeal to me so much, and I do the shopping.

Tigerpit Wed 04-Apr-18 11:04:15

Re quorn - I can seriously recommend the swedish style quornballs. They're absolutely amazing as a pizza topping, as well as with pasta etc.

I don't think I could be vegan as I love cheese and eggs, but I can be meat free quite happily.

I love Rose Elliot's recipe books (the Bean Book is amazing) and also middle eastern recipe books often have absolutely gorgeous veggie recipes in (Ottolenghi's Plenty and Plenty More are my favourites). I can also recommend HFW's Veg books for lots of interesting, but familiar, ideas that might appeal to kids.

ocelot41 Wed 04-Apr-18 21:16:24

Thanks for the recipe book ideas! I was offered a trial with Hello Fresh by a kindly friend, which I thought I would introduce us to some recipes. But OMG the volume of packaging! I just can't justify that, given that this is meant to be a more environmentally friendly way of eating. So I need other ideas.

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Meltedicicle Thu 05-Apr-18 17:58:47

Ocelot, I get a veg box from Abel and Cole and there are loads of recipes on their website (don’t think you have to be a customer to view). There are quite a few vegan sites like ilovevegan and the ohsheglows website that are good for ideas too.

WorkingBling Thu 05-Apr-18 18:00:53

I'd love to eat less meat again but when I swapped to eating carb-free at night, I found my meat eating crept up a bit again. I do have a few great veggie recipes that are carb free but they are just so much more effort than quickly cooking a chop and serving with some veggies. But I really must try again because I do think it is so much better on so many levels.

DropItLikeASquat Thu 05-Apr-18 18:13:25

We have reduced our meat consumption significantly from every day to meat once or twice per week. The saving I have made by reducing our meat consumption has allowed us to source organic pasture fed meat from a local farm. I was skeptical but... it tastes better, doesn't shrink and if far more satiating than the stuff we used to buy. We already are pretty much dairy free except for eggs.
I feel 100% better since dropping the heavy meat consumption.
we eat lottttttts of omelettes and scrambles, crustless quiche and potato frittata type food. Nuts and seeds for snacks and have trail mix etc on hand for cravings. It seems to work for us

WorkingBling Thu 05-Apr-18 18:21:10

Dropit - you remind me of my other issue. I can't eat eggs any more as it seems to make me ill. Argh, reducing meat is so hard sometimes!

Mrsramsayscat Fri 06-Apr-18 12:34:22

Related to this, I have cut out red meat pretty much, and eat chicken and fish instead, although pulse based vegetarian 2 days week or even 3. I limit eggs, and lower fat dairy (although I could 4% natural yogurt as low enough!). My reason for this was to be able to manage my gallstones symptoms without surgery, as my GP isn't keen to remove it. I have lost 2.5 st as a result. And my gallstone pain is pretty rare, too, now the initial infection is cleared.

DropItLikeASquat Fri 06-Apr-18 14:48:16

oh no Working, that sucks. I don't know what we would eat if we couldn't have eggs. That said we haven't had eggs at all this week and have managed fine lol. The difficulty for us is that I can't tolerate soya and neither can some of my kids. A LOT of veggie/vegan foods are heavily filled with soya. It means I have to source things from scratch, which is fine when I have time but on the nights when we just need a quick meal after school before clubs etc we always resort to jackets with beans etc. I think my kids are sick of jacket potatoes. lol

halfwitpicker Fri 06-Apr-18 19:36:38

I try and have meat only once per day. Fish twice per week for dinner, which is harder to do. I also try and eat less quantity wise too - more veg and lentils. So much cheaper too. Only have red meat probably 1 per week, eat a lot of chicken and pork.

I've learnt how to cook with lentils, split peas, chick peas etc. Massively good for you, protein, cheap etc.

ocelot41 Fri 06-Apr-18 19:40:27

Melted that's a good idea about Abel and Cole - thanks!

OP’s posts: |
ocelot41 Sat 07-Apr-18 07:28:39

Well, one month in and still not missing the heavy meat consumption. I think we will stick with this - everyone's feeling better. The PMT and period pain was really minimal this month, and it has been 2-3 days long before now. Don't know if that's connected. The main thing seems to be finding dishes my DS will eat that aren't flavourless as lots of the more interesting veggie food uses spices.

OP’s posts: |
DropItLikeASquat Sat 07-Apr-18 16:17:46

ocelot, I totally get what you mean about the PMT and period symptoms. I always have breakouts and feel so much more hormonal when I eat crappy meat and dairy products. I wonder if its the hormones they use to encourage growth in the cattle etc??
we had a lovely 5 bean chilli this week with rice. It was so nice. Im lazy so I always buy canned beans over the dried ones and we just made it as we would a regular chilli but added extra beans and didn't have the meat. I was lovely with avocados and salsa on the side and some nacho chips

Icklepickle101 Sat 07-Apr-18 18:58:04

I cut down to vegan for quite a few months but it gradually crept back to our normal diet sad

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