I have been struggling, enjoying, loving, and hating food for the better part of my life. As a chef, and soon to be nutritionist, sometimes people have come to the assumption that “I’ve got it all figured out”. Truth is told: I’m just as confused as anyone else with cramps, nausea, bloating, heartburn, headaches… you name it. But, there are two things that I know, beyond a doubt:
- Food can be the answer to almost any question.
- I love the taste of bacon.
Unfortunately, in January 2014, I came to a crossroad with meat. I had ruled out all of the traditional culprits (sugar, caffeine, alcohol), and meat was the last man standing. It had to be cut out.
Meat production has been tied to quite a few nasty consequences (I’m especially talking to you – ladies!). Eating less meat reduces your cancer risk, reduces human-caused emissions, helps your heart, increases your ability to control your weight, demonstrates compassion, and is EASIER THAN EVER!
I was ready to try. And, if you are anywhere near this tipping point, here are a few helpful hints that I have learned along the way:
Tips for the Meat-Loving Vegan/Vegetarian
Give up what you love, last.
There will always be those few dishes that you cannot imagine giving up. Like, a summer time, grilled steak, on the patio. Don’t give that up right away. Instead, focus on the meats that you can live without. I wasn’t a big fan of cold-cut sandwiches. So, I started incorporating Greek-style hummus sandwiches, with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and kalamata olives.
One day I woke up, realizing that the steak was going to make me feel awful. And it just wasn’t worth the trade-off.
Focus on natural forms of protein.
Fake chicken and meat-less balls are sad excuses for nutrition. They are typically packed with sodium, and don’t really taste that great. They do win in the texture department though. To avoid hormone-filled soy products, I opted for items that mimicked the texture, but didn’t have quite as insane of a value exchange.
I discovered that cauliflower wings, tossed in buffalo wing sauce, is one of my favourite meals. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
If you blend it, they will come.
Smoothies are one of the greatest breakfast options known to mankind. After investing in a hemp protein powder, some frozen strawberries, and unsweetened almond milk, my morning hunger pains were resolved! By incorporating hemp protein powder, my breakfast packed a serious protein punch, which kept me full.
Once I released my hunger, my energy increased as well.
Since I jumped on the meat-less train, I have found myself to be happier, healthier, more energetic, and more motivated to be active. Word to the wise: if you feel sluggish after a meal – what was it that caused that feeling? Don’t ignore it!
Part chef, part nutrition-nut, part food industry addict.
I share a passion for all-things-Inspired-Home with Holly, Andrea, and all of you! I also live in the beautiful province of Ontario. Aside from camping, cottaging, sailing, and hibernating all winter, I also participate in half-marathons across the GTA. You can find me running around Oakville, ON in bright pink sneakers, year-round.
As a trained chef, who specializes in dietary restrictions, I eat, live, and breath food. With life-changing events that led to catering to my own problematic stomach, I focused on nutrition. Nothing is impossible. And, food is the answer. I am always learning, and can’t wait to share this with you!