A MEAT-FREE DAY OF THE WEEK
At RenSti, we try every week to make suggestions on how to make their everyday life a little greener. It can be through diet habits, focus on less shopping or alternative means of transport. Here is a suggestion on how to try a meat-free day of the week.
On the way to a more CO2-neutral life, there is one thing that is often mentioned: Meat.
And rightly so, for the meat industry, the climate damages considerably. Clearing areas for grazing, the large amounts of feed the animals eat, and the fats that contribute with methane to the atmosphere are just some of the problems.
For a normal Dane it can save about 200 kg of CO2 a year to take a vegetation day a week. This is equivalent to a normal petrol car driving more than 1000 kilometers!
At the same time, many people have realized that a diet with less meat has many advantages. It is cheaper and many do so for animal welfare. In addition, there is an overwhelming amount of studies suggesting that a diet with less meat can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, lower cholesterol and blood pressure among other things.
However, as a normal person who has been won for meat on the plate for each meal, it can seem very violent to drop the meat.
We do not call for that!
Being a vegetarian or a vegan must be one’s own choice and changing one’s diet from one day to the next can have a lot of problems. It must be done in a sensible way, and for most it will be too much to go from meat every day to never eating meat.
But adding a single vegetation a week will undoubtedly contribute to a more CO2-neutral life and increase health, and for most it will also be a clear task. When you have got a fixed vegetarian day up and running, you can always add one to and another to.
So, if you are curious about how it would be to live with a little less meat in your life, or perhaps consider becoming a vegetarian at some point, a meat-free day can be a great way to try it out.
What does a meat-free day look like?
If you are used to a plate that looks pretty much like this
It may seem empty to change such a case:
If you want to change the meat it is important to do this. Replace it. Don’t just remove it. In the beginning it can usually be easier to create dishes you already know. Here you can, for example. Replace meat with mushrooms, lentils, beans or other. In addition, many of the meals we usually eat are meat-free. It is, for example, potato soup (without bacon;), mushrooms risotto, spinach tart and chili’s carne. There is nothing wrong with just taking one of these dishes and making dinner on one’s meat-free day.
If you only change your diet one day a week, you usually do not have to think much about things like proteins and vitamins, fatty acids and minerals. However, some good guidelines are always to go for unprocessed raw materials, eat some nuts and beans or lentils and eat lots of green stuff, salad, spinach, etc. and then remember to season the food! The latter is particularly important. If you are used to the fact that salt is the only necessary spice, vegetarian food can suddenly seem a little boring. Then explore your spice shop and try to spice up the food. It will also make the rest of the week’s cooking even better.
Of course you have to think a little longer than just that the food does not contain meat. Soda and white bread with cold chocolate is technically meat-free, but cannot be recommended nutritionally.
Without further introduction, here is a suggestion on how a vegetarian day could look:
For many, breakfast is already a meal where you do not eat meat. So if it’s going to be easy, you can easily just eat your normal breakfast. But if you want some extra inspiration, or usually take a few slices of bacon for breakfast, a suggestion can be:
Start the day with a portion of oatmeal. To make it a little more exciting you can add grated apple and cinnamon. Remember salt.
If you have the time and the surplus in the morning, you can also make a smoothie, for example with spinach, apple, lemon juice, a little banana and apple juice or water to make it liquid.
If you have just eaten porridge for breakfast, you may find it a bit hungry for lunch. Here it can be nice to have a small handful of nuts or cores. You can buy many ready-mixed kinds of emergency demixes, or you can mix your own and save some money.
For lunch, an easy and simple lunch can consist of rye bread mats. The classic Danish lunch box has passed the test of the time, and with small changes it easily becomes meat-free. Both hummus and pesto are delicious kind of spreadable toppings. If you want something upstairs, it can be delicious with goat cheese or just something crunch in the form of eg cucumber. For the sweet tooth, a peanut butter diet is both delicious and packed with proteins and healthy fats. Just be aware of getting a brand that doesn’t add extra oil, sugar and other things. If you are more hungry, Danish order classics such as potato and egg yolks are obvious bids.
If you are not so much into food, lettuce can be a good and very healthy alternative. It can also replace some of the mats for an even more varied lunch. However, the important thing is that the salad must saturate. If one is used to eating lettuce for his meat, this type of salads can often leave one hungry if one simply removes the meat. It can therefore be a good idea to add something with a little extra substance.
A delicious and saturating salad is to cook a little quinoa, mix it with edamam beans, cherry tomatoes, feta, a little avocado and sesame or other grains and then a lot of baby spinach. For example, a dressing of olive oil and mustard can be poured if desired.
If you have a long day, it can be nice to have a little snack in the afternoon. Most snacks are meat-free, so here you can usually continue as normal. If you want something healthy, an easy solution is just to throw a banana or a carrot in the bag. Otherwise, fruit and vegetables are cut into slices always a hit. Here I like carrot sticks, cucumber steaks, bell peppers in slices or oranges vegetables such as radishes and peas. My experience is that they smoke down by themselves, if only I put it on the desk. A little bit like you can’t help eating chips when they are in a bowl on the table.
For dinner you can choose one of the normal meat-free evening meals such as potato soup or risotto with eg mushrooms. Another easy tender can be tortilla pancakes without meat. Open a can of black beans or kidney beans and rinse them clean. Throw them in cold water with a little salt and oil and put it all over in medium heat. Meanwhile, fry a chopped onion with some pepper and a bold chopped garlic. If you have jalapeños, you can add a little depending on how strong you want the dish. Normally chili powder also works fine. Season the dish with salt and pepper, paprika and cumin or use a Mexican spice mix. When the beans boil you drain them for water and mash them to mash. Mix it all together and fill it in tortilla pancakes, possibly with a little salad, brocoli, corn, cheese or sour cream.
It can be done so easily.
And remember: Little is also right. If it is too overwhelming to change a full day, start with a single meal. Building on a little bit is a good way to change your habits.
If you decide to jump out of being a full-time or even a vegan, examine the matter thoroughly first. It can easily be done to live healthy without meat, but it requires that you put together your diet so that it provides the necessary nutrition. If you are in doubt about your shortcomings, you should have yourself tested for nutrient deficits.
Firstly, such a drastic change in diet must be properly planned. There are many things to consider, such as B12 and vitamin D, proteins, calcium. Choosing to switch 100% from one day to another should not be done without thorough preparation and preferably in collaboration with someone with expertise in the field.
Second, for many, it is a sure way to defeat. It can be really difficult to replace your habits, and such a drastic change will probably be exhausting and frustrating.
Great respect for those who can make the shift from one day to another in a good way. But for most people it would be better to try a little more quietly and then possibly turn up vegetarianism if you like it.
A single vegetation per week, however, will almost certainly do something really good, both for health and for the environment.