Switching to veganism or vegetarianism is hard! Many people can’t manage it.
Yet, we all want to reduce our climate impact, and improve our health.
That desire is what’s driving the viral “Reducitarian” trend on social media, and here in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Reducitarian” eating is about reducing the amount of meat and processed foods you consume, rather than eliminating them entirely.
Here are five tasty examples of ways to embrace Reducitarianism.
1. Meatless Mondays
One of the most popular ways to ease into reducitarianism is to dedicate one day a week to eating vegetarian or vegan. “Meatless Mondays” is a global movement that encourages people to abstain from consuming meat every Monday.
This approach not only reduces your meat consumption by nearly 15% but also helps you explore and experiment with diverse vegetarian dishes. Start your week with a hearty lentil soup, a flavorful tofu stir-fry, or a comforting vegetable curry.
2. Blend & Extend
This method involves blending plant-based proteins with traditional meat dishes. For instance, next time you’re making spaghetti bolognese, taco filling, or burger patties, try using half the amount of meat and replace the other half with cooked lentils, mushrooms, or chickpeas.
This technique maintains a meaty texture while reducing your meat consumption and adding a boost of fiber and nutrients.
3. Explore Plant-Based Alternatives
There has been an explosion in the variety and quality of plant-based alternatives available in the market. Brands like Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and many local Bay Area startups offer meat-like products made from plants.
Incorporating these into your meals a couple of times a week can significantly reduce your meat intake without sacrificing the flavors you love.
4. Focus on Whole Foods
A big part of reducitarianism is also reducing processed foods. Opt for whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
For instance, a breakfast of oatmeal topped with fresh berries, nuts, and a splash of almond milk is both filling and devoid of processed ingredients. Similarly, a dinner of quinoa, roasted vegetables, and a tahini dressing can be both satisfying and nourishing.
5. Re-think Your Portions
Traditionally, meat has been the star of many meals, especially in Western diets. However, by shifting the focus from meat to vegetables, you can make a substantial difference.
Next time you’re serving dinner, fill three-quarters of your plate with vegetables, grains, and legumes, and only one-quarter with meat or fish. This approach not only reduces your meat consumption but also increases your intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Reducitarianism is not about perfection; it’s about intention. Every meal where you choose to reduce your meat and processed food intake counts towards a healthier you and a healthier planet. With a plethora of fresh produce available in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a community that’s increasingly supportive of sustainable food choices, there’s never been a better time to embrace the reducitarian lifestyle. Happy eating!