Forget life-changing diets. Living a healthier and happier life can be achieved through baby steps: a little switch-a-roo here and a swap-a-roonie there. For example, with drinks it might be ditching a softie with your sushi and switching to a Remedy, or swapping some wine-time for a booch-break.
Same goes for food. One of the simplest changes you can make is one we've all heard before: eat more veggies. Easy said, but not always easily done, we get it. So we thought we'd share this handy guide from our Remedy Nutritionist, Jacqueline Alwill for upping your plant-based intake by swapping out meat for veggies. This post was originally published on Jacq's blog on her website The Brown Paper Bag. Pop over there for stacks of delicious recipes and advice on all things real healthy food and nutrition.
Over to you, Jacq!
Whether you’re a vegetarian or an avid meat eater, to be honest we can all do more eating of plants. However, it can be tricky if you’re not quite sure where to start right?
Here are a few ideas for making your old favourites (burgers, lasagne, stews, eggs and bacon) without sacrificing flavour and certainly no jibbing on the nutrition either – plants are abundant!
Because veggie burgers are insane and one of the yummiest way to get your fix without meat. Try:
- Whole grilled field mushrooms
- Chickpeas and sweet potato with herbs
- Sliced haloumi – grilled, golden and stretchy mmmm
- Lentils with herbs, brown rice and egg
- Mixed grains – barley, brown rice, oat, peanut butter and herbs
Family favourite right? Try:
- Lentils for the mince in a 1:1 swap (cooked lentils to raw mince).
- Grated veggies such as carrot, beetroot, parsnip and pumpkin, sauteed with herbs where mince was.
- Sauteed mushroom and eggplant.
Made for upping the veggie intake! Try using:
- Kidney bean – lentil, kidney and black bean all work a treat in vegetarian chilli with guacamole.
- Black bean.
- Butter bean.
Spice up the ante… Try:
- Combos of root vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato or carrot with nuts including almonds and cashews to create a sustaining curry with a good combo of fats.
- Tempeh or organic tofu – you can now find soy free tempeh in lots of health food stores – I’ve come across Byron Bay Tempeh (tried the chickpea one) and their range is fab.
- Bean combinations again – lentils, chickpeas, butter beans as above – but don’t forget the beautiful dhals you can make using moong dhal, yellow or red split peas too! There are a few dhal recipes on the Brown Paper Bag blog here.
BREAKFAST AND LUNCH ‘EXTRAS’
If that’s the right way to put it but let’s take a look at those. Try:
- Bacon – order a side of sauteed spinach, avocado, spiced beans, grilled tomato, mushrooms and other such delicious plants, but try to just keep to your 1-2 slices of bread, we don’t need to put so much bread into our diet if we are moving to vegetarianism cheese – for sandwiches, wraps, etc – if you are moving toward a more vegan dietary approach – up the ante with sprouts such as alfalfa, mung and chickpea, and a good smear of avocado. #avomakeseverythingbetter
- Creamy dressings – go for simple vinegar and oil based, or those made with coconut or natural yoghurt (if not vegan), avocado, nut butters and tahini make for delicious dressings too.
And a final word, if your intention is to move more toward vegetarianism but you still find yourself craving a steak, or lamb cutlets, don’t punish yourself and feel guilt, perhaps a flexible approach (flexitarian) is for you? Better to feel relaxed and content eating than anxious.
Images by Jacqueline Alwill for The Brown Paper Bag.