You guys had the BEST responses and questions after I shared an article like this about the dairy-free life, and your next question was about meat.
I love that some of you still eat meat, some of you are eating less, some of you are not at all. Do you.
Going away from dairy probably gave me the most dramatic results on my health & weight loss journey, and meat was a close second.
People are leaving the meat world for a number of reasons: long-term health, excess weight gain, ethically not wanting to harm animals, possible carcinogens, it’s creepy when you think about it, connections to pollution and animal agriculture, etc. Some of these are my opinions and some are connections I learned in here.
But there are TWO ways to eat less meat at first:
#1. Go to the store and buy all the fake burgers, tacos, nuggets, and make them all the time because you’ll miss them so much. I did this in the beginning and actually gained weight. More on that below.
#2. Plan your meals around MORE fruits and veggies, use recipes that look good, focus on what you can eat MORE of and you’ll automatically think about meat less. This is the MOST effective way to do it health wise, and the full breakdown on how to do this easily is allllll in here.
But this article is about what you can do with option 1. The Meat Alternatives.
I love option #2 but sometimes a girl wants a burger and she doesn’t want it to taste like veggie burger garbage. Not too much to ask, right?
So here are my BEST recommendations to help you ease into the meatless or meat-less life, manage cravings if you miss something, or if you’re open to trying something new.
Disclaimer though: this is one of the times where vegan does NOT always = healthy. I learned this the hard way when I overdid it on fake meats just starting out. Once in a while is great. Many of these are processed / not super healthy but I love them when I’m in the mood to indulge.
I HATE VEGGIE BURGERS… at least, the ones that taste like sh*t. You’ve all seen a weird vegetarian eat a brown blob of something scary and think to yourself, I could never do that. Well, neither can I.
Thankfully, technology & demand for good-tasting plant burger options saved the day and I can 10000%, genuinely recommend three brands of plant-based burgers that I can eat all day, errryday.
Beyond Meat has a delicious one that’s easy to cook with and I’m obsessed with the ingredients inside, even if it’s processed. The Impossible Burger is a close second for me. It’s also available at so many restaurants now, making it easy for me to feel like I’m treating myself even in non-vegan places. Last one I love is Gardein’s beefless burger.
Shameless plug: I don’t care what you put into a taco, MINE ARE THE BEST. Just look at them:
My Chipotle Potato Lettuce Tacos are soooo pretty. And so delicious, so healthy, so easy. Frying potatoes with the right spices is actually a great healthier swap for real taco meat.
Back to the program.
Another taco meat alternative I can get behind is the beefy crumble from Beyond Meat. You can season it however you want and put it into chili, tacos, nachos, whatever. It’s the same exact texture as the “real” thing.
I feel like all I wanted to eat growing up were chicken nuggets, and obviously we crave them sometimes! I’ve actually found a few different kinds I like:
Chicken patties are a thing too, and I’ll enjoy this one on a random craving.
This one’s kind of a joke because hot dogs are the scariest thing in the world to me. If you’re going to miss them, I don’t know what to tell you, sorry!! LOL
We like fillers when we make sandwiches – texture to bite into. So what I personally use are things like tempeh, tofu, I’ll cook them and flavor them however I want and call it a day. Brand-wise, Light Life makes some options and so does Tofurky. Honestly though, I don’t eat these much.
JACKFRUIT. Okay here’s a story for ya. One day I bought a cookbook to help me make more vegan food and fell in LOVE with the pictures and the recipes for alll the things I thought I’d miss. It had it all. Turns out, the author was a chef from California who owns an all-vegan restaurant – one that attracts people who AREN’T vegan, the food is that good. I literally must have loved & looked at this cookbook daily for months.
So a year later when I spontaneously flew to California to go on vacation with someone I’d never met (story here), I HAD TO GO TO THE RESTAURANT. I did, I died, I went to heaven, and it was because of jackfruit.
I ordered a jackfruit risotto and it was cooked and seasoned so well, the jackfruit tasted like the most tender meat I ever had. I officially never missed pulled pork, steak, or any other red meat again. You can cook jackfruit at home in place of these and season however you want.
Here’s another random one that people ask me about sometimes. Unless you’re a passionate home chef, I would just get store bought meatballs. I’ve only tried these from Trader Joe’s and love them.
Also worth mentioning: the meatball sub from byChloe. OBSESSED.
SO ladies, LMK.
You gave me the best responses from my little dairy-free guide, I need to know how this helps you as well.
Anything missing? Anything you still have questions on & want to see next? You know where to find me.
XO – Lupe
Certified Holistic Health Coach
P.S. – There’s a full MONTH’S worth of info, guides, challenges, and step-by-step on how to eat more plant based available to VIP’s. Why not make it easy on yourself & get started?
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