The number one question I get when people learn I don’t eat meat: But where do you get your protein?
(Gasp!) There are a ton of ways to get protein that don’t involve dead animals!
Second question is something to do with fake meat.
My experience with faux meat
When I first started my journey, I turned to faux meat immediately. I had to learn the hard way what was good and what wasn’t.
I tried all the varieties of beef crumbles, chicken strips, sausage and burgers. Yes, the Beyond Burger (my review here) was great, but it has SO much fat in it.
The beef crumbles were OK, the sausage made me so bloated and I never found faux chicken I really liked.
After a lot of trial, error and reading food labels, I realized there’s a lot of stuff in the faux meat that I’m not sure I want in my body, like all that delicious fat from the beyond burgers 😭. So I began working with a nutritionist to learn other ways to eat that involved more natural and whole foods.
Portion control was huge (read: don’t eat five servings of peanut butter at a time), and so was learning how to add different foods together to get the right amount of protein for my body. A good example: Quinoa + black beans is a great combo for protein and carbs. Add more fresh avocado, peppers, onions and salsa and … noms.
Hemp seeds mixed in hummus, mung bean pasta, edamame in a broccoli slaw salad and flax pita bread (my fave is from Joseph’s) are all great foods to work with, too. (Reach out if you want to talk more in detail about what I eat.)
It took a little getting used to not having a “meat” as part of a meal and I think that’s the part that a lot of people get stuck on when they think about becoming vegetarian or vegan. Or they think all they’ll be able to eat is tofu 🙄 no friend, that’s not the case. I rarely eat tofu.
Actually, I rarely eat faux meats at all now. They were great for my transition but I’m satisfied with all the other foods I choose to eat. When I do get a craving, it’s usually for chicken and I my fave is Quorn chicken pieces in my air fryer. They are considered “meatless” not vegan because they use egg whites, but I swear, these little pieces taste (and texture) just like chicken. The macros are good and it gives me my fix when a craving hits.
My true feelings …
I understand why the market is full of faux meat products and it’s great because there are more products every day. However, I wish we could change the perception that a meal isn’t complete without meat or that food isn’t good without meat. With so many products, we’re enforcing those ideas instead of encouraging people to try different foods, especially because so many of those foods are sooooooo good!
Once you get off the meat and faux meat ride, you stop missing it and realize it’s a blessing to have all the others options, most of which are whole and natural foods.