Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Blaze Blogs : On Eating Less Meat

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As the the clock struck midnight on December 31st 2017, I committed to doing three things in 2018; to practice more self-care, to live more consciously and to have meat-free Monday's. 

These were not commitments that I plucked out of the blogosphere willy-nilly in order to be cool or relatable (I'm not that basic guys) but were things that I genuinely wanted to work on in order ti improve myself as a human being.

I'm not going to go into loads of details about why I wanted practice more self-care or live consciously today (but you can go and have a read of My Commitment to 2018 if you missed it) because as you may have guessed this post is all about eating less meat.

Quite early on in the year I realised that 'Meat-Free Mondays" was just a little too unrealistic for me because it's a bit too restrictive. Not the meat-free part, but the set day.


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I found myself failing very early on ... meals out with family or friends, working away and of course blog related events made it extremely hard to go meat-free religiously every Monday and initially it made me feel like a failure and a fraud after I'd made such a big commitment to reduce my meat intake.

However, instead of giving up on my goal I decided to rethink it instead and that's when I made the decision to not necessarily do meat-free days, but to lower my meat intake instead on a more 'ad-hoc' basis.


I rarely have any meat at breakfast these days and find that doing so avoids the mid-morning munchies and snacking pitfalls that I have previously fallen into. Instead of a bacon sandwich on a Friday morning in the office I opt for a protein rich 'box' with poached eggs, beans and mushrooms instead and if I'm honest I don't miss the sandwiches one bit.

Lunches too have changed. I no longer rely on my trusted combination of chicken, veg and rice and have been loving the vegan meals you can now buy in supermarkets or have picked up fish on the days where I'm a little more prepared. Don't get me wrong, I still love my little chicken lunches and they will always be my staple but I've learnt that not every meal requires meat.

But one thing that I initially through was a hinderance to my lower meat diet, has actually turned out to be the complete opposite (if I pick the right places anyway); eating out. I've often picked the meat-free meals anyway, I've always been fussy about meat and would often avoid it if eating our because I was worried about the quality of it.

When I started to eat less meat this year, I found it hard when dining out because seemingly a lot of places replace meat with dairy, something I have to avoid for health reasons. I started to think that if I wanted to do this I would need to pull back on the dining out and accept that if I wanted to live a little more consciously then socialising would need to take a backseat.

Wrong.


Wagamama's have restored my faith in the dining out scene. Until this year I have never even thought of visiting Wagamama's, I don't know why, it has just never been top of the list of places to visit when out with family or friends (even if I do love a good Chicken Katsu as much as the next carnivore). 

I recently tagged along with Laura (for clarity Laura had been invited down, I literally just tagged along because I love a good Waga's) to their newest venue in Leeds at the White Rose, a place I spent much of my childhood bargain hunting with my pocket money and decided that since their vegan menu looked so immense I would looked after my tum a little and order from there. 

It was one of the few dining out occasions where I have been able to enjoy a 100% vegan meal (main, side, dessert and a beer nonetheless) and not miss meat at all. 


The Kare Burosu Ramen was immense; the shichimi coated silken tofu was so tender it literally melted in my mouth, the mixed mushrooms gave the dish a texture that is normally missing in meat-free meals when I'm dining out and the udon noodles made sure that the dish was filling. 

Teamed with the Yasai Steamed Gyoza (because if you don't order Gyoza, have you even been to Wagamama's), Pink Guava and Passion Fruit Sorbet and their very own craft beer Kansho, my only problem was the chopsticks (I'm blaming them and not my technique) and the fact that my eyes were bigger than my belly.

You see the way that high-street eateries such as Wagamama's (who I personally feel are leading the way) are approaching the environment and sustainability is fast changing, more and more have vast vegan offerings, more and more are banning single use plastics and more and more are ethically sourcing their produce.

Wagamama's even go one step further and turn leftovers into power by carting waste away, putting it into an anaerobic digester and turning it into sustainable energy.


No more guilt for over ordering!

Eating less meat is a personal choice and not one that everyone understands, but with attitudes to food changing societally, it is nice to see that the restaurant industry taking note and making changes too. 


What are your thoughts on eating less meat? 
Have you ever tried to reduce your intake a little?
Let me know below and I'll catch up with you again soon, until then though x


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Some of these items may have been sent to me for review. Please see my disclaimer for more information.

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