This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.
If you’ve been around here recently you might know that I’ve been working at cutting meat and dairy from my diet. You may also know that I’ve been struggling with this a little bit and have been having plenty of ‘cheat’ days.
Following up on yesterday’s post I wanted to share how I’m cutting out animal products, why I’m cutting out animal products, and a fun dairy free swap for my favorite dessert!
Staying away from animal products gets easier and easier everyday, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It is still an uphill battle and something I’m continuing to work at. In this journey I’ve learned some easy swaps to ease the process and I’ve come up with a few signature dishes that have been keeping me fed, full, and satisfied!
How to cut back on animal products:
So this is going to depend on the individual person. If you’re eating animal products with every meal every day of the week, I really wouldn’t recommend doing anything dramatic right away. Instead you can do what I did when I started and partake in ‘meatless mondays.’ Cutting back on meat just one day a week makes a huge positive impact on both your health and the environment, and once you can take that one step further (like me!) and cut back on all animal products one day a week.
Starting with just one day makes the otherwise daunting task seem far less overwhelming and is doable for everyone. Once meatless Mondays are second nature, you can add an extra day and work your way up. Personally, I have two days each week where I don’t eat any animal products at all, and the rest of the week I might have cheese on my casserole, or eat some ground turkey (but more often than not, I still avoid animal products all together!)
This system works so well because you’re not depriving yourself. If you’re anything like me, the less animal products you eat, the less you are going to crave them. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where eating more than a small portion of red meat makes me feel ill!
Why I cut pack on animal products.
I have three main reasons: my health, my wallet, and sustainability.
This whole journey was kicked off by health problems. Once I see my doctor I plan on going further into depth about this but basically the gist is that my reproductive system is not working the way it should and it’s causing me a lot of pain and not-so-fun side effects that I want to skip. Surgery was an option, but another option was changing my diet to prevent the inflammation that comes with eating animal products. And after making the change, not only have the problems associated with that eased up, but I’ve also noticed a lot more energy and an elevated mood!
Another reason that I’m loving cutting back on animal products is I’m saving a lot of money. Meat is expensive, as are eggs and milk. I spend no more than $40 a week on groceries (and normally that number is close to $30!) Compare that to friends of mine who are eating animal products and I’m only spending about 75% of what they are even though I’m eating more. (Which is another benefit – there are less calories in plant-based products so you get to eat a ton with no consequences!)
Sustainablity and the fact that I’m an animal lover is the number one reason that I will continue this diet even if all of my health issues are taken care of. I’m not here to spread negativity so I won’t go into it, but if you do some research on how your food is being treated before you eat it, your heart will break. I didn’t start reading about this until after I made my changes but if I would have anytime earlier, that in itself would have sparked the change. As far as sustainability goes, the infographic below shows how huge of a difference eating a vegan diet makes. So even if you’re only cutting out meat for Meatless Mondays you should be so proud because you’re making a huge difference!
My favorite plant-based treat!
So I saved best for last because I think you are all going to like this! I’ve seen ‘nice-cream’ recipes floating around pinterest for ages, and I was skeptical. The claims were that with just a frozen banana you could have a delicious treat that tastes just like ice cream.
I put it to the test and the claims were accurate! After testing a bit, though, I added my own flair to make the treat even more delicious! In addition to the frozen bananas I added a splash of Silk almond milk to help give the treat a bit of a softer consistency, and then dark chocolate throughout!
From there I just blended everything together and ate half on the spot. The other half froze up really nicely and after sitting out for about five minutes scooped really nicely as seen in the picture above. I am eager to try this recipe adding cinnamon rather than chocolate because as of not my very favorite breakfast is bananas, honey, and cinnamon!
Would you ever try a meatless Monday? What would you eat instead?
P.S. if you’re looking for great plant-based swaps the Silk brand has a ton of products that are great for cooking, baking, and just enjoying plain! If you’re interested you can find out if there is a store near you right here!