Disclaimer: I am not a chef. I am not a vegetarian. I should not be anything close to your #1 source of vegetarian eating.
I am, however, a personal trainer/studio owner/nutrition coach who is pretty damn good at hunting down and gathering up recipes so that I can tweak and change them in order to keep myself lean, strong, and energetic and help others do the same.
One of the most common obstacles I run into when coaching folks through their nutrition is “getting tired of eating meat.”
In fact, in each Diet Rebellion I’ve coached there is usually 1-5 people who within the first 10 days cries “uncle!” I need a break. I am over meat. My jaw is tired from gnawing on flesh. I would rather skip a meal than eat another piece of chicken or burger.
If this is you, I wanted to show you a few very effective, easy, and quick WORK-AROUNDS that we experiment with and use. Remember, nothing is sustainable unless you ENJOY your meals!!! It is a non-negotiable part of real lifestyle change!!!!
We pick a high protein plant based protein like quinoa to REDUCE the amount of meat on their plates.
Okay, so I’m going to be honest… quinoa is NOT equivalent to a hunk of animal meat.
Quinoa is loaded with carbohydrates. Meat has zero.
And while I’m a fan of carbohydrates no one should walk into a quinoa dish believing it’s the same as having a chicken breast.
What makes quinoa an interesting choice for my “I’m so tired of meat” eaters is that quinoa, unlike rice or other grains, is a complete protein. That’s just fancy nutritional talk for it has all the amino acids a hunk of meat does.
What this means to my “less meat please” crew is that you can REDUCE the amount of meat on that chicken salad and sprinkle in some quinoa instead. This adds texture, variety, and less flesh which will make your palette happier!
Think something like this as a side dish to like 2 oz of chicken breast:
We use dairy more often.
First and foremost… Don’t be a dairy hater for the sake of hopping on some extreme paleo bandwagon. If the argument is that our ancestors didn’t consume dairy therefore we should not, then dump all your pre-workout chemicals/supplements and whey protein powders out the window and Practice what you post!
I fully understand that lactose intolerance is a real thing as my husband and both my kids have it, however…
- an intolerance is not the same as an allergy. Certain products in certain quantities will aggravate, while others are not a problem
- yogurts, especially the Greek variety, have very very little lactose in them and can improve gut health tremendously. (And gut health is major!)
- Kefir is also an awesome choice for you to explore and can even help people BUILD UP a tolerance to lactose.
a. For anyone STRUGGLING to get their protein in, I highly recommend you make sure all your favorite parfait, smoothie, smoothie bowl recipes are made with plain Fage or plain Kefir.
Their protein and probiotic profiles are ah-may-zang.
b. spike your oatmeal w/ Fage or Kefir for added creaminess and sneaky protein
c. add Fage to your favorite creamy dressing and coat every single veggie in your salad with goodness.
I’m currently on a Kefir kick and am enjoying 1-2 of these daily!!!
- 8 oz plain Lifeway Kefir
- 1/2 pear
- dash cinnamon and vanilla
- dash chia seeds (another great plant based protein source!)
- 1/2 oz walnuts
- either honey or stevia to sweeten
We use eggs and egg whites like it’s going out of style.
Plain and simple eggs are a much easier protein source for our bodies to digest instead of hunks of meat.
Breakfast is delicious anytime of day and it also adds a simple twist to a one bowl meal.
Not sure what a #onebowlmeal is? Well, no one better than Emily Miner to explain that one as this is her obsession but they look like this:
Adding eggs/egg whites to a meal like this allows you to reduce your choice of meat and still get a high protein, high fiber, fast, easy, nutritious meal!
This little breakfast or dessert hack is also slammed with protein, thanks to egg whites and is super versatile so you can change up the flavors easily:
Learn your plant protein combos
If you honestly don’t love meat, no big deal!!! Remember when I talked about “complete proteins” earlier… well certain plant based foods put together make for a complete protein.
Once again, these combos come w/ carbs so they are not equivalent to meat… but guess what… they also come STACKED w/ some majorly nutritious stuff that’s missing in meat so you are doing your body some major good.
You can get all fancy with your combos but it’s so much more useful to just have a few options you can buy anywhere!!
- rice and beans (think chili and jambalaya)
- hummus and pita
- peanut butter sandwich (any high quality whole grain bread will do, but Ezekiel bread will make this a helluva protein packed snack)
- spinach and almonds (think salad or smoothie here)
Your take away:
As stated earlier, I am not a vegetarian nor an expert on vegetarian foods. My goal in this post is not to present or convince anyone of anything except that if you hate a super high protein diet, there are ways around it and I want to empower you to explore those routes!!! Do not hate your meals! Food is more than fuel and it is appropriate and healthy to ENJOY mealtime for more than leaning out, losing weight, or killing a workout.
If your road block is boredom from meat, use a Meatless Monday strategy and/or reduce those hunks of meat by getting creative with plant based proteins, dairy, or eggs.
I promise your body will appreciate those plant nutrients and your consistency will sky rocket. With that combo… results are almost guaranteed!!