Less is enough
I think I really ate a lot of meat until about 30 years old. I come from a family with 4 children and almost every evening we had meat on the table and once a week fish. My father didn’t always eat his piece of meat and put it on my plate. My sister already ate less meat during that period and now she is vegan.
Less meat was therefore not easy for me, especially because I don’t like “sweet fillings”. That is why my lunch box was filled with meat or cheese. So I ate meat every day. In the morning, afternoon and with dinner. And at a party I rather ate a piece of cheese than the Limburg flan.
A healthier diet choice is not always easy. Still, when I started living with Sonja at the age of 27, I noticed that my sandwich fillings changed. A sandwich with cottage cheese and strawberries, apple and cinnamon and low-fat yogurt with nuts were my preference.
While on holiday I could still enjoy a mix grill or extra lamb chops, I really ate less meat at home. No, you could not call it vegetarian because that was really a “forbidden” word at the time. I alternated the meat with fish and occasionally with the “forbidden” word.
Nowadays it is advised to eat less meat and the terms vegetarian and vegan are well established. By eating less meat I feel fitter and I am rarely sick. I am not someone who says that eating a lot of meat makes you very sick, but it is true that more and more additives are being made into the meat to make a piece of meat.
Forget the word vegetarian.
More and more often I hear that young children are obliged to become a vegetarian. That word “obliged” makes it much more difficult for the children. Children mainly watch what their peers are doing and eating. When your child has to chew a celery stalk and others don’t, you make it more and more difficult.
When I eat meat I get a piece from the butcher, when I eat fish I get it from the wholesaler or the fishmonger. I stick to a maximum of 400 grams of meat per week and that includes the sandwich filling. Is it hard? Certainly in the beginning, but when you see how many tasty, healthier, surprising and especially nutritious alternatives there are, it is not too bad. Just give it a try for a week or two. If you eat less for 14 days and eat the right substitutes, you will notice that your body will be happier.
Double or nothing
It is not a gamble what you are going to take. No, it is a choice you can make. If you want to eat less meat and be more aware of your diet, do so at your own pace. Changing everything tomorrow is counterproductive.
• Do you now eat meat several times a day? Then limit it to 1 moment a day and take an alternative for the other times.
• Do you eat meat every day for dinner? Then go for a ‘day of vegetarian food’.
• Did you know that you eat vegetarian more often than you think? Pizza margarita, vegetable soup, a salad. Often these are already vegetarian, but you do not think about it.
• Do not refer to that day as “vegetarian day” but “a day without meat”.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect. It just takes time to get into the habit.
If you also want to replace the meat on your sandwich, consider the alternatives below.
• Spelled bread with hummus and avocado
• Spelled bread with cottage cheese and radish
• Spelled bread with fried mushrooms and fresh herbs
• Spelled bread with low-fat margarine butter, 30+ cheese and cucumber
• Spelled bread with 100% peanut butter and banana
• Spelled bread with a boiled egg and avocado with tomato.
Of course there are many other alternatives and you can also use my nutrition app for that. This app also offers a large number of vegetarian and vegan recipes. For your inspiration.
We have gradually become accustomed to being able to find replacements for everything in the supermarket. Pay close attention to which meat substitute you buy. Do not pay attention to the amount of carbohydrates, but to the amount of salt. As a person you are allowed to consume a maximum of 6 grams per day. More is certainly not good and less is better.
Cheese and eggs are great replacements, but you shouldn’t eat them every day either. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds are really good substitutes.
Are you stuck? Please contact ODS and together we will see how we can help you on your way.
• Noodles, whole grain, unprepared – 90 grams
• Tofu, unprepared – 130 grams
• Olive oil (for baking) – 2 tablespoons (13 grams)
• Green beans – 130 grams
• Soy sauce – 2 tablespoons (19 grams)
• Red bell pepper – 1 piece (85 grams)
• Carrot – 130 grams
• Chestnut mushrooms, unprepared – 160 grams
• Sesame seeds – 2 teaspoons (4 grams)
• Spring onion – 2 pieces (50 grams)
• Salt – 2 pinches (1 gram)
• Pepper – 2 pinches (1 gram)
• Drain the tofu and press out all the moisture. Place between kitchen paper with, for example, a thick book on it and let it drain well.
• Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the preparation method on the package. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water until the noodles are cold and drain.
• Brush the mushrooms clean and cut into slices. Cut the spring onion into rings.
• Wash the bell pepper and peel the carrot, cut both into strips.
• Shell the green beans and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
• Cut the tofu into cubes.
Heat the olive oil in a wok or frying pan and fry the tofu for 4 minutes.
• Add the mushrooms, bell pepper, carrot and green beans and stir fry for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
• Lower the heat and add the noodles. Add the soy sauce, mix everything together and continue heating for a while.
• Spoon the noodles onto a plate and garnish with the spring onion and sesame seeds.
Take a look at my Facebook, where I put daily tips, tricks and recipes that give you a helping hand.
André Mostard is a sports nutrition coach and has been active in the sports world for more than 30 years. André regularly writes a blog for ODS Vitaal with good practical tips to feel good! Sportvoedingscoach André Mostard