We understand that it is not easy to turn your lifestyle around quickly. After all, it took you quite a while to get where you are. So, it is unreasonable to expect that you’d change your diet quickly. Your ultimate goal should be, as Michael Pollan says, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Regardless of whether that is your goal or not, we are not advocating a “diet”. It is about being happy with the choices you make in life; including food. So, if you feel you have to have meat, have it. The only suggestion we’d like to make is to try and cut it back slowly. We only say this because there is definitive evidence that any meat, eggs, dairy or fish, is not good for the body. Yes, even fish is not good. All the above I say, conditionally. The condition being that meat, fish, dairy and eggs can be had only after you have fulfilled your intake of vegetables, fruits and nuts. In other words, taste the meats, fish dairy etc. almost as a condiment.
Here is my method – I do not claim to be a vegetarian, let alone a vegan! I eat meat, fish, eggs. However, I eat it only once in a while, when the food presented to me is the kind that would be hard to find elsewhere. For example, a few years ago, I was in a remote part of Costa Rica and the speciality there were mangrove-clams ceviche! How could I refuse the offer to taste some of it! I did; only one small plate of about 4-5 clams. This way, I satisfied my craving for some seafood and was not left yearning for it.
Now the question that begs to be asked is, what constitutes eating such “cheat” meals, “once in a while”. For that, we need to be honest with ourselves. The best way is to use a calendar; simply put a large “X” on the day you ate meat, fish, eggs or dairy so that it is very obvious to you later as to when you ate your “cheat meal”.
Let’s be even more practical – we eat about 120 meals (lunch and dinner) in two month (30 days x 2 months x 2 full meals a day). Your goal should be to have no more than 1% “cheat” meals. But you say, 1 meal every two months is too little! If that is the case, start at whatever number you feel comfortable with but the most important thing is to gradually decrease the frequency. Eating about 1% “cheat” meals will have minimal effect on your long-term health and yet, you will get to enjoy the foods you like.
Good luck with it!
Lower consumption of vegetables, milk, and higher consumption of red meat were associated with higher likelihood of having Metabolic syndrome.
Also, diets rich in fruit and vegetables appear to be protective against cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, while diets higher in meat and nuts may increase the risk of oxidative stress-related eye diseases. In addition, higher intakes of vitamin C and β-carotene from food, with reduction of dietary cholesterol intake, may be beneficial towards the outcome of oxidative stress-related eye diseases.