Recapping, it seemed like there was potential that a vegetarian diet was healthy. Without knowing where to start, my plan was to keep it simple, stupid.
Simple substitutes work really well because we like easy decisions. If a dish called for rice, I used cauliflower. Spaghetti squash (roasted) became a friend. We also made a big salad each week that served as a side or meal itself. More friction equals less change. The mindset here was “more veggies” rather than “zero meat”.
Simple recipes. One issue with internet recipes is that they can be fancy for fancy sake. Even internet bloggers use the heuristic: more work, more value. However, new recipes, techniques, and ingredients aren’t easy. To switch to eating more veggies I broke this connection with three ingredients: olive oil, salt, pepper.
Defaults. A friend’s friend does no meal until dinner. That kinda makes sense. Nearly all my meals are at home. This means leftovers. This is good. I love leftovers. However if there weren’t leftovers I ate peanut butter and jelly. If it worked for Steve Jobs’ outfits it can work for lunch.
Meat substitutes. Meh. This stuff is kinda expensive and doesn’t really taste great. It might. But it doesn’t. At the moment I’d much rather have the real thing once a month than the substitute once a week. However we love beans and eggs which moved from the bench to the starting lineup in our dietary team. See also : Fix weaknesses first.
Carbs eh? Since starting in September 2020 I’ve eaten a lot more carbs, not pre-Whole-30/paleo phase carbs, but certainly more. It feels fine. My unscientific guess is that the loss of meat calories isn’t overwhelmed by the increase of carb calories.
- The change has been easier (and more delicious) than expected because it wasn’t “whole hog”. In this case, it’s been easier to moderate rather than abstain.
- Defaults work.
- Simplicity works.
- We get used to change quite quickly.