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Taking Meat out of Your Diet

Updated on December 10, 2017

The 12 Month Program

You can not simply decide to stop eating meat after a lifetime and expect to be successful. You must slowly remove it and replace it with something else which is healthy, tasty and preferred.

If you want to succeed.

As you have lived most of your life in meat world, where you are so accustomed to that hamburger or steak or chicken, you have to create replacements which are better.

Further, you have to give yourself one year to go from a carnivore's diet to that of a vegetarian's. In this way, moving slowly, you and your body will easily adapt.

Creating the Template

Before you begin, create a concise list of everything you eat in a two week period.

This will give you a template from which to work while gathering all the vegetarian recipes you can.

You need to know exactly what you eat, when and why and what alternatives are possible.

Many people are unaware of how much they actually eat, and until creating this list might be unaware of their consumption.

Once you've gotten an understanding of your actual diet and are ready to begin, start with a washout.

You want to clean your system at each step as a transition. You should spend one day in the little room, and drink nothing but unsweetened fruit juice and water.

Consulting your template, (your diet for the past two weeks) note how many meat meals you eat a day.

If you eat three, cut it two, if two, one, if one meat meal a day, go one meat meal every other day.

The First Month

You begin your diet with a washout.  This is important.  It is detoxing your system. 

During this first month, try one of your vegetarian recipes each day or every other day. 

You are only removing one meat meal a day, you are still eating meat, so the vegetarian meal is not a deprivation or forced feeding.

Once you realise that what you've prepared doesn't have to taste like anything but what it is, and you start adopting recipes to your taste, you are halfway there.

Most people think; "Oh, if I take out meat I'll starve!"  For their ideas of a vegetarian diet is a salad or a plate of lima beans. 

By creating new dishes without meat, and being creative, you will realise you won't starve, nor suffer vitamin deprivation, as long as you are replacing the protein with some substitute.

By the end of the first month you will have a number of vegetarian meals you really like, so will move into the second month with some 'familiar' food, as well as continuing to try new ideas.

The Next Months

Your second month begins with another washout, and this time you try to have meat no more than once a day. This month is usually fairly easy but you might make a few mistakes; don't beat yourself up, you are only in the second month of a twelve month program.

In your third month, you begin with another washout, and try to have meatless days. Don't act as if you are in prison and can't eat this or that but must be punished with the other.

Most people quit when they find themselves at a function and have to 'deny' themselves a meat meal. Do not deny yourself.

If you really want that burger, have it. It is better you have it and it doesn't taste as good as you dreamed, then to go home and imagine how wonderful it tasted.

Begin your fourth month with another washout and try to limit meat to no more than four times a week. If you want to eat less, eat less, but try not to eat more.

The Fifth Month and Straight On

As you enter your fifth month you will have found a lot of vegetarian dishes you prefer to meat ones. You may think this is ridiculous but it isn't.

You will find you use less salt. This is a plus. Removing salt from your diet, since you are not eating meat is usually standard. Learn the use of other spices, pepper, ginger, allspice, basil. The less salt the better. The less sugar the better.

You begin your fifth month with another washout. You are going to try to cut meat to no more than twice a week. Do not count dairy or eggs as meat at this time. Meat is anything that has a face. However, do not count fish as meat at this time, hence a tuna sandwich or salmon croquette is not to be treated as meat.

At the end of the fifth month, you should feel you're ready to get rid of all meat. For those who have always eaten little meat, this would not be a problem. For those who ate meat three times a day, it is, hence you are going to one meat meal a week.

This is the time people tend to cheat. If you feel meat deprived, allow yourself meat twice a week instead of once. Remember, you are halfway there, you've still got six months to go.

By doing it slowly, by allowing yourself to cheat, by giving yourself a year, you are insuring success. By washing out each month you are cleansing your system.

Take your time. One hot dog does not destroy the diet.

The Home Stretch

After you've completed your sixth month you should be eating a substantially vegetarian diet. There might be the odd bit of meat here and there, but it is an aberration.

Remove eggs at this point. In cooking, substitute olive oil for eggs. As to dairy, you decide how much or how little and when you wish (or don't wish) to remove them from your diet.

It is easy to go to non-dairy coffee creamers, easy to go to soy milk instead of cow milk.  Easy to go to soy 'scream' instead of ice cream without even thinking about it, and many people do so from their first month.

You will find that by removing meat you go 'out' easier and more often.  You find your skin is far less greasy and oily, and your sweat doesn't smell.  I know this sounds very strange to the carnivore's ear, but much of your sweat smells bad because of the meat in your body.

At this point fish is meat.  You may remove it from your diet.  Some people have fish once or twice a month although they eat no other form of animal product.  You decide how far you want to go.

You may want to be a strict vegan, a vegetarian, or a lacto-vegetarian.  It is up to you. 

Pick a plan you can live with.


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    • qeyler profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Its really nice. I usually eat it off before I figure out what I'm going to eat with it. I've planned many meals around it, then just ate it like a snack. I must have gotten two pices into a chow mein once.

      The trick with tofu..(also with eggplant) is the marinade. With stickies you don't have to; with other stuff...I usually soak it in Italian dressing...this is olive oil, vinegar, a number of spices...a lot of garlic..

    • rlaha profile image


      6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Thanks for the tofu bacon! :)

    • qeyler profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Don you brought up a very good point...let me take it one step don't know what is in junk food. In some places, a 'beef' patty has had dog, cat and rat...

    • qeyler profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

    • qeyler profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      I do a sticky tofu that carnivores believe is bacon...I put the recipe on this use barbecue sauce, you do it in the has that barbeque taste...and it is easy...

    • rlaha profile image


      6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      When I was a child, I gave up eating meat (only was a lacto-ovo vegetarian) when my grandmother passed away. I gave it up cold turkey. In India, it was easy to eat more vegetarian foods. When I came back to the US, it was difficult at that time to find vegetarian soups and foods. So I ended up eating meat again. I have since stopped eating beef. Now, I am trying to cut out chicken and pork from my diet but it is hard, because I love barbeque. I try to eat more vegetables and fruit at home, but when my husband and I go out, I do like barbeque or hot dogs, which isn't the best for you anyways. I will have to take your advice and start cutting things out slowly. Thanks for the advice!

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      First let me say that I will probably never be a Vegan. I have too many other physical problems to manage and at my age, I have to be honest with myself and say this.

      N=BUT, and this is a big But, I try to eat a minimal amount of meat.

      By that I mean that, I love Salads, fresh vegetables, fruits, and almost any dish that includes these.

      But (again) I do, occasionally eat meats, mostly Chicken, Turkey and Fish with the occasional taste of Beef.

      My pet peeve (and concern) are the chemicals that are force fed to so many farm animals today, that in my opinion are unsafe, at any level, approved by the FDA or not.

      Because of this, I purchase NATURAL meats, when I do eat them.

      Anyway, a nice Hub, and I encourage others to think more about what they put into their bodies, and this is one very good alternative ........ for some people.

    • qeyler profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      thanks. What I have found; those who have successfully become vegetarian for their lives; start slow. They are not 'proving' anything to anyone. You go as far as you want. The fact you stop eating things with a face is good enough. Nothing dies for you to live.

    • purpleangel47 profile image


      8 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      You have a lot of good information qeyler ... and you're probably right - a slow transition may be better for your body. Didn't work for me though. 20 years ago when I decided no more meat, I cut it pretty much cold turkey (pardon the pun) Well, actually I cut out all red meat first and then all chicken, fish, turkey, and the rest of the seafoods. What was hardest for me was the meat by-products: mayonnaise, egg dishes, cooking with shortening, etc. I've kept some things in my diet for protein: yogurt, eggs once a month, cheese (well cause I LOVE cheese) Great advice! Thanx for the hub!

    • qeyler profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      I make vegeburgers from scratch and you might think they are meat, but I also make tofu stickees which carnivores think is bacon. I mention these two items which should get the 'meat' craving under control. With Dairy there are soy substitues, veggie cheese for example, soymilk, etc.

    • martycraigs profile image


      8 years ago

      I haven't been able to strip meat out of my diet entirely, but I've made a lot of good progress. I'm eating less meat when I have it, and also eating it less frequently. I think most people have a harder time phasing dairy out of their diet.


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