If you have seen Forks Over Knives then you know of the overwhelming amount of evidence that shows consuming 20% or less of your protein intake from animal products can stop and even reverse health issues, as well as promote weight loss.
They're not talking mild issues either, but rather heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and even some cancers.
Okay, I know, I know... Bacon.
That's what we thought, too. But it has been almost 2 years now since we decided to limit meat to once per week, and almost 1 1/4 years since we decided we really didn't want it at all anymore.
Perhaps being a cook and a gardener, making the change was a tad easier.
Still there are many books out there, including a few by the cast members of the documentary, that will help making that switch to be easier and very delicious.
Once you see how much better you look and feel, well- even Bacon just does not hold up.
So what foods can you grow to keep this a tasty and healthy lifestyle change?
Pert near anything, actually.
Most veggies have a good amount of protein in them.
The highest numbers are found in beans, peas and legumes; especially in dried beans.
Think you'll miss the bacon in your homegrown baked beans?
Probably not, but in the beginning try adding a smoked salt, Liquid Smoke, or Truffle oil to get that smoked flavor.
You won't want to ever go back.
Soy is a member of the legume family, and often processed soy is substituted for meat. If you buy it, look for Non-GMO labels.
You can grow your own soybeans and enjoy them roasted in the form of edamame.
Nut trees will also provide a delightful abundance of vegetable protein. Check to see what is hardy in your area.
Quinoa (pron Keen-wa) has the most complex proteins of any veggie, similar to meat.
It is a relative of spinach, which is also high in protein when it is cooked down. You can grow it and harvest the seed, if you live in a cooler climate and have the room.
If you have the space and love a new seed to try out, go for it!
Really, even though getting enough protein is what concerns most people new to limiting their intake of meat, it probably will never be an issue.
Think about it... if we couldn't get enough easily from plants, wouldn't all animals be meat eaters?
If you have thought of limiting your meat intake, or even becoming vegetarian or vegan, this is what we would suggest:
1. Never say never.
Start off easy, and give yourself one day each week to eat whatever meat you want. After a while, you may just lose interest. Even if you don't, you are still better off.
2. Be creative.
Eating is one of the few basic human needs we enjoy in public. Have fun with your dishes. Experiment. Share.
3. Grow what you can.
You know it will taste better if it is homegrown.
4. Don't be defensive.
We did find that some people react strongly when you tell them you are giving up or even limiting meat in your diet. Don't let them get to you.
The simplest answer when they ask "Why?" is
"For my health."
For some reason, that does not bother them and after all, it really is the truth.
You Can Grow That! is a collaborative effort by gardeners around the world to help others learn to grow.
Click on the link above for more.