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Here are some ways to adopt a new meatless diet into your lifestyle this 2022

Looking to adopt a New Year’s resolution for 2022? Why not consider going meatless for the month of January?
Veganuary is a vegan movement encouraging people to adopt a plant-based diet for the first month of the year; this would mean giving up meat, eggs, and dairy products for a month, and replacing them with a host of plant-based alternatives. First started in the UK, this movement has currently reached over 192 other countries, including Singapore.

A plant-based diet mainly centres on whole plant foods, including vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts and seeds. An appropriately planned plant-based diet is also associated with sustainable weight management, lower risk of heart disease and the treatment of high cholesterol.

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A change in diet and lifestyle can't happen overnight. There are a few steps you can take to transition to a plant-based diet in a healthy way.
According to Dr Linda Shiue, MD and author of Spicebox Kitchen, you should “choose mostly plants, minimise meat and highly processed foods, and eat as wide and as colourful a variety of vegetables and fruits as possible, prepared in a way that you enjoy.”
Whether you are looking to take on Veganuary this January or hoping to reduce meat intake in your diet, here are some ways to incorporate more plant-based foods into your meals.

Do consult a dietician before transitioning to a plant-based diet.

1. Cut down on meat and processed food

Instead of going cold turkey, start by making small changes each day. Reduce the proportion of animal-based foods on your plate each meal. This will provide your body with ample time to accommodate the new lifestyle. This can mean adding a portion of salad to your daily meals or reducing the intake of meat and dairy products you do not like.

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2. Use plant-based alternatives

Gradually work on swapping animal-based ingredients with plant-based alternatives. There are a variety of plant-based alternatives to choose from, including Impossible Foods, Tindle, and Quorn. For example, replace a beef patty with an Impossible patty or a portobello mushroom.

Some plant-based alternatives include:

  • Substituting tofu for eggs
  • Plant-based milks such as almond milk and coconut milk
  • Using margarine instead of butter

3. Have healthy foods in your pantry

A plant-based diet does not mean eating broccoli for every meal, nor does it mean having chips and carbonated sodas. Familiarise yourself with nutrition and stock up on healthy and nutritious foods around the house. Visit specialty grocery stores such as Little Farms and Ryan’s Grocery and explore its vegetarian and plant-based aisles. There are also a variety of healthy plant-based snack options for you to choose from.

With an increased demand for meat-free options, even in Singapore, there are various establishments offering plant-based meals that goes beyond a bowl of green salad.

If you are not one to cook, here are some vegan-friendly restaurants to incorporate into your lifestyle instead.

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1. Veganburg

This plant-based burger house features an assortment of meat-free burgers in creative flavours, including its char-grilled satay burger, consisting of a grilled soy patty topped with rich satay sauce infused with spices and herbs; and its chili krab burger. The latter consists of a tender and crispy plant-protein ‘crab’ meat patty topped with authentic homemade chili crab sauce between fluffy wholemeal buns. Order here.

2. Alma by Juan Amador

Visit one-Michelin-starred restaurant Alma and look forward to a vegetarian degustation menu curated by chef Haikal Johari. Choose between a six or eight-course menu and delight in decadent dishes using plant-based ingredients such as beetroot, juicy Amela tomatoes, and sweet Cévennes onion. Book here.

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3. Afterglow by Anglow

A crowd favourite, this café serves up an extensive plant-based menu featuring fresh and wholesome ingredients. highlights of its menu include its comforting tom yum zoodles, consisting of spiralised zucchini noodles, mushrooms, and in-house spiced tomato tom yum paste; cauliflower “steak”, featuring wonderfully baked cauliflower served with puréed sweet potato mash; and teriyaki “meatballs” made with mushroom and rolled oats. Book here.

4. Jaan by Kirk Westaway

Jaan’s vegetarian Reinventing British menu features a six-course menu focusing on wholesome ingredients. Highlights of the menu include its hen's egg with barbeque celeriac; braised hispi cabbage with aromatic brown butter black truffle; and baby cauliflower with hazelnut crumble. Book here.

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5. Joie by Dozo Restaurant

Enjoy wholesome meat-free dishes while admiring the view from the top of Orchard Central at Joie. Located on a rooftop garden, this restaurant presents a modern meatless concept, influenced by the increased demand for meat-free options in Europe and Taiwan. Here, get to indulge in a seven-course dinner consisting of contemporary dishes featuring Japanese-European flavours. Highlights of its menu include vegetable sashimi, aromatic truffle risotto, and juicy grill summer mushroom steak. Book here.

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