Rah for Reduceatarians

Apparently, according to an article by Kevyn Burger of BringMeTheNews.com, my latest label is “reduceatarian, a newly coined name for eaters who aim to consistently bring home less bacon.” (Love that pun.)

I like this new term. It combats the reductionistic simplification of labeling our eating habits. I speak to many people at my catering and demo events, who ‘confess’ they aren’t vegans although they try.

I don’t think the Yoda approach — “there is no try, there is only do” — is all that helpful when changing something as big and complicated as our eating habits. Despite specializing in vegan and gluten-free cooking, I am not the high priestess of veganism and, even if I were, I absolve you of all sins.

Thus my mantra is to cook and eat more healthfully, one dish at a time. (Forgive me, I had to stick that in.)  Hey Yoda, Trying IS doing.

Burger cites “other efforts aimed at consciously cutting back on consumption — meatless Mondays, or Mark Bittman’s “vegan before 6 p.m.” movement, which advocates eating meat at dinnertime only.”  Whatever ‘rule’ you adopt, these habits become easier and easier over time.

I’ll add RESPECT here, as in respecting what your body tells you. Our bodies are all different. Thus, the limitations of these labels. There are those of you who feel amazingly better cutting out XYZ altogether. And there are those whose bodies can tolerate or even appreciate having a little meat— or dairy, sugar, wheat, caffeine or alcohol.

For instance, I try to eat vegan about 75% of the time. However, on certain occasions such as when I’m slogging through an 16-hour day, I find animal protein early in the day is helpful. I’ve also recently discovered that, who knew?, sugar is my friend when I’m really dragging. OK, maybe everyone else knows that but, since I don’t add sugar to food and I don’t like very sugary things, it was news to me. So now I keep dried dates, juice and hot chocolate mix on hand.



Speaking of bringing home the bacon, vegetarian meals are on average less expensive than meat-based meals. Some of my cooking class students are surprised by how hearty and how cheap a vegan dinner can be. Most people can respect that!

Furthermore, Burger’s article quotes local chef & cookbook author Raghavan Iyer:  “When meat is not the focal point, the meal is about everything on the plate, its textures and aromas,” he said. “You get a better representation of balance.” 

Balance on your plate, balance in your body. May it be so.


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