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3 Painless Ways to Eat Less Meat

red lentils
Aarti’s Easy and Delicious Red Lentils
Besides the health benefits of eating less meat – according to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, eating less red meat reduces your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity – and the financial ones – meat is pretty pricey! – you also help reduce your carbon footprint: According to Oxfam America, meat production uses 8% of the world’s water supply!

What other reason do you need to go meatless, even just once a week?

I love the whole Meatless Monday trend, not just because I’m one of those freaks who loves her a big plate of vegetables, but also because I love the challenge of finding ways to satisfy my meat-loving husband. And I have! So here are some of my tricks to making a meatless meal a delicious one.

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How to Cheat on Your Diet and Not Feel Guilty

How to Cheat on Your DietAarti Sequeira and Samantha Cassetty after indulging in some pizza on Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping.

As the resident nutritionist on Drop 5 Lbs, people tend to think that I eat healthfully 100 percent of the time, or that I don’t have a sweet tooth, let alone ever give in to one. But my friends and family can vouch for me: I give into my sweet tooth regularly — every day, in fact. But I keep my weight in check with a few simple strategies. Here’s how:

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Aarti Sequeira’s Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

Aarti Sequeira's Healthy New Year's Resolutions

“Good” vs. “Bad”
This is possibly the biggest lesson I learned this season on Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping, and one that might be the toughest one to break because I, like so many people, do this without thinking. When recounting what you may have eaten the previous day, how many of you say, “well, then I was bad and had a cookie,” or, “I’ve been really good the past couple days!” Good and bad are weighty words, and in some cases can be insidious. For example, I definitely have some food addiction issues and when I label myself as bad for having eaten or not eaten something, a tape starts playing in my head that goes something like this: “You stupid fat kid.  Couldn’t control yourself for even a second, huh?”  That leads to a rapid shame spiral, which makes me feel helpless and worthless, which leads to multiple trips to the freezer where the ice cream lays. I eat my feelings, then feel bad about myself for doing so, inevitably leading to yet another slump over to the freezer. It’s a viscous cycle. Our morality is not determined by what we eat; that is a lie and a distraction!  Don’t waste your energy on that. Go do something “good” for someone else when you feel guilt over something you ate coming on, and stop using those words. I’m going to start saying things like, “I indulged” or “I have been very disciplined this week.” I’ve already started actually, and I’ve found that it’s caused me to a bit more mindful about the times I’ve jumped off course in the direction of the pastry shelf at the local coffee shop! 

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