A couple of weeks ago, my cousin Yaron called me and began to yap on about his “banting” diet. “Nat,” he said of the latest Atkins diet derivative, “the results are incredible.”
For a second I had some doubts. I thought who is this infomercial and what has he done with my cousin Yaron? Now, for those of you who don’t know him: My bubbly cousin, whose character closely resembles that of Joey from Friends, can be quite convincing when he wants to be… but I continued to eat my cookie dough while listening half-heartedly, and then carried on living my life. The banting diet, which cuts our carbs and refined sugar, is a diet I’ve tried over and over again but have never sustained, but still — he did get me thinking.
I went to a wedding that week, and all bets were off in terms of diet. I’m talking all the wine in the world, hors d’oeuvres upon hors d’oeuvres that I couldn’t pronounce, and basically a weekend of food debauchery.
So lo and behold, I held out, and as I did I noticed more healthy things happen to my body.
I wanted to keep going with it — so much so that I am still staying true to my meat-free diet today. I only had a small bit of smoked salmon over the weekend, and I savored it because you really do appreciate that protein when it’s not taken for granted.
So my fellow protein hulks, take it from an avid cook with a taste for steak: This whole no-meat thing is actually possible, and quite frankly—pleasurable. I’m not saying I’ll go meatless forever, but it has certainly changed my dietary cravings and shifted me out of the “carbs are the enemy” mindset.
Cousin Yaron is still doing well on his banting diet (bless his cotton socks) but recently informed me that he too is inspired to join the plant-based revolution and is about to cut out meat completely. Hey, if you can change this guy's mind, you can change the world. We've rounded up some tasty plant-based options for you so you don't miss the meat!
Natalie Lobel is a Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal who enjoys navigating the food space with a compass and a wooden spoon. You can follow her food andventures and diet experiments on her Instagram @natlobel.