Meatless Mondays


Meatless Mondays has become something of a growing trend since 2003, thanks to celebrities such as Paul McCartney , who have been spearheading the movement for years. While Catholics have been urged to abstain from meat on Fridays for years, environmentalists and health enthusiasts have been joining the cause to help better our health and the health of the planet. By simply skipping one day of meat a week you will reduce fossil fuel consumption, water usage, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the risk of mortality, just to mention some of the benefits. (Check out more facts on how it will impact the planet here)

Oprah recently joined the campaign last month with her episode entitled, “Oprah and 378 Staffers Go Vegan: The One Week Challenge” and now has Meatless Mondays in her studio. (Click here for details). During the show there was a segment on how meat is made in most places in the country which will convince anyone to take a break from it when they can.

At the beginning of the new year, my husband and I began doing Meatless Mondays. It was something we had talked about in the past and we finally jumped on board. It is not difficult to do. Pick one day a week and make it a meatless day. We do Mondays because it is easy to remember, easy to stay consistent, and I have the time Sunday to plan the meal to be meatless. However, sometimes things come up, like a meal out with friends, so we turn it into what my husband calls “Turkeyless Tuesdays” on those weeks. Just pick a day and commit!

There are so many great ways to get protein without meat. My favorite way is to make something with beans. Often I am able to buy fresh vegan soups, Indian, Greek, or Korean pre-made dinners at our local Farmer’s market which makes it incredibly easy to eat meatless without any extra work. However, if I do cook, often I will just substitute beans or tofu for the recipe: Bean, rice, veggie fajitas are easy, as are tofu veggie stir-fry, bean-based chili or stews and beautiful veggie filled salads.  Get creative and change it up each week!

For busy people who work and get lunch out every day (like my husband) Mexican is a great option for vegetarian tacos or burritos! Find the nearest Whole Foods as they have all kinds of vegetarian meals to go, including sushi, pastas, wraps and salads. The important thing is that you make sure to load up on some sort of protein whether soy based or bean-based. If you choose soy, try to get soy in the most unprocessed form (the white steaks of organic soy straight from a package and not a soy based frozen dinner or something-those tend to be highly processed and not good for you!)

Try it out! Your body and just as importantly, the planet, will thank you!