2014, being the year Crystal and I turned 30, made me really want to start taking those small steps to eating healthier. I’ve never been good at diets or cutting out certain foods for long periods of time but I promised myself that I would try “Meatless Monday” and I’ve actually stuck to it. There are many health & environmental pros to giving up meat for one day (so many benefits that it makes it easy to not give in) and it also made my weekly meal planning a little more fun since I had to start getting more creative. So I thought just in case anyone wanted to join, we would share a meatless meal once or twice a month on Mondays. We also encourage you to share your “Meatless Monday” ideas with us in the comments below or with us on twitter at @ApronsStilettos. So far a lot of Mondays have been filled with salads, beans and other sources of protein and I’m never too hard on myself…if I slip up or have a piece of meat that is too good to pass up, I just go meatless the next day. To get started, check out some of our past “Meatless” recipes below. Then next Monday give it a try and let us know how your “Meatless Monday” went!
Do it for you and try it!
- LIMIT CANCER RISK: Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer
- REDUCE HEART DISEASE: Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%
- FIGHT DIABETES: Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increase the risk of type 2 diabetes
- CURB OBESITY: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass index. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain
- LIVE LONGER: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality
- IMPROVE YOUR DIET. Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat
- REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend
- MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound
- HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand
We would love to hear your favorite “Meatless Mondays” recipes!