Hi, I’m Sallie and I will be guest posting for Kristen this week centered on the topic of Meatless Mondays. The movement is focused on cutting meat out once a week from every meal of the day. According to its website (http://www.meatlessmonday.com), cutting meat out even one day a week may reduce your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It is also another great way to decrease our negative impact on the environment.
This issue is very important to me as I, myself, am a practicing vegetarian. One of my main reasons for choosing this lifestyle was to improve my physical health. However, If you’re not ready to make the full transition (which is completely understandable), but are interested in “flirting” with vegetarianism, this is a great way to try it out. There are many tasty recipes out there which exclude meat. In fact, I find that some of the most savory and flavorful dishes I have ever had, have been vegetarian. Many vegetarian dishes are found in Indian, Asian, and Mexican cuisine, all known for their expert use of spices. Even if you’re just trying to make a small improvement in your diet and health, a meatless day could be a great idea.Though one can easily consume fries, cupcakes, and pasta (tempting, I know), while still staying meatless, it is important to create a healthy balanced meal. Below I've provided some yummy and healthy recipes you can try at home.
For Breakfast, you could start out with a nice bowl of oatmeal. I have oatmeal and fruit for breakfast almost every day, especially in the fall and winter on cold mornings. Oatmeal is a great source of fiber and protein as well as vitamins and antioxidants. This recipe for Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal would be particularly cozy this time of year. (Source: Chocolate Covered Katie)
Lunch could be a light sandwich with a side of fruit. This California sandwich would be a great option in the summertime. I have the same lunch pretty much every day. It’s just hummus and raw veggies (cucumber, tomato, red onion, and avocado) on a whole wheat flax wrap. There’s very little prep time involved before work and the hummus and avocado bind the wrap together nicely.(Source:Ezra Pound Cake)
In the fall, I love to make large batches of hearty soup and then freeze them for later. Often, I make one very similar to the recipe below. It’s super filling and gives me the energy and nutrients I need to help get me through the afternoon.
(Source: Vegan Magic)
For dinner, try a Portobello mushroom melt and a side of sweet potato fries. I swear, the mushroom cap has such a meaty texture that, if marinated correctly, will leave even the staunchest carnivores satisfied. Sweet potatoes have essential vitamins and minerals and taste great slathered in ketchup! I have this a few times a month, with caramelized onions on top. The mushroom caps are significantly cheaper than buying ground beef and I’m sure the cows will thank you as well.(Source: Men's Health)
Not only is this idea a great first step towards better health, cutting out meat one day a week can help you save money at the grocery store. Here are a few other sources if you’re interested on doing your own research into the movement, check out the resources below.
It is important to remember that getting in protein is important and vital for many bodily functions and for the body to grow, heal and repair itself. Protein is responsible for hormone and enzyme creation, the formation of red blood cells and antibodies and is the second most abundant substance in our bodies, next to water. It is imperative that our bodies receive enough protein each day, even if those sources are vegetarian.
Are you interested in becoming a vegetarian, pescetarian or vegan but are not sure of the correct and healthy way of going down this path? Let Kristen help you design a individualized balanced diet for you that is centered around your goals and your health!