If you haven’t already heard, there is such a thing as Meatless Mondays. It celebrates and encourages going without meat for an entire day, particularly Monday. If you haven’t tried it, we highly encourage it.
Going without meat for one day each week is great for your body, our nation’s health, and the planet. Meatless Mondays officially began in 2003 and was founded by Sid Lerner. He worked with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to begin the movement and it is now currently active in 36 countries. Mondays were chosen, not only because of the easy M&M reference, but because Mondays start the week and are the perfect time to set your weeks intentions and reevaluate your health. It also starts your week off on a healthy note!
As Meatless Mondays have evolved, so has the way people see and understand the impact meat consumption has on our planet. For example, if the world reduced meat consumption by 15% by participating in a Meatless Monday, it would have the same impact on greenhouse gas emissions as taking 240 million cars off the road each year. Going meatless once a week also saves precious resources like fossil fuels and water that are used daily to maintain livestock farms. With less meat farms to manage, these fossil fuels and water can be used elsewhere or saved.
Going meatless once a day also does wonders for your own body. On average, Americans consume eight ounces of meat per day which is 45% more than the USDA recommends! It may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Eating more fruits and vegetables are also good for your immunity, in particular green fruits and vegetables such as grapes, kiwis, broccoli, and lettuce. Purple fruits and vegetables are good for longevity. Red fruits and vegetables are good for your heart and blood. Yellow fruits and vegetables help your tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Essentially, the more color you can add to your plate, the better the benefits to your overall health.
The last, and maybe most beneficial, benefit to enjoying and participating in Meatless Mondays is a healthier wallet. Food prices rise daily and current increases are especially sharp in packaged items and meat because they require expenses like feed and transportation. When you put off buying meat only a few days a week instead of seven, you are saving big money for yourself and encouraging big businesses to think twice before they pay for feed and transportation. And don’t forget, buying from your local farmers does just that too!
So as you begin your week, take Meatless Mondays into account. Add something new to your weekly routine and inspire the family with a new, welcoming change. If you need help with recipes head over to our Instagram page where we’ll be featuring a new vegan-friendly option every Monday. Another great resource is the site that began it all, MeatlessMonday.com. Until next Monday folks, stay healthy and remember that in order to live a better life, it starts with the right food and supplement choices.
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