The Complete Guide to Meatless Mondays for Better Health

Written by GuestAuthor

Have you ever heard of “Meatless Mondays” before?  Despite popular belief, it’s not a new invention. In fact, going meatless was encouraged during World War I and II, when rationing meat and other staples became part of the overall war effort.1451410325

Meatless Monday History: Know Your Facts

  • During the first World War, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for every Tuesday to be meatless and for one meatless meal to be observed every day, for a total of nine meatless meals each week.
  • U.S. families were asked to reduce consumption of key staples to help the war effort.
  • Voluntary rationing was enouraged with slogans such as “Food Will Win the War” and terms like “Meatless Tuesday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” to remind Americans to reduce intake of those products.
  • Meat was being rationed during World War II as well, along with other commodities like sugar and gasoline.
  • Meatless Monday as it’s known today was relaunched in 2003, and it is an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet.
  • This version was founded by marketing professional Sid Lerner, but it follows the nutrition guidelines developed by the USDA.
  • Regarding the health of the planet: “Even one meatless day a week – a Meatless Monday, which is what we do in my household – if everybody in America did that, that would be the equivalent of taking 20 million mid-size sedans off the road,” Michael Pollan told Oprah Winfrey in an interview about saving the environment.
  • Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns Inc. in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future.

More Reasons to Consider Meatless Monday

  • Now, we’re more aware of the health benefits associated with eating less saturated fat that’s found in meat. These types of fat pollute our arteries and can harm our hearts. Going meatless at least one day per week can dramatically reduce your bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides that cause strokes, heart disease and other health problems.
  • Eastern cultures have been touting less meat for generations, and scientific and medical reports have found that those cultures are the healthiest in the world. Obesity is also less of a problem in other cultures that practice mostly vegetarian lifestyles.
  • One reason that meatless Mondays is being promoted in America is because of the obesity problems that exist in both children and adults. Obesity is causing a strain on our medical system and early deaths and chronic diseases – and leaders are now realizing the importance of eating healthier.
  • Schools and hospitals have adapted to the nationwide promotion to eat less meat, and meatless meats (plant based food) are being developed that mimic meat in both texture and taste, giving you options that were never offered before.
  • Give meatless Mondays a chance to improve your health and help you lose unwanted pounds. Browse online for some meatless recipes that appeal to you and be adventurous in trying new ideas that will boost you and your family’s health and welfare.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Meatless Diets?

Health conscious Americans are adopting meatless diets into their lifestyles more and more these days. Other countries, mostly in Europe, have already learned that eating mostly meatless meals helps health and environmental issues. It’s no secret that eating meat has been linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and other life-shortening maladies.

Some of these vegetarian diets are very restrictive and others allow a great deal of flexibility. For example, vegans eat only fruits and vegetables and no dairy by-products or eggs. The more restrictive you choose to become, the more difficult it becomes to find variety and to get enough protein and maintain your health.

By including meatless meals in your weekly planning, you’ll definitely cut calories and fat (especially saturated fats found in meat), cholesterol and sodium. Other benefits of following a meatless diet plan include losing weight and helping the environment.

While optimal health can be reached while following a vegetarian diet, you can also find detriments. For example, many vegetarians consume too much sugar and carbohydrates and this overindulgence can also be detrimental to your health. If you don’t get a complete protein from your diet, you can become anemic, so it’s important to calculate your protein intake correctly.

Studies on people who are vegetarians compared to those who eat meat often take into consideration the lifestyles, such as how many exercise, how many are smokers and how many exercise on a regular basis.

Before you consider adapting your lifestyle to one of several available meatless diets, speak to a physician or dietitian to see if it’s acceptable with your health issues and possibility of future problems relating to vegetarianism.

Create a Delicious Meatless Dinner in Minutes

A major complaint of busy families today is that there’s just not enough time in the evenings to cook good, nutritious meals. As a result, we turn to fatty and high-carbohydrate fast foods and take-out meals. It might surprise you to learn that you can create a delicious – and nutritious meatless dinner in a matter of minutes.

Nutrition experts are now urging the population to eat at least one meatless meal per week (called ‘Meatless Mondays’). Online food websites and television cooking shows are using the media to tout the benefits of creating great looking and yummy meals on a shoestring budget – without using meat.

When you serve at least one meatless meal per week, the butterfly effect reaches far past the fact that it only takes minutes to prepare. You’ll also reduce yours and your family’s chance of developing chronic and preventable conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity.

The health benefits are many – and, you’ll help the environment too. Scientists say that going meatless only once a week can reduce greenhouse gas emissions that keep accelerating each day. You – one person – can change this trend.

Water is also a major concern in these days of drought and growing population. To produce merely one pound of beef, almost 3,000 gallons of water must be used compared to about 250 gallons of water to create a pound of soy (used as a meat substitute).

Try a meatless dinner this week and see how good it makes you feel when you save some time in your day, improve your health and reduce the environmental effects of raising meat.

How to Prepare Nutritious Meatless Meals

If you’re just beginning to jump on the bandwagon of eating meatless meals for your health, environment and to lose unwanted pounds, you may be concerned about getting all the nutrition you need.

  • There are various ways of choosing a meatless diet that suits your tastes. Pure vegetarians eat no meat at all, but consume dairy products and eggs. Pescetarians eat no meat, but do eat fish. Vegans eat no meat and no animal by products, including honey, dairy and eggs.
  • If you choose to go ‘vegan,’ you’ll need to learn how to prepare meals that will give you a complete protein – and that’s totally do-able with very little effort. Otherwise, getting enough protein shouldn’t be a problem with all of the great vegetarian recipes that are readily available.
  • Nutritional benefits of preparing a few meals each week that are based on vegetables and fruits rather than meat are amazing. Plus, it’s an innovative and great way to treat you and your family to new tastes and textures while addressing health concerns.
  • Research various ways of cooking and try ‘meatless meats’ (made from soy and other meatless products) in a few recipes that look good to you. You don’t have to be a gourmet cook to put just the right ingredients together and create delicious and nutritious meals for you and your family.
  • Simply preparing a few meatless meals during the week can dramatically improve your health and make an impact on the environment and your desire to lose weight naturally.

Meatless Cooking Has Never Been Easier

If you’re trying to ‘go meatless’ at least once a week to improve health, support non-abuse of animals, reduce the impact of raising meat on the environment – or to save money — you owe it to yourself to try meatless cooking. It’s a refreshing change that is easy and one that produces amazing benefits.

This idea is a new way of thinking about your health and your lifestyle. One popular blog online today offers ways to save money by cooking with less meat. Grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, bean and cheese burritos and cheese and onion enchiladas are just a few of the great suggestions on this helpful blog.

Another online website tells you how to use Seitan (say-tan), a popular meat substitute that can be found in most health food stores. It’s made from the gluten extracted from wheat flour and is used in Japan as a protein equivalent to meat.

Aside from the amount of meat substitutes that take the place of ground beef, pork and chicken, you can also find an abundance of recipes that use legumes and dairy products that combine to create great meatless recipes.

Online sites and published cookbooks that highlight meatless recipes and meals are turning out at an astronomical rate, so there’s no shortage of information if you want to pursue a meatless lifestyle.

When you decide to ‘go meatless,’ you’ll want to explore all avenues of meatless cooking, including making up your own recipes or adapting old recipes into great vegetarian culinary delights.

Meatless Dishes Can Be Good for Your Lifestyle

You can easily save money and promote yours and your family’s health by incorporating meatless dishes into your lifestyle. There’s no shortage of recipe suggestions online, and you can purchase ‘meatless’ cookbooks too.

Watching your cholesterol, but miss Italian foods such as spaghetti and meatballs? There’s a recipe online for Italian Meatless Meatballs that would rival any ‘old country’ recipe for flavor. It uses bulgar, breadcrumbs, cheese and spices to recreate the taste and texture of that true Italian dish.

And, you can substitute meat in almost any of your own recipes by utilizing one or more of the many meat substitutes that can be found in your local supermarket. If you’re worried about the time it takes to make a meatless meal, know that most meatless recipes take on an average of 30 minutes to create, while meat has to be thawed and cooked until done to cut the risk of illnesses that can be passed on by raw meat.

Meatless Mondays has become the term used to describe a day when Americans can improve health, save money and reduce the environmental impact on the planet by choosing to serve one meatless meal per week.

The national campaign is popular among schools, restaurants and supermarkets and many offer money-saving deals on meatless ingredients that are used to create meals without the fats and cholesterol of meat.

Create your own meatless dishes from your own recipes. You can get all the help you need by browsing online – or from just being adventurous and creating your own, unique dishes.

Meatless Foods You Can Learn to Love

Meatless foods have come a long way from the tasteless tofu variety that we once had to choose from. Meatless meats now resemble both the texture and taste of meat so well that it could fool even the most dyed in the wool carnivore you know.

But, you don’t have to resort to meatless meats to get taste and comfort from vegetarian meals. Recipes that include mostly staples that you have in your pantry and refrigerator are wonderful and nutritious to serve to your family. Plus, these foods can save money on your grocery bill.

Vegetarian black bean chili is a winner and so are pizzas, stacked high with lots of veggies and cheese. Veggie burgers that you make yourself or the frozen, packaged type that come under the names of “Boca Burgers” or “Gardenburgers” are great to grill outdoors, bake or heat in the frying pan.

Physicians and dietitians are urging us to eat more meals based on a meatless diet to improve our health and combat the effects of obesity that’s costing our health care system millions in side effects.

Heart disease, cancer and strokes are just a few of the health concerns that have been linked to eating too much meat. Now, it’s an easy fix, because there are so many ways that you can cut down on meat intake and still ensure nutrition and taste.

Delicious meatless foods are available straight from your supermarket – and balanced recipes are available in cookbooks and online if you need inspiration to get started. Even restaurants are offering meatless entrees on their menus in support of including less meat in our diets.

Meatless Meat for Meatless Mondays

As we struggle to improve our health and save money – and the environment – cutting down on our meat consumption has become an important part of our lives. But, you don’t have to give up the taste or even the texture of meat when there are meatless meats available that might fool even the most avid carnivore.

  • Morningstar Farms products such as Breakfast Strips (bacon substitute) and Chik’N Nuggets are popular supermarket staples for vegetarians and those of us who practice the Meatless Mondays concept. These meatless items contain no fat or cholesterol and are usually lower in calories than their real meat counterparts.
  • Also from Morningstar Farms, Beef Crumbles (made from soy) can be used as a ground beef substitute for soups, tacos, chili, spaghetti sauces and just about anything else you’d use in a recipe calling for ground beef. You can keep these items frozen until ready to use – and they require much less cooking time than meat.
  • There are other brands and types of meat substitutes that can be found online or in specialty markets or health food stores. Manufacturers of these meat substitutes and health food items are constantly trying new techniques to mimic the taste and texture of real meat while giving the consumer a healthy alternative to meat.

Experimenting with meatless meats can be a culinary adventure and can help those meat cravings by providing a healthy and tasty substitute. Recipes for meat substitutes can be found online along with suggestions and information about brands you might want to try.

Meatless Products Can Make Meal Planning Easier

You’d have to be living under a rock to have not noticed all the meatless brand choices offered at your local supermarkets and health food stores today. Brands such as Morningstar Farms, Boca and Weight Watchers all manufacture products designed to spice up your meal times without using meat.

These meatless products are comprised mostly of soy and other seasonings, making them both nutritious and tasty. Soy is incredibly good for you. Studies have shown that ingesting only 25 grams of soy protein on a daily basis can lower your cholesterol level significantly.

Soy is also easily digestible and provides all of the nine essential amino acids necessary for your body’s nutritional balance. Soy can easily be called ‘a wonder food.’ It takes much less water and space to produce a pound of soy than it does to produce a pound of beef and offers much more nutrition.

Plus, it’s one of the healthiest sources of protein on the Earth. When you plan meals that include soy, you can be assured of getting the most ‘bang’ for your buck and help your family retain or regain their health.

The humble soy bean has been widely utilized in Asian countries and is considered one of five ‘sacred’ grains. Soy beans were eventually introduced to America and other western countries in the mid-1700s.

Quick and Tasty Meatless Recipes

Whether you’re an avid vegetarian or a person who’s trying to improve yours and your family’s health, save money and leave less of a carbon footprint on the planet, trying different meatless recipes is a great way to make it happen.

You don’t have to be a gourmet cook to try recipes other than Mac & Cheese and vegetable soup for dinner. There are thousands of great recipes that will surprise and delight your family – and you can use meat substitutes or the incredible variety of delicious fruits, vegetables and spices available today.

Since the push for Meatless Mondays began to make us aware of the impact that eating meat has on our health, pocketbook and the environment, meatless recipes have become popular and you can find a plethora of cookbooks and online sites that offer food combinations (sans meat) that will make your mouth water.

Another benefit that going meatless brings to your household is that it helps to relieve the stress you feel when you’re trying to fix a healthy meal for your family and run out of time it takes to thaw and cook meat.

Meatless meals are usually quick and easy. You can even prepare them ahead of time and they won’t dry out and lose taste when you heat them up as leftovers. Those who practice Meatless Mondays report that aside from the health benefits, going meatless leaves them with time to spare for their families.

Okay, help me out! What are your favorite Meatless Monday recipes? Share them in the comments below.

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