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Just Another Meatless Monday – Do It!

I’ve gone in-and-out of veganism, vegetarianism (even spent some time as a pescetarian), sought out organic snack crackers in place of conventionally grown strawberries because of pesticide levels (not necessarily recommending this, by the way) and played host to a smorgasbord of food fads. Nowadays, I’ve settled into healthier (and more sustainable) eating habits: a focus on seasonal whole foods — primarily fruits and veggies — plus whole grains. And when I consume treats, I try to opt for those of a home-made variety. Oddly enough, what’s better for my body is better for the planet.

Michael Pollan (who is responsible for helping me find my food path) sums it up best: “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. And of course we assume what we’re eating is food, right? But when you think F-O-O- D, do the words “xanthan gum” and “maltodextrin” come to mind? Not exactly ingredients one usually finds in a pantry, eh?

So for this month’s challenge, I thought we’d focus on the “mostly plants” portion of Pollan’s addage (Michelle Obama would be so proud!). Fortunately, it’s harvest time and fresh local produce is readily available in abundance – so coming by plants is not a problem. And while it’s easy to just put more veggies on the plate, substituting some carrots for say, filet mignon can often be a bit of a challenge if you’re surround by people who are used to the mantra, “Meat – it’s what’s for dinner.”

So how do you get your family onboard for adopting less animal in their menu?  Welcome to the table Meatless Mondays!

With a goal to help reduce meat consumption by 15% “Meatles Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the John Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health,” in order to improve personal health and health of the planet.

That’s right friends, I’m not asking you to become a vegetarian (or veternarian for that matter). But starting the week off with the intent of consuming less meat is great for habit-forming and for the environment.

Check out the Meatless Monday website for links to more background information, recipes and history on the Meatless Monday tradition (I was surprised to learn the movement started during World War I to aid the war effort!) There’s also cool toolkits to get started and spread the Meatless Monday love.

I think we’ll be devouring vegetarian lasagna to start our week; what’s your meal-plan for Monday?

12 comments

  1. I absolutely love your blog (I’ve just recently stumbled upon it). ^^ I’m a vegan who eats (mostly) non-processed foods but my family isn’t, so I tend to give them lots of hummus, fresh fruits and vegetables to try and lots of new grains or things that they wouldn’t have tried before. Surprisingly enough, “Chopped” on the Food Network helped me find a bit of those foods.

  2. This is perfect timing. I’m on page 45 of Michael Pollan’s book and loving it so far. It’s definitely making me rethink what real food is. It’s also creating some great conversation with the hubs who is definitely on the “we need meat for protein” band wagon.

  3. Paula, congratulations on your commitment to a vegan lifestyle. I remember when I was vegan one of the biggest challenges I came across was steering clear of processed foods (and getting the protein I needed since I am not a huge bean fan).;)

    I’m always interested to hear more about how people are making it work.

    How fortunate to live in a place that advocates and educates about the benefits of a plant-based diet.

  4. I am vegan and I really think that meatless Monday is a great idea for people to start eating less meat. I’m the uk we have big advertising campaigns for meatless Monday.

  5. I guess some people get into the slogan thing, but that’s not really for me. I do eat vegetarian 2-3 days a week, which may or may not be on Mondays. Since I am eating meat, for me it’s important that it’s high quality. My mom’s group did a group order with a local ranch, so now I have plenty (as in 100lbs!) of grassfed beef in my freezer. It was a lot easier than I thought, and there’s no going back — it really is a different food. I am trying to not eat factory farmed meat, which pretty much means eating veggie when I go out.

    1. What a dream! And how awesome you have the resources to be able to store that much LOCAL grass-fed beef. That’s wonderful Kimberly. What a great example. My sister “bought a cow” a few years ago…I couldn’t believe the quality and amount of beef!

  6. Thanks for sharing! I love vegetarian resources, even though I’m not a vegetarian. I made the announcement to my husband the other day that we would only eat meat once a week. After hearing me out about why I had made that decision, he chuckled and said, “If you cut our meat down to only one day a week, it really only means that we are eating meat once less a week. We kinda are already doing that.” After giving it some thought I realized he was right. We had slowly changed our diet over the last few years to a more plant-base diet and hardly even realized it. How’s that for change that sticks?!

    1. That’s awesome Marissa! A friend just turned me onto the documentary “Forks Over Knives.” I believe it’s based on The China Study book (perhaps you’ve already seen it/ read the book?)… IF not, you might be interested in hearing first hand about the dietary changes you’ve already made are life changing (especially in regard to fighting the “western diseases” like diabetes, heart disease and cancer).

      We found it fascinating!

  7. I think summertime, with so many cheap fresh fruits and veggies, is the best time to work on meatless (or reduced meat) meals. Thanks for the impetus to focus on that. I am on the bandwagon!

  8. We typically do meatless mondays (and a few other days of the week, too) around my house. I’ve found that I’m just as happy without meat as I am with. I doubt we’ll ever take the complete leap into vegetarianism, but we do consume LOTS of raw foods alongside our occasional meat meals.

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