You may have heard of the popular movement, Meatless Monday. But do you know what it is or why going meatless on Mondays may be important? The Meatless Monday campaign is a non-profit initiative that began in 2003 in association with the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Meatless Monday encourages people to cut out meat from their diet one day a week. Cutting out meat and replacing it with plant sources of protein such as beans can help you reduce your risk of heart disease, limit your risk of cancer, curb obesity and help you improve your diet.
Follow these tips for incorporating Meatless Monday into your weekly routine.
Plan out your Meatless Monday by researching recipes and shopping for meatless foods ahead of time. Having a solid meal plan can help you stay focused on what your meals are like. Try this daily meal plan on your next "Meatless Monday," which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. We've even prepared a shopping list to make it easy for you.
Dine out smart.
Remember to do your homework when dining out on Meatless Monday. Many restaurants feature vegetarian options, but if you are unsure if a restaurant has meatless options, consider these suggestions.
- Call the restaurant and ask if they serve meatless dishes.
- Try ethnic cuisines. Many cultural restaurants serve meals that are naturally meatless.
- Make a vegetable plate with the side options choosing 3-4 vegetables off the sides menu for a meatless meal.
Go to the local Farmer's Market.
Find your local farmer's market and incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Click here to find a local Mississippi farmer's market near you. You can also learn more about what produce is in season right now.
Get the family involved.
Discuss the health benefits of going meatless for one night per week with your family. Include them in the discussion, and ask them if they have any meatless recipe ideas. Try new recipes. Get creative. Research meatless recipes or try a meatless substitution for your favorite meals. For example, try black bean burgers in place of beef burgers or try vegetable lasagna.
There are many ways you can enjoy "Meatless Monday" and still meet all of your nutrition needs. It can also provide you the opportunity to learn more about what other types of foods are available and give you the chance to get creative with your meal plan! Eat healthy!