The meatless Monday, as you might have got words of it, is a global campaign launched back in 2003 by the Johns Bloomberg School of Public Health. This campaign was initiated with the goal to cut down the consumption of meat products at least once a week, every Monday to be precise.
The reason behind cutting down on the consumption of meat products at least once a week is to do a favor to oneself and to the environment. By favoring oneself, here I mean to say that by not eating meat at least once a week you are actually taking good care of your health.
Meatless Monday for Health
By lowering your meat intake which does more harm than good to your health, you are actually giving yourself a chance to live a long and happy life here. Replacing meat with fruits and veggies does many wonders for your body. Including reduces your risk of certain types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes to name some.
The health benefits mentioned above are backed by hundreds of studies and researches. So, it’s ought to be true which is good news if you are thinking of going all veg or vegan in the near future. Even if you are not thinking of turning yourself into veg or a vegan in the near future, it would still be a good piece of new. Unless you think very poorly of your health.
Red meat in particular is full of saturated fats. Eating meat as a part of your diet day after day increases your saturated fat intake and your cholesterol level skyrockets. This is one reason why people suffer from many life-threatening diseases. Mostly heart-related diseases such as a heart attack or a stroke.
Adding more green vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your plate, on the other hand, helps to improve blood circulation. Promotes good cholesterol as well as keeps your cholesterol levels checked. It also helps in improving brain functionalities and helps to live a healthy life. One that is least risky and almost disease-free.
Meatless Mondays to Help Protect the Environment
The meat industry that is thriving on our carvings for more and more meat every day is harming the environment in more than one way. The meat industries require a large area of land to operate. Since the majority of the land is preoccupied, the forest gets destroyed for pastureland.
If that wasn’t enough, the farm animals contribute to roughly 20 percent of the human-induced greenhouse gas. You might have already known the effects of greenhouse gas on the environment. Global warming is one of the major effects of greenhouse gas.
And things don’t just stop here, the water footprint left by the farm animals is huge. Farm animals use a large portion of freshwater in the world. They also contribute to water pollution due to urination and manure disposal on rivers and lakes.
The environment is something that we cannot ignore since our lives are linked to it. We are entirely dependent on the environment for our survival. Thus it would be a great help to the environment from your side if you decide to go meatless even for a day a week.
Why Monday and Not Sunday?
There’s a scientific reason why go meatless on Mondays and not other days such as Sundays. Studies on human nature and behavior patterns suggest that people are more open to new ideas and commitments starting from Mondays.
Mondays being the first day of the week, people prefer to start fresh and will more likely adapt to new ideas. Be it business-related decisions or diet plans and health-related decisions.
Furthermore, evidence suggests that health-related thinking is at an all-time high on Mondays. Thus making it the perfect day for dietitians to manipulate people into adapting to a healthy diet plan.
And things don’t just end here. The study also reveals that starting new healthy routines on Monday helps people to sustain their routine in the long run.
Therefore Mondays can be used as a powerful manipulative tool when trying to motivate people to adapt to new health routines and healthy diet plans.
How to Get Started With Meatless Monday?
If you are someone who thinks highly about the environment or prioritizes your health above all or both, joining the Meatless Monday campaign would help.
The campaign is plane easy to get started and there’s no time limit nor compulsion for you to continue. So you can leave anytime you want in case you do not find it suitable for you.
But that’s just an assumption. In fact, there’s a 100% chance that you’d stick to meatless Mondays for the rest of your life. Want to prove it wrong? Why not give this meatless Monday challenge a try and see it for yourself?
Here are a few working tips to get you started.
1. Invite Your Friends and family for Meatless Monday dinner
Involving your friends and family is always a great idea when it comes to trying out new things. This way you get the motivation needed to push ahead.
When you invite your friends and family over for a Meatless Monday gettogether, they might as well like the idea of going meatless on Mondays.
This way you’ll have more company and as the saying goes “More the merrier” you’d actually have a great time going meatless together.
You can decide on the menu, one that is plant-based or consists of healthy fish instead. There’s no harm in eating fish for the dinner during meatless Mondays.
Since fishes are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids beneficial for your heart health. Fishes are also rich in complete protein that acts as the building blocks to our cells.
2. Prepare Your Favorite Plant-Based Dinner On Meatless Monday
Preparing your favorite plant-based meals for dinner is another great way of enjoying your meatless Mondays. Go out on the hunt for your favorite veggies, fruits, and nuts to prepare yourself for your meatless Monday dinner.
You have lots of options to choose from when it comes to plant-based foods and they cost you less as well. So you will be saving while enjoying your favorite plant-based meals on Mondays.
Try some colorful combinations when it comes to plant-based food ideas. You can find thousands of plant-based recipes online. Give a few of those recipes that appeal to you a try.
Cooking new dishes and trying out new recipes is always fun and will help you set the mood for your meatless Mondays.
Cooking new dishes takes time, effort, and a lot of dedication. So when you sit down on your dining table to eat, you’ll fall in love with your own creation.
3. Make Way for Fruits and Nuts On Meatless Monday
Adding fruits and nuts to your meal as a side dish or eating fresh fruits for breakfast will surely help. You might as well go ahead and prepare some vegetable smoothies or fruit juice if you do not prefer eating raw.
Another way of making use of berries, fruits, and nuts can be to turn them into delicious desserts. You can always enjoy them after your plant-based meals.
You might as well step up in your game and learn some baking. This way you could make better use of fruits and nuts by baking some of your favorite fruit cakes and pies.
Take pictures of the foods that you prepare and cakes and pies that you’ve baked. Share them with your friends across different social media platforms.
Add hashtag #MeatlessMonday while sharing your posts across different social media platforms. So that people would know what you’ve been doing and more would get motivated to join the campaign.
The Meatless Monday Guidelines
If you are planning on going meatless on Mondays then following some general dietary benchmarks set by the USDA will largely help you with your meatless goal. All you have to do is look for protein alternatives by eating more eggs, legumes, seeds, and nuts instead of meat.
- Focus on eating a wide variety of foods such as beans, legumes, seeds, green vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
- Try maintaining the ideal body weight.
- Eat less of foods rich in saturated fat such as meat.
- Eat foods rich in starch and fiber such as potato, whole grain, brown rice, whole wheat, etc.
- Avoid too many sugary foods and drinks.
- Avoid too much sodium in food.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
One Final Push For A Change
People often need reasons to do things that they want to do or don’t want to. Becoming aware of your action-reaction beforehand is what people like the most cause it guarantees one’s success.
And I am not criticizing or anything here but rather pointing out the wary human nature. In fact, it is this wary nature of we humans that has contributed to the immense achievement of the present.
The meatless Monday campaign provides people with insight into their actions. It forces people to rethink their current actions to avoid any future disaster. The disaster, in this case, would be suffering from chronic diseases such as stroke, cancer, heart attack, and diabetes.
You could also say that the campaign came as one final push for many who were looking for reasons to turn themselves into a veg lover. The campaign provides people with a valid reason to turn themselves into more of a veg lover which was originally hidden within themselves.
People can now express their love for vegetables and fruits freely without being judged by others around them. The campaign puts veg lovers in charge of their situation which was predominant with meat lovers in the past.
Now nobody laughs when you order veg. Rather you get the respect that you deserve for taking care of your health and the environment.