Thursday, November 17, 2011

Are You Ready For a Meatless Monday?

Are you ready to commit to eating a vegetarian meal one night a week? Plan on Meatless Monday. Purposefully prepare for yourself and your family a vegetarian meal - no chicken, beef, pork, or seafood. Focus on beans for protein, salads, and vegetable casseroles. Make your Meatless Monday a night of pasta with a plain tomato sauce. Introduce your family to tofu - experiment and explore.

From the Meatless Monday organization website:

Health Benefits

  • LIMIT CANCER RISK: Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer
  • REDUCE HEART DISEASE: Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%
  • FIGHT DIABETES: Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • CURB OBESITY: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain.
  • LIVE LONGER: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with modest increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.
  • IMPROVE YOUR DIET. Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.
Some ideas:

1. Try lentils as an alternative to meat for tacos or burritos

2. Black bean veggie burgers are an excellent alternative to a ground beef burger

3. Have you ever tried a cheesesteak made with portobello mushrooms instead of shaved beef?

4. When made with care, eggplant parmesan can be made Clean!

Yes, steak is awesome. No, I'm not saying for you to turn your back on your Paleo-centric ways. But one night a week - try leaving the chicken or beef off your plate. Focus on sources of protein from vegetables.

I know you can do it!