Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Start Your Week with a Meatless Monday

My family has recently revived our Meatless Mondays to decrease our intake of animal proteins (for both health and environmental reasons). So far so good! All of my cooking attempts have been pretty well received and I plan to post some of our recipes here on Mondays!

Meatless Monday is a national health campaign that was started in September 2003. A Meatless Monday means starting each week with a day without any meat products and replacing them with other protein sources like beans, legumes, tofu, nuts, tempeh, and lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Its goal is to help Americans prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer- four of the leading causes of death in America, by reducing the amount of fat consumed in their diet. Research has indicated that diets high in saturated fat (mainly from meat and high-fat dairy products) increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Many of these diseases that lead to death are preventable by making lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity and decreasing saturated fat intake. Increasing fruit, vegetable and whole grain consumption (hence increasing fiber and antioxidant intake) has been shown to be protective of diseases like heart disease and cancer. Try making your Mondays meatless… check out and for ideas on getting started. As with any lifestyle change, start with small steps. Try a vegetarian dinner on Monday nights if the idea of an entire meat-free day seems like a daunting task. Send your kids with an extra veggie to school or possibly rice and beans or a veggie wrap instead of an entree that contains meat to work towards this goal. Have fun with it!

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