What if there was something you could do just once a week that might be a step toward improving your family's health, the health of our planet, plus save you money? It may sound too good to be true, but not eating meat once a week may help to accomplish all three.
Meatless Mondays is a non-profit initiative of the John Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health to decrease America's meat consumption by 15 percent. Eating less meat often means eating less saturated fat, which may help to reduce the risks of chronic preventable illnesses like cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Making satisfying, healthy, meatless meals that fulfill your protein and nutrient needs can be quite easy – and economical – if you plan ahead. Here are some strategies and recipes to get you started. Don't be surprised if you soon find yourself looking forward to Meatless Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, too!
- Make a shopping list
Most of us shop for the week's groceries on the weekend. Decide on your Meatless Monday dishes and add them to your list. Having the ingredients in the house is half the battle.
- Share why you care
If your family is wondering where their pork chops went and resisting the idea of a meatless dinner, share the benefits with them so that it feels like a choice as opposed to an imposition. Even young children understand the importance of taking care of themselves.
- Pick a day that works for you and your family
Monday was an obvious choice for this campaign since it's the fresh start of a new week, but if it's easier to go meatless on another day – Friday Night vegetarian pizza night? – go for it!
- Stock up on protein-rich snacks
Hard-boiled eggs, cheese, nut butters, nuts and Yoplait® Greek Yogurt (with twice the protein of regular yogurt), are all quick and yummy ways to fulfill your protein needs.
- Play in the kitchen
Take Meatless Mondays as an opportunity to experiment with new ingredients, cooking techniques and global cuisines. Moving the veggies from the supporting to the starring role is not as hard as you might think.
Do you practice Meatless Mondays? Share your family's tips for eating less meat.