Meatless Monday: Start your Week Meat-Free

I’m a huge advocate for stuffed to the brim salads, I adore the produce section of the grocery store and red meat hardly makes my menu but the thought of eating vegetarian never crossed my mind until the idea of Meatless Monday was introduced to me. Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages cutting meat out of your diet once a week to inspire making healthy decisions for your diet at the start of every week. If you are like me and can’t say farewell forever to some of your protein favorites than a once a week commitment to a meat-free menu is the perfect balance to appease your palate and open up your mind to new cooking and eating ideas. Some of those unique Weekly Bite suggestions or fun veggie dips are looking fabulous right about now!

Amanda from Run to the Finish shares her experience with embracing Meatless Monday and taking the weekly idea to new levels….

When I started running it was a great way to lose weight, then it became a great way to rationalize a cookie or two or three. Eventually all of that activity started to rub off on my eating habits and I realized that with better nutrition I could recover faster, run stronger and have more energy all day long.

The idea of going vegan is something I toyed with for a long time before choosing to do a 30 Day Vegan Challenge in March 2012. Prior to starting, I did my homework to understand the best sources of protein and lots of planning so I knew I wouldn’t go hungry!

At the end of 30 days I realized that giving up meat wasn’t particularly hard (eggs are a different story), but I personally feel better with 1 to 2 servings of animal protein a week, plus the occasional dairy. If you aren’t ready to take the full plunge, but wonder how going meatless would work then join the national Meatless Monday trend!

Here is a sample menu:
Breakfast: 1 cup oatmeal, ½ cup berries, 12 walnuts crushed – or I can’t say enough about trying a Green Monster!
Lunch: Southwestern salad of black beans, diced red onions, avocado, spinach, diced red bell pepper, corn, jalapeno ranch dressing and a few Guiltless Gourmet Lime Tortilla chips
Snack: Apple and string cheese
Dinner: Sweet potato fries, tempeh and sauteed kale
Dessert: So Delicious Coconut Ice Cream or a date with almond butter (my favorite pre-run snack)

Not only will you be ensuring that you eat more fruits and veggies, but you will force yourself to think outside the box in the kitchen and be a little green!

Would you ever consider going vegan or vegetarian? How do you feel about a once a week meat-free day? Share your thoughts!

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  1. My dad raises Angus cattle, so I grew up with having meat around all the time. As an adult I don’t eat a lot of beef, but it was b/c I didn’t want to have to go to the trouble of cooking it. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m vegan, b/c I will eat meat, but it’s more either chicken or fish. There are a lot of meals that I eat without meat, and I try to add more protein into it when I don’t have it.

  2. Meatless Monday! What a great idea Amanda. I like my protein too but this is a great way to bring healthy eating awareness to the family table. I love the idea of meatless Monday, I think we have a new tradition in our family. Thanks for the great tips.

  3. I have been a vegetarian since I was twelve, because I’m an animal lover, but I recognize it’s not for everyone. However I do think that some people probably eat a lot more meat than they need…

  4. I definitely have contemplated and still sometimes DO wonder if I could become vegetarian simply because lots of veggies make my body feel more energetic and I get less stomach trouble. However, I do have a hard time not eating fish and eggs! lol. So I definitely do like my meat/dairy protein, but there are days when I don’t eat any meat–or just REALLY little of it. I would say for the most part, I eat meat about 4 times a week?

  5. Great post!

    I’ve been a pescatarian for several years, which means I’m mostly vegetarian but don’t call myself that as I do eat fish on occasion (1-2 times a month), and I indeed feel healthier (mind, body, and soul) now than before!

    For me, it’s less important what we eat but rather how we eat – consciousness is key.

    I have friends who know the impact that the meat industry has had on the well being of animals and our environment – but they consciously partake in eating meat because it feels right for them. And I fully support their decision as it comes from a true place of “knowing” and listening.

    I have other friends on the other hand who say “I’d rather not know,” and, though I’ll always love my friends of course, this approach to eating (and life!) doesn’t resonate the same with me.


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