The Meatless Monday movement is here. Forcing us to take stock in the notion that we may really be what we eat.
The Health benefits are numerous: reduce cancer risk, reduce heart disease, fight diabetes, curb the obesity epidemic, live longer, and improve overall health.
The environments benefits are staggering: Reduce carbon foot print – it’s estimated that the meat industry generates one fifth of the man-made green house emissions accelerating climate change. Minimize water usage – an estimated 1800-2500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound. Reduce fossil fuel dependence – it takes about 54 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of protein from beef compared to 2 calories of fossil fuel from 1 calorie of protein from soy.
Los Angeles became the largest city to embrace the movement. If the spiritual home of the hamburger (In & Out Burger) and the health conscious fanatics can do it- we can all do it. No excuses.
Most of us end up cooking the same old reliables week after week. Performance anxiety prevents us from thinking outside the box to even give meatless Monday a try. And NO, Meatless Mondays does not mean rice cakes and carrots.
And while we’re on the topic, not every meal needs to be laden with animal protein. Beans, tofu, quinoa offer lots of protein with out the saturated fat. Plus most Americans consume double, even triple amount of their daily protein requirements (because our portions are too large).
A dietary overhall isn’t necessary- we’tre talking one day a week. Chefs generally don’t work Mondays, so eating out is sub-par, fish never arrives at the market on Mondays, so who wants to purchase days old fish, and you have most likely come off the weekend pushing the calorie-alcohol-splurge envelope.
Below are some of my house hold favs to get you started:
– Zucchini and garbanzo bean fritters along with a salad
– Roasted seasonal veggies with quinoa
– Tofu and asparagus stir fry
– Whole wheat pizza (you can even buy the dough at Whole Foods – all you have to do is roll it out) topped with a little cheese and roasted or grilled veggies. Accompany with salad.
– Bean and corn whole wheat burrito with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and small portions of cheese.
*For recipes check out my recipe tab