Often, the first step to change can be quite overwhelming. However, sometimes setting small goals for ourselves can lead to great success. What if that small goal was to change your habits for one day a week, and with the achievement of that goal you are able to impact your personal health, the health of your family, our environment, and the animals that we share this beautiful world with? That is the brilliant idea surrounding the Meatless Monday Movement!
But Meatless Monday is not the new kid to the block. The campaign originally began during World War I by the U.S. Food Administration to reduce the intake of meat to help with the war effort, and then was renewed again during World War II by President Roosevelt. The nutrition focus of Meatless Monday came to the forefront in 2003 through the promotion by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with the nutritional connection being made between the rise of preventable diseases plaguing the United States and the country’s high intake of animal products. Now, Meatless Monday campaigns are flourishing around the world! The movement encourages people to take control of their health, the effects that they have on the planet, and to be empowered to make successful dietary changes.
Beginning your week with a healthy initiative is a great way to set yourself up for success! By taking the Meatless Monday pledge, and therefore eating less meat, you are decreasing the intake of inflammatory, chronic disease causing foods. The increase in meat consumption has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even some cancers. While eliminating these foods altogether is an optimal goal to have, beginning with a small step in the form of having a Meatless Monday can help you transition into a different nutritional lifestyle more successfully.
While partaking in Meatless Monday is beneficial for your own health, you will also be making positive choices for the environment and the welfare of the animals that share the world with you. Factory farming has expanded tremendously over the years. With this growth, a variety of agricultural practices have been implemented that reduce our personal water supply, increase greenhouse gases, increase antibiotic ridden meats, and promote inhumane and mass slaughtering practices of animals. Only 5% of water consumed in the United States is by private homes, compared to the 55% of water consumed in the United States for animal agriculture. In addition to our water losses, animal agriculture makes up 18% of the greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. If you would like to find out more facts on the impact of animal agriculture, you can go to http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts . While these facts are startling, one step at a time you have the power to be a difference maker for your world by what you chose to eat!
photo courtesy of Meatless Monday
Fortunately for you, in 2017 there is a plethora of resources to help you switch to a more sustainable, health conscious lifestyle! Meat-Less: Transform the Way You Eat and Live is an all-encompassing book written by Kristie Middleton, the Senior Director of Food Policy for the Human Society of the United States. In her book, Kristie shares why eating less meat is beneficial, how to get started, as well as a variety of recipes that are sure to appeal to anyone’s taste buds!
For those new to plant-based cooking and eating less meat, VEGAN: The Cookbook can also be a superb resource to help you build nutritious meals that are great for you and the world you live in! I don't think you will be feeling deprived when you sink your teeth into the Five-Spice Stir-Fried Soba Noodles and Lime Cheesecake that you have created! While you can’t put a price on great health benefits and a world changing movement, by using the promotional code below, you can save 30% on your purchase of VEGAN: The Cookbook!
Finally, the Meatless Monday movement makes sure you are NEVER alone in your journey by providing you with information on the movement itself, articles, online resources, as well as great kick-start recipes to aid you in our transition to a happier & healthier life!
As you can see, Mondays don’t have to give you the blues… instead use today as a day to change your life! Join the Meatless Monday Movement!
Addie Dulaney Majnaric is a recent graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie is currently a dietetic intern in the last 6 weeks of her supervised practice rotations, and will be sitting for the RDN licensure exam this summer. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthier selves through a vegan diet!
Addie has been vegan for 5 years, and promotes her recipes, love for animals, and nutrition journey on her blog: https://beansandblessingsblog.wordpress.com. In her free time, Addie enjoys running, creating vegan meals and baking, spending time with her husband Nathan and her best friend and sidekick, Kimba the rescue German Shepherd!