In 2003, Meatless Monday had been introduced as a public health awareness campaign. Since then, Meatless Monday has turned into an international movement. Its participants range from schools to hospitals to restaurants.
The idea behind Meatless Monday is to start the week off with a focus on health and awareness of the impact our meat consumption is having on the environment. The UK’s Food Climate Research Network suggests that “food production from farm to fork is responsible for between 20-30 percent of global green house gas emissions.”
We encourage you to join the Meatless Monday movement. We know it is not easy to change your diet so here are a few tips to make your Meatless Monday easier:
- Plan your meals ahead: If you determine what you will eat with time most likely you’ll stick to the plan. Try to go grocery shopping the day before.
- Use seasonal produce: Using seasonal produce is the best way to consume without having the cost consume you. Make sure to visit your local farmers’ market for fresh goods. If in Chicago, here is a complete listing of farmers’ markets in the area.
- Try new recipes: Meatless Mondays are not about eating the same salad over and over. Trying new recipes is a good way keep engaged while discovering all the good flavors that can be reached without meat.
- Add green juices as snacks: Green juices are a great way to add more variety to your veggie intake. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
- Incorporate the vegetarian superfoods: When planning your meals try to incorporate foods such as beans, nuts, grains and seeds. These are the foods that are the heroes of a vegetarian diet because they are rich sources of essential nutrients.
- Dine out wisely: If you decide to dine out, choose a restaurant with a variety of meatless options on the menu. It will be easier to stick to your meatless plans if you have several options to choose from. In Chicago the options are plenty. (For more info visit the Chicago vegan and vegetarian restaurant directory)
- Get your family involved: Everything is easier when we do it with the ones we love. Think of recipes together, cook together, share with your kids the reasons why you are going meatless on Mondays.
- Remember the cause: When it gets too hard to keep engaged, remember the great cause behind it. Meatless Monday is much bigger than you.
- Celebrate: Don’t make of Meatless Monday the day when you cannot eat what you want. I invite you to have fun with it. Think of Meatless Monday as a celebration. A celebration in which you honor yourself and the planet.
Join us in this effort. Sign the pledge to go meatless this Monday.