// By: Emily Fitzgerald, MScFN,RD & Samantha Nesrallah, RD

What are Meatless Mondays, you ask? This decade old concept suggests planning a meal without meat one day a week: Mondays! This campaign originated out of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and has since expanded to 44 countries around the globe1. The goal? To improve human, animal and environmental health through reduction of meat consumption. This innovative initiative is simple, cost-effective, and, best of all, guilt-free!

Meatless Mondays are a great opportunity to experiment with new recipes and may naturally lead to an increased intake of plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. These foods offer antioxidants, phytonutrients, fibre, vitamins and minerals that help protect us against cell damage2.

There are a number of health benefits associated with consuming these plant-based foods, such as reducing your risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity3. A high intake of red and processed meats has shown to increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer2,3.

Here are a few simple Meatless Monday strategies to get you started:

  • Don’t forget the protein! While eliminating meat, it’s important to replace it with plant-based protein like legumes, tofu, hummus and nuts to feel satisfied after your meal.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new. Tofu may seem intimidating at first glance but once you determine which type will work best with your dish, you’re all set!
    • soft or silken tofu is great to use in smoothies, dips and dressings
    • firm tofu can be crumbled and added to casseroles
    • extra firm tofu is ideal for stir-frying and grilling
  • Change it up. Meatless Mondays don’t have to mean eating salad every Monday. There is a world full of plant-based recipes out there. Check some of them out on our recipe page.
  • On a busy schedule or tight budget? No need to worry. The majority of meatless meals require less cooking time and can be quite cost-friendly. It’s simply a matter of finding the recipes that work well for you and your family!
  • Make it a social event. Make it a Meatless Monday potluck with family and friends and challenge them to join the movement and come up with their own recipes.

As the warm summer weather has arrived, try making our fresh beet and pomegranate salad for your next gathering!

Are you looking for more individualized nutrition support? We offer one-on-one nutrition coaching consultations all year round!

Stay grounded,

Emily

Written in collaboration with Samantha Nesrallah, RD, nutrition volunteer

References

  1. http://www.meatlessmonday.com/the-global-movement/
  1. https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Cancer-/Lowering-your-Risk-of-Cancer-What-about-Specific.aspx
  1. http://www.meatlessmonday.com/about-us/why-meatless/