3 Ways to Make Meatless Monday Part of Your Diet

If meat is missing from the menu at restaurants, schools, homes, even hospitals that’s because it’s Meatless Monday.

Meatless Monday is an international movement that encourages not eating meat one day a week. First promoted by the U.S. government during World War I to conserve resources, the idea was revived as a public health campaign in 2003.

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Chimichurri Potatoes- a great Argentine meatless meal idea. Courtesy: @NatalieGFierro

¿Por qué  ¿Don’t you need meat to get your daily protein?

Reducing how much meat you eat can benefit your health.

Adopting a plant-based diet once a week can lower your intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories, reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Don’t stress about missing your protein. You can find this nutrient in many foods including frijoles, nuts, seeds, even leafy greens.

Taking a break from carne is also good for the environment.

¿Cómo? 

The meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, accelerating climate change. Also, livestock need more water than vegetables or grains and grazing land, contributing to deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Small changes to your diet can go a long way to help protect and preserve a healthy environment for our children.

I love those benefits! ¿But does that mean I can only eat salad all day?

Absolutely not! I’m an every-day vegetarian and have endless options in my meatless recipe box!

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This Tlayuda de Flor de Calabaza was healthy and delicious. Courtesy: @NatalieGFierro

Many recipes you already know and love are or can easily be made into vegetarian dishes.

3 Meatless Meal Ideas

  1. Latina through and through? The Hispanic diet is full of veggie options. I love jalapeño or queso tamalespupusassopa de papas, and pepper and mushroom quesadillas.
  2. Love Italian food? My meatless favorites include vegetable lasagna, pasta primavera, and eggplant parmesan. Anyone order a cheese pizza?
  3. Don’t want to veer too far in your go-to meals? In your stir fry, use a meat substitute loaded with protein such as tofu. For your burger, choose a black bean or falafel patty instead of beef.
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This mouth-watering burger hosts a falafel patty. Courtesy: @NatalieGFierro

Click here for more ideas and recipes.

Try the Meatless Monday trend today and see how easily it becomes part of your routine. It’s one habit for which your health and the environment will thank you.

A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.

What will you be eating on Meatless Monday or any meat-free day of the week?

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