Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Meatless Mondays

I don’t know if you’ve heard about a trend that is sweeping the nation, but I’m here today to tell you about Meatless Mondays.  MM is a movement where people pledge one day a week (mainly Mondays) to going meat-free.  After weeks of trying to go meatless, then forgetting it was Monday each week, I finally was able to make it work. Now I avoid meat on Mondays as best as I can.

People do this for a variety of reasons, some for ethical, others for environmental, and more still because they like the idea of vegetarianism but aren’t sure they can fully commit to it.

I fall into the latter category.  I keep telling myself I want to be a vegetarian, but then I forget and eat a buffalo chicken wrap. I took on Meatless Mondays because I wanted to learn about new meals that aren’t centered around meat.  I found myself eating turkey sandwiches for lunch and chicken for dinner almost every day.  I think most people find themselves stuck in this same pattern. I used Meatless Mondays as a way to challenge myself to find alternatives to my very mundane meal plan.

I thought lunch would be the hardest part. What was I supposed to eat that wasn’t a turkey sandwich? I couldn’t survive on PB&Js or yogurt every day, so I found a new-to-me alternative. Almost everyday I now eat Amy’s Soups. 

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Amy’s Soups are made of all organic ingredients and each one is vegan and good for you.  My three favorites are Split Pea (pictured above), Lentil Vegetable, and Black Bean Vegetable.  What I love most about Amy’s is that you can read and pronounce each and every ingredient.  Take a look at their Lentil Vegetable ingredient label.

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I know what each of those ingredients are and I have most of them in my kitchen.  That makes me happy knowing there is nothing yucky added to it. Check the label of soups you buy, because not all of them are as simple as Amy’s. The more of the ingredients you can pronounce and recognize, the better!

Dinner is less of a challenge than I thought as well. I keep it simple on Meatless Mondays with salads, rice, veggies and pasta.  Some times I mix it up and add lentils or quinoa when I have extra time. I was so used to centering my dinners around an animal protein that finding vegetarian options is a fun challenge.

According to the Meatless Monday website, they chose Monday because it is the day when people set intentions for the week.  Diets start on Mondays and it is the first day of the work week.  Also, people carry over behaviors they start at the beginning of the week to the rest of the week.  The hope is that people will not eat meat on Mondays and be inspired to try to go veg for the rest of the week as well.

I am not saying that I am a meat convert, but I do think this is a valid idea.  I like participating because it make me more aware of what I am eating and challenges me to come up with new ideas. It has also inspired to go veg for this whole week after the juice fast.  I will write an update once this week is over.

I still like meat in some cases, but I also like the vegetarian options I am exposing myself to.  I just recently signed the pledge to go meatless, will you try it to?

Are you a vegetarian? If so, why did you decide to go meatless?

Do you ever consciously stay away from meat? Why do you do it?

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