January 1 2017 by Jess
Our nutritionist Jess always says there are “umpteen different health benefits of choosing a majority plant-based diet with quality fruits and vegetables.” Looking to eat more fruits and veggies in 2017? You might want to try going meat-free on Mondays!
Choosing to go meatless just one day of the week is a great way for anyone who doesn’t want to become a vegetarian but would like to try to eat a little less meat and a lot more vegetables. Keep reading to see the top 5 reasons our nutritionist suggests trying out ‘Meatless Mondays’ this year.
Having just one day a week devoted to increasing the amount of plant food in your life makes it easier to begin eating more fruits and vegetables. Also, the benefit of going meat-free on a Monday is having the whole weekend before to buy fresh produce and prepare your meat free meals and start the week with a bang!
We all know how much better we feel when we eat our greens and enjoy non-processed meals. Meatless Monday is an opportunity to intentionally plan a day around eating only foods that make us feel great.
Wanting to try to eat less meat to show compassion for animals is a great reason to do Meatless Mondays. The mass production of our food today means the care and appreciation of the welfare of livestock can be extremely low. Billions of animals are killed for meat each year and most were raised in intensive factory farms in overcrowded conditions, which can lead to disease and increased hormone or antibiotic pumping.
“Going meatless is a compassionate step towards showing the world and the food industry that animal care does matter – animal cruelty and suffering isn’t okay.”
Did you grow up always having some type of meat and vegetables for dinner? Going meatless on Mondays is a great way to ‘unleash your inner creative chef and experiment with new flavors and ingredients you might not normally have tried!’. For example, spiced and roasted chickpeas is a delicious, plant-friendly way to enjoy vital nutrients and protein.
Some of the most delicious meals can be made with legumes cooked into stews, soups and casseroles. Or you can create smoothies that taste amazing with the right combination of fruits and vegetables for an efficient, nutrient-abundant meal.
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes are sometimes the cheaper ingredients to buy today, especially when purchased in bulk! Well-sourced meat and fish tend to be the most expensive items on our grocery lists, so intentionally going plant-based for one day of the week can definitely help save some money in the long run!
If you aren’t able to buy organic meat with your current grocery budget you might be able to by cutting down on overall meat consumption one day of a week. Less money spent on meat weekly will mean room in the budget to buy organic or free-range meat on the occasions you do eat it. Win-win!
You can get a great level of natural protein into your body and fill nutritional needs by including various nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains into your daily diet. Before you begin incorporating plant-based protein into your diet for Meatless Mondays, it’s important to know which plant sources are a natural source of protein and the suggested serving sizes!
1 serving of tempeh/tofu/edamame = around 20g protein
2 tablespoons chia seeds = 4g protein
¼ cup seeds = around 7-9g protein
¼ cup nuts = around 7-9g protein
1 cup cooked beans = around 15g protein
3 tablespoons hemp = about 10g protein
1 cup cooked lentils = 18g protein
1 cup of green peas = 8g protein
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast = about 12g protein
½ cup cooked quinoa = 7-9g protein
2 tablespoons spirulina = 8g protein
By Jess, graze nutritionist.
Our nutritionist extraordinaire, Jess trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She's the creator of our health badges, to help you choose the snacks and boxes that are right for you. Check out everything from Jess on our blog, with recipes and tricks to help you keep making better choices, or go to her website at jessntom.com for even more.
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