Having More Meatless Meals and Meatless Mondays for Better Health
It’s a good idea to plan once a week for no meat or meatless meals.
- Better for your health
- Saves money
- Helps the environment
Meatless Mondays isn’t a recent, new age invention. Going meatless was encouraged during World War I and II, when rationing meat and other staples became part of the overall war effort.
Now, we’re much more aware of the health benefits associated with eating less saturated fat that’s found in meat. These types of fat pollute our arteries and can harm our hearts.
Going meatless at least one day per week can dramatically reduce your bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides that cause strokes, heart disease and other health problems.
Eastern cultures have been touting less meat for generations, and scientific and medical reports have found that those cultures are the healthiest in the world. Obesity is also less of a problem in other cultures that practice mostly vegetarian lifestyles. If you think about the “Mediterranean Diet, this diet is touted as the ideal diet to follow and has drastically less meat than the typical diet.
One reason that meatless Mondays is being promoted in America is because of the obesity problems that exist in both children and adults. Obesity is causing a strain on our medical system and early deaths and chronic diseases – and leaders are now realizing the importance of eating healthier.
Schools and hospitals have adapted to the nationwide promotion to eat less meat, and meatless meats (plant based food) are being developed that mimic meat in both texture and taste, giving you options that were never offered before.
Give meatless Mondays a chance to improve your health and help you lose unwanted pounds. Browse online for some meatless recipes that appeal to you and be adventurous in trying new ideas that will boost you and your family’s health and welfare.
There are so many positive reasons to incorporate more meatless meals and “Meatless Monday’s” into your lifestyle. For example, eating too much meat has been linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and other potentially life-threatening illnesses. Not only can eating less meat lead to improved health, it can also lessen your impact on the environment and leave more money in your wallet at the grocery store. By including more meatless meals in your weekly diet, you may also consume fewer calories, which can help you lose those unwanted extra pounds.
With so many perks associated with eating less meat, you may wonder if there are any potential drawbacks. The reality is there are a few, but they can be easily minimized with a little planning.
While optimal health can be achieved while following a vegetarian 0r plant-based diet, it’s easy to fall short in some areas. For example, in an effort to avoid meat or animal products, some vegetarians may consume too many processed or pre-packaged foods, which often contain a lot of sugar, sodium and “bad” carbohydrates. When this occurs, the effect can be very detrimental to their health.
In addition, some vegetarian diets are very restrictive, while others allow a great deal of flexibility. For example, vegans eat only fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, but no animal by-products, such as milk, cheese, eggs or even honey. The more restrictive the lifestyle, the more difficult it becomes to consume enough protein and other nutrients to maintain peak health.
Meatless & Healthy Meal Ideas You Can Love
Each year, it costs our health care system millions of dollars to combat the unwelcome side effects associated with unhealthy lifestyles. As a result, many physicians and dietitians are urging people to eat more meatless meals to improve their health and lose unwanted weight. Popular restaurants are even responding to this trend by offering more meatless options on their menus.
Heart disease, cancer and strokes are just a few of the health concerns that have been linked to eating too much meat. Now, it’s an easy fix because there are so many ways that you can cut down on meat intake without sacrificing great taste and proper nutrition.
Long gone are the days when meatless dishes meant putting up with unappetizing and tasteless tofu creations. Now, it is possible to enjoy delicious culinary creations without ever reaching for meat or any meat-like substitutes.
When it comes to creating delicious meatless meals your whole family will love, you may be pleasantly surprised at how many options you have. For example, vegetarian black bean chili is a warm and satisfying alternative to traditional meat-filled versions. Likewise, pizzas stacked high with richly caramelized onions, your favorite veggies and bubbling cheese offers a satisfying alternative to the classic versions with pepperoni and sausage toppings.
Other meatless dishes you can fall in love with include thick slices of eggplant parmesan or a hearty minestrone soup made with vegetable stock, fresh vegetables and white beans. Oven-roasted asparagus tossed with penne pasta, a little lemon zest, shaved Parmesan and some homemade lemon-garlic vinaigrette is yet another tasty idea full of interesting flavors.
Once your creative juices start flowing, you’ll find the options are nearly limitless.
Keep in mind, nearly everything you need to create delicious meatless dishes like these can be found on the outer perimeter of your local supermarket. That’s where you’ll find the fresh, whole foods, while the more heavily processed convenience foods lurk in the center aisles. Avoid that section as much as possible, and you should be in good shape.
For inspiration, pick up a couple highly rated vegetarian cookbooks or start a collection of online recipes. Start with one or two that appeal to you and find flavor combinations you enjoy. Over time, you can increase the variety of meals you can enjoy by trying just one new recipe each week.
Make a Simple Angle Hair Pasta with Red Pepper Sauce
ANGEL HAIR PASTA WITH CREAMY RED PEPPER SAUCE
1 can chicken broth
1 ( 6 oz.) can tomato paste
1-1/2 cups water
2 medium red peppers, seeded and diced
1 small onion, cut into chunks
3 cloves of garlic, cut into half
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 ( 3 oz.) package of cream cheese, cut into chunks
1 ( 8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
Add chicken broth, tomato paste, and water to the skillet; stir to blend. Add red peppers, onion, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper; bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and stir in cream cheese chunks. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until peppers are tender. Remove from heat; pour into blender container. Purée until smooth. Pour mixture back into the skillet and add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir through to combine. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Serve over Barilla Plus Angel Hair Pasta.
No one is going to guess there are red peppers in this sauce. There are always “clever” ways of adding extra nutrients to your family’s diet!