Happy #MeatlessMonday! Who’s ready to kick off the week with healthy and delicious plant-based food?
If you’re new to meatless eating and concerned about getting enough protein, the first thing I will say is that you probably shouldn’t be! Most Americans actually consume 1½ more protein than is necessary on a daily basis. Plus, protein is abundant in plant foods! If you eat a wide variety of them, you will likely meet your protein needs, which are different for everyone.
But if you need some extra assurance or are simply looking for a new plant-based protein to try cooking with today, I’d like to introduce you to the delicious dozen:
If you’re not sure what to eat today, try using plant-based proteins from the delicious dozen as building blocks for your meatless meals.
Here are some sample Meatless Monday Menus to help you brainstorm!
Eating less meat (in particular red and processed meat) may lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer. On the flipside, increasing your intake of fruits, veggies, and legumes promotes better heart health and more! See the research.
2. For the environment
Livestock production takes a huge toll on our planet, zapping many natural resources and generating more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector combined. See the research.
Meatless Monday can be good for your wallet, too! While it’s true that some plant-based meat alternatives cost as much as meat, choosing whole plant foods like black beans or chickpeas instead of meat is a great way to save some money and experiment with plant-based cooking.
I stopped eating meat in 2011, but it didn’t start with a big decision to go vegan or even vegetarian. I was just trying to eat healthier and came across Meatless Monday on social media. The concept was simple – cut out meat one day a week, for your health and the health of the planet. I decided to give it a try. I ended up liking it so much that my Meatless Monday quickly turned into Meatless Everyday.
My Meatless Monday journey continued in 2012 when I got a job with The Monday Campaigns, the nonprofit org behind Meatless Monday. For those who don’t know, Meatless Monday is much more than a social media trend. It’s a campaign with headquarters in NYC and sister campaigns across the globe, including Paul McCartney’s Meat Free Monday in the UK! For nearly 5 years I was fortunate to work on the campaign as Social Media Manager and later, Associate Director of Marketing. Each week I witnessed the movement grow as new schools, cities, restaurants, bloggers, and families came on board. I loved connecting with people from all over and hearing how reducing their meat consumption positively impacted their lives.
When I was super pregnant with Tripp in late 2016, I left my job to transition to the role of stay-at-home mama and my Meatless Monday story came to a pause. Though I wanted to keep up with the campaign and advocate for it on social media, it turned out that bloggin’ and mommin’ did not gel well for me. I became the sporadic instagrammer you know today as @meatfreemama.
But guess what? My Meatless Monday story is not quite over.
Today I am taking up the charge again, starting with a simple invitation for you to join me in celebrating #MeatlessMonday each week. Whether you are already veggie or interested in adding more plant based meals to your routine, Meatless Monday is a great opportunity to check in, share ideas and motivation, ask questions, get support, and enjoy delicious food.
If you’re IN, you can start today by commenting below or on instagram with an idea for Meatless Monday dinner tonight.
I’ve got spaghetti with meatless meatballs on my menu!
Stay tuned for more Meatless Monday posts including more on the history of the campaign, the WHY behind it, and delicious ideas to get you going.