You know the saying "You are what you eat.."
I wonder how many of us like who we are by the end of the weekend? What is it with weekends that makes all the healthy wheels come off? You are generally quite disciplined during the week, in a pretty good routine with exercise, you eat a healthy breakfast, a balanced dinner, little or no wine. Come Friday 3pm you start thinking about that glass of wine after work that you feel you so deserve... And unless supper was planned and made before, chances are you'll probably end up at a restaurant or eating take aways! And it's only downhill from there, because now that you have eaten badly you might as well enjoy the rest of the weekend and start again on Monday right?
Is this you? It is certainly me!
While we were planning our weekly Meat Free Monday lunch special at the Coffee Bar today, I thought to read up a little about Meat Free Monday and where it all started...
According to www.meatfreemondays.com Meat Free Monday, the non-profit campaign, was launched by Paul,Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009. The campaign raises awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of animal agriculture and industrial fishing and encourages people to help slow climate change. But going meatless for a day was not a new idea....
A meat free day was first introduced during World War 1. The US Food Administration urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to aid the war effort. The government proclaimed "Food will win the war" and 'Meatless Monday' and 'Wheatless Wednesday' were introduced to encourage Americans to do their part. 13 Million families signed a pledge to observe the nation meatless and wheatless conservation days. The campaign returned during World War II and continued during the immediate post-war years.
Many years later in 2003 it was revived by health advocate Sid Lerner, reintroducing it as a public health awareness campaign. Since then Meatless Monday has grown into a global movement powered by a network of participating individuals, hospitals, schools, worksites and restaurants around the world! A campaign with a simple message which can easily be embraced by participants around the world. A few small positives changes to be repeated 52 times a year on a day when people are already committing to all kinds of healthy behaviours!
So why is it a good idea for me to go without meat once a week?
We all know the health benefits of fresh vegetables and fruit! Reducing your meat intake (especially red and processed meats!) and upping your fresh vegetable intake may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Going meatless once a week can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources like fossil fuels and fresh water. You may be able to cut your food budget by substituting meat for mush less pricey vegetables or legumes once a week! In the long run you will possibly save on healthcare too since you are reducing your risk of contracting preventable diseases. (Considering that one of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle is more vitality and a longer life, those extra rands may come in handy in later years!)
You can read more about these great benefits and health claims on www.meatlessmonday.com
So it's Monday and on Monday all health breaks loose right? So if you, like me, have made it this far today without breaking the "new Monday, new Week, new Goals" rule, join me and skip that lamb chop tonight! Let's have a roast veggie salad, a spicy minestrone with chunky ciabatta or a yummy basil pesto pasta. It doesn't have to be boring! Make it great!
PS Because we love Meat Free Monday, we always have a vegetarian lunch special on a Monday and also a vegetarian quiche of the day!
For an easy supper option, have a look at our Vegetarian Lasagne on our website. Order and have it delivered, or pick one up at your local Spar or Weyers Meats in Old Transkei Road, East London.