You’ve probably heard about the Meatless Mondays movement – where a person or family commits to eating vegetarian meals and snacks for 1 day a week. The movement has gained popularity over the past few years, with celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, and Jessica Simpson publicizing the lifestyle.
Meatless Monday started as a way to encourage people to improve their health and help the planet by consuming fewer animal products. You may be wondering why Monday was chosen as the day to go meatless? Why not Wednesday or Saturday? You can certainly choose a different day of the week to go meatless or even choose more than one day. But Monday was chosen because it’s the start of the work or school week for most, and gives you an opportunity to get back into a healthy routine after an unstructured weekend.[i]
There are many great reasons for reducing meat in your diet, like saving money! For example, a pound of dry beans costs around $1.59 and contains about 10 servings. That’s only 16 cents per serving! A pound of ground turkey costs about $3.49 and contains 4 servings, which is 87 cents per serving. It may seem like you’re only saving a few cents – but over a year the savings will add up!
As you can see, incorporating meatless meals into your diet can help you save money at the grocery store. If you are signed up for FNS/SNAP this is can also help you stretch your food benefits. If you end up having money left on your EBT card at the end of the month, don’t worry. Remember that your FNS/SNAP benefits roll over from month to month – so you can still use them during another trip to the grocery store.
Eating less meat can be good for your health too. MeatlessMonday.com lists the following as health benefits of going meatless.
Limit Cancer Risk [ii]
Reduce Heart Disease [iii]
Fight Diabetes [iv]
Curb Obesity [v]
Improve Your Health [vi]
You don’t have to find new recipes to make meatless meals. You always can make substitutions to your favorite recipes to make them meatless.
|Chicken Stir-Fry||Tofu Stir-Fry|
|Beef Burrito||Bean Burrito|
|Tuna Salad||Egg Salad|
|Cheeseburger||Portabella Mushroom Cheeseburger (use mushroom cap as burger)|
Next time you’re planning menus for the week, try starting off the week with Meatless Monday. It’s good for your health AND your wallet!
[ii] Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine http://pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/diet-cancer
[iii] Mozaffarian D, Micha R, Wallace S (2010) Effects on Coronary Heart Disease of Increasing Polyunsaturated Fat in Place of Saturated Fat: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000252
[iv] Aune D, Ursin G, Veirod M B (2009) Meat Consumption and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00125-009-1481-x
[v] Newby PK, Tucker KL, Wolk A (2005) Risk of overweight and obesity among semivegetarian, lactovegetarian, and vegan women: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/6/1267.abstract
[vi] Mitchell DC, Lawrence FR, Hartman TJ, Curran JM (2009) Consumption of dry beans, peas, and lentils could improve diet quality in the US population: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19394480