You've heard of it, you've thought about it, but have you ever successfully and purposely completed a #MeatlessMonday? There are so many benefits to a vegetarian diet, but even just going meatless one day a week can be enough to reap them!
Growing up, we were all taught that meat is protein and a requirement of every meal. Breakfast usually came with some kind of sausage or bacon, lunch was a turkey sandwich or a hamburger, and dinner was chicken, fish or steak. I remember my dad quoting "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd to my brother and I at dinnertime if we were skimping on our protein: how can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?
It can be really difficult to let go of old ways of thinking, but it's terribly important to understand that meat is not a necessary component of a healthy diet. In fact, the World Health Organization has classified processed meats such as bacon, bologna, deli meats, pepperoni, sausage, hot dogs, and other highly processed meat products as a carcinogen; and red meat such as beef, steak, pork, lamb and goat as a probable carcinogen.
So why add Meatless Monday to your life?
Going meatless for even one day a week can decrease your chances of developing preventable conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Let's face it, meat is expensive! Think about it - one cow requires a ton of food and water; the slaughterhouse operations are extremely expensive; and it costs a lot to transport the meat from the slaughterhouse to your grocery store. When you build a meal around vegetables and grains, it is much less expensive.
Also, do you know how much money it costs to treat conditions like cancer and diabetes? A LOT.
Approximately 1,850 gallons of water are needed to produce a single pound of beef, but only approximately 39 gallons of water are needed to produce a pound of vegetables.
Studies show that the greenhouse gasses contributing to climate change are mostly coming from the production of meat... more than human travel by car and airplane combined. That's right - we're destroying our planet with cow farts.
70% of the grain grown in the United States goes to feed animals that will eventually be slaughtered for food. Approximately 700 calories of grains are required to produce 100 calories of beef. By relying on fruits, vegetables and grains instead of livestock, we could literally end world hunger.
I won't get too sappy, but how terrible is it that we have to plug our ears when someone tells us where our food comes from? I am an animal lover. I hate the thought of dogs being slaughtered and eaten in Korea, so how can I be so okay with the same thing happening here to cows, chickens, goats, pigs, ducks, geese and rabbits?
I love my dog, but you know what? My dog loves me back. Animals have emotions and create attachments just like we do. I can't support a system in which an animal gets killed because I want a snack.
Adding #MeatlessMonday to your 2018 routine can help you lose weight, fight disease, save money, reduce your carbon footprint and save a lot of lives. What's not to love?
Make sure to check out our Fit By Gab Meatless Monday FACEBOOK LIVE event on Saturday, January 13th at 6PM!