I don't file my eating habits under a single category. I'm not strictly vegan, vegetarian or Paleo. I do eat a mostly plant-based diet, but I also eat meat when my body feels like it. With one exception: Meatless Monday.
It is exactly what it sounds like! A Monday with no meat. The concept isn't a new one. It actually became popular during World War I and II when the U.S. Food Administration urged families to reduce consumption of meat to aid the war effort. At this time, more than 13 million families signed a pledge to observe the national meatless conservation day. The idea of Meatless Monday was then revived in 2003 by the John Hopkins School of Public Health as a public health awareness campaign. Today, Meatless Monday has grown into a global movement and is active in 36 countries!
Cutting out meat from your diet for just one day a week is a way for you to do something good for yourself and the planet. Food choices may be the single biggest impact we as individuals can have on the environment. Going meatless for a day can have a positive impact on global warming emissions, water pollution, public health and global health.
Research shows that Monday is the perfect day to make small, positive changes. The repeating cycle of the week allows Monday, 52 times a year, to be the day people commit to all kinds of healthy behaviours.
We just released our Vegetarian Summer Fresh Meal Plan last week on That Clean Life, so my Meatless Monday is already planned out for me. If you are needing a bit of inspiration to get started, here's a run down of our Meatless Monday menu!
Breakfast: Blueberry Energy Smoothie
I love this smoothie. It's thick, delicious, has 14 grams of protein and keeps me energized all morning. I always use frozen blueberries in the summer, which keeps it ice-cold and refreshing.
Lunch: Grilled Corn, Nectarine & Quinoa Salad
This recipe has been blowing up on That Clean Life! The combination of grilled corn and nectarines is unreal. The best part is that this makes enough for 4 servings, so I'll have leftovers for lunch for the next few days!
One of my go-to, quick and easy snacks. I just throw a handful of these into a container and throw it in my purse for when I am on-the-go. This crushes any salty cravings and has a healthy dose of protein, fibre and fat!
Dinner: Veggie Spring Rolls with Almond Butter Dipping Sauce
Tonight's menu originally called for Falafel Stuffed Peppers, but we swapped in veggie spring rolls, since we have most of the ingredients on hand. These look super gourmet but are seriously so easy to make. You can buy rice wraps at most grocery stores in the International Food aisle. Throw together your favourite fruits, veggies and protein (we're using mango, avocado, cucumber, spinach and quinoa), mix up our delicious Almond Butter Dipping Sauce and prepare to have your mind blown. Again, we always have leftovers with this recipe, which makes the next day super exciting. I have been known to eat these for breakfast.
Snack: A Cherry Blueberry Popsicle
Another delicious recipe, courtesy of my girl, LeChing. With this heat wave, we've been making these in big batches, hoarding them in the freezer and pulling em' out for a healthy late night snack. I love that these only have 53 calories per pop!
Do you celebrate Meatless Monday? What's your go-to meat-free meal?