In 2010, I started cutting down on my meat consumption mainly out of curiosity. Since I love doing food experiments with my health and nutrition, I wanted to see how my body would feel with less meat. I liked feeling more lightweight, and I noticed that my bowel movements were easier as well. I know a bit TMI but it was something significant I noticed, and I take to heart Dr. Oz's advise on the importance of healthy bowel movements.
I didn't cut out meat entirely because I need a source of protein because I am sensitive to some beans, I avoid soy other than edamame and occasional tofu because of the estrogen's and GMOs, and cannot have whey protein or cow milk because of allergies. In cutting down meat, I did boost my seafood intake. I've started getting more adventurous with the seafood and trying new things which has been really fun like discovering a myriad of ways ceviche can be prepared.
I heard about Meatless Monday on Twitter which is a grassroots campaign in association with John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent to increase personal health and the health of the planet.
All they ask is that people cut out meat just one day a week which in my book seems like a wonderful idea. If you're a meat lover, you might be scratching your head and wondering what is so great about cutting out meat for one day. Well, here's 3 benefits to think about:
- You give your digestive system a break. Digesting meat in the body takes more work than digesting produce like veggies and fruits. Spending just one day consuming more roughage can also help you increase fiber intake which is a common problem for many people. As I get older, I am appreciating more and more the importance of good fiber consumption which also helps in the bowel movement department.
- A common New Year's resolution is "eat more vegetables." Why? Because vegetables are key to creating more vibrant health and to getting back into those skinny jeans which tends to be another top resolution - drop weight. Doing a Meatless Monday puts you in a position where you can focus more on discovering new veggie options. Personally, I tend to avoid baby carrots, ice burg lettuce, and celery because it reminds me too much of being on a diet or "die-it" as it better describes how eating to lose weight tends to make me feel like the joy of eating is sucked out of me. Having meat-free days has helped me discover foods like kale, Quinoa, and fennel which are way more fun!
- It's a new adventure! You get to experiment, get creative, and wander as well as wonder. Put some fun back into your eating groove. We all get stuck in ruts eating the same things over and over again. Trying new foods is fun and it's definitely a good conversation starter. As an adventurous and social idea, host a meatless potluck and ask your guests to each bring a meatless dish. You can help inspire your friends and family to eat more veggies, grains, and fruits, and you can learn new dishes as well. It's all kinds of win for everyone!
What's another benefit you've seen doing a Meatless day?