By Erin Schindler
It occurred to me over 5 years ago that I was eating a lot of meat and I didn’t feel that great. I was eating
meat at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was doing a lot of CrossFit and was eating primarily a Paleo diet.
At about that time, I heard about taking one day off from eating meat each week. So, I tried it. It was
easy, fun, and it made me feel accomplished.
For the month of October, I thought a Meatless Monday would be a great challenge! Why you ask?
For overall health and well-being, but also to challenge what we think we know about the food we put in our bodies.
Meatless Mondays is not a new concept. It’s been around a while, and it is practiced in a lot of different countries. Mondays are a great day for a diet reset to start the week off right. I am a vegetarian myself.
I haven’t had meat or seafood in over 4 years. I am almost completely plant
based except for occasional dairy and eggs that are in baked goods. So why did I take time off from
eating meat and eventually become vegetarian? Like I said, I wasn’t feeling great and I questioned if
meat was the best option for my body. I have always had a lot of intestinal issues.
So, I did A LOT of research. Some great online resources I love are:
You may have seen a couple of documentaries; ‘What the Health’ and ‘Gamechangers’ on Netflix. Both are well worth the watch! I highly recommend them.
Prior to looking at the amount of meat in my diet, if someone told me they were vegetarian or vegan, I
thought they were crazy. I thought they were unhealthy. I completely dismissed the idea. My gosh,
where did they get their protein??!! Here’s a quick comparison of red meat vs. beans. You will see that
beans have a better nutritional profile and the same amount of protein.
You can be healthy and get enough protein on a vegan or vegetarian diet. So, when I say plant based, I
mean a diet full of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains. Not a diet of Impossible
burgers and Oreos. There are a lot of unhealthy foods in all categories.
Great sources of protein are
tofu, tempeh, edamame, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, spirulina, quinoa, chia seeds, hemp seeds, beans,
potatoes, broccoli, kale, seitan, and much more.
What about us athletes? There are Olympic athletes, professional athletes, and even body builders that
are vegan. I just read an article in Forks Over Knives that the World’s Largest Team of Vegan Strength
Athletes are set to compete this month at the Mr. America All-American Sports Festival in Atlantic City October 7-9th. They are sending 26 plant strong athletes from all over the world to compete in
bodybuilding, Olympic weightlifting, kettle bell sport and CrossFit. I am guessing considering some of
their past wins, they are going to do amazing. Ditching meat and dairy is what many athletes have said
made them feel better and stronger than ever!
The number 1 cause of death in the US is the American diet. 36% of Americans are obese and another
32% are overweight. Being overweight leads to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, strokes and other diseases. Processed meat such as bacon, ham, sausage and lunch meat are classified as a level 1
carcinogen by the World Health Organization. That means there is strong evidence that processed meats cause cancer. A plant-based diet can improve your health and a lot of the diseases caused by eating certain meats and foods. In fact, a plant-based diet is the only diet that can reverse and cure a lot of diseases. Eating a diet rich in plants can lead to weight loss and an overall much healthier life for many.
Vegans and vegetarians are a fast growing group! Businesses are taking notice. You can easily find a lot of plant-based menu items on most restaurant menus and there are a lot of vegan options in the grocery store. Look no further than the milk isle……soy milk, oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk and pea protein milk!
I have no problem cooking or making great, tasty meals. I start my day with a vegan protein shake with fruit and greens, I have salads or soups for lunch and a tofu stir fry or something similar for dinner. I try to have my main objective to be to eat as many vegetables and I consider my protein sources.
I have also done vegan meal delivery services:
https://www.purplecarrot.com ~I absolutely loved it!
I feel better than I ever have.
I hope you give it a try this month.
It will benefit you and our planet!