Take a chance and make a healthy change
January is the time of year when we decide to make changes to our habits and lifestyle that will make a positive difference in our lives. There are many different ideas and challenges that we could discuss and probably will over the coming months, but one that really excites me is the concept of “Meat Free Monday”.
Making a small change to your eating habits for one day of the week will not only benefit you and your family’s health but can have a much wider impact on the environment and world around you.
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Small changes can make a BIG difference
We know that making any kind of change to your daily or weekly routine can seem a bit daunting at first. However, I find that doing things gradually is more likely to have a lasting impact rather than throwing yourself in at the deep end when you are more likely to be discouraged.
Committing to just one day each week is a great way to open your mind to menu ideas which are both exciting and delicious. Each week here at Thyme To Feel Alive we will upload new recipes which are packed full of flavour and are nutritionally balanced to give your body the nourishment it needs
WHAT IS MEAT FREE MONDAY?
Meat Free Monday, launched in 2009 by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney is a worldwide campaign that encourages us to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve our health by having at least one vegetarian meal day every week.
Why eat less meat?
Elaine and I made a conscious decision to lower the amount of meat that we consume about three years ago and the benefits that we gained from this far outweighed any concerns that either of us may have had at the time. In fact, eating fresh vegetables, salads and fruit for us is now the norm and meat-based dishes make up a much smaller percentage of our diet.
· Eating less meat reduces your cancer risk
It has been suggested by the World Health Organisation that having a diet that is too rich in red meat and processed meats is not healthy and processed meat, in particular, was classified in a category as carcinogenic to humans. This does not mean you cannot eat meat as part of a healthy diet, but that it is important to balance out any meat that we consume by incorporating plenty of fresh vegetables along with any meat dishes so that we are eating healthily.
· Eating less meat can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight
Generally, if you eat less meat and are eating healthily then you will be eating fewer calories which will help you maintain a healthy weight. In addition, eating plant-based foods is considered to help contribute to a healthy heart and circulatory system.
If we can all do our bit, then collectively we can all help safeguard the planet for our children and future generations.
Livestock, worldwide is responsible for between 14.5 percent and 18 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, with the production of beef-producing more emissions than most other sources of meat.
In the Amazon rainforest at least 70% of deforested areas have been replaced with land for raising cattle.
It is good to eat local produce where possible and choosing local suppliers over international imports has much less of an impact on our environment.
By reducing the amount of meat we consume on a weekly basis we know that we are doing our bit and introducing a day like Meat Free Monday is one step towards achieving this.
· It's good for you and it tastes delicious!
One of the best things about going meat-free for a day is that it gives us the chance to pack more nutrient-dense vegetables into our meals than we normally do.
Rather than just leaving the meat out of a dish, try to replace it with a variety of vegetables that will be both delicious and full of nutrition.
A fun way to do this is to try and get at least 5 different colours of vegetables into your Meat Free day. Change the vegetables each week or maybe let each member of the family choose a different vegetable to be eaten that day.
If you are currently struggling to achieve your 5-a-day on a regular basis, start by hitting 5-a-day on Meat Free Monday, then gradually build up to more than 5 every day.
The benefits of consuming more vegetables are endless, including improved digestion, reduced blood pressure, glowing skin and an enhanced immune system.
Plus, most vegetables are so delicious, you will want to add them to your meals for the rest of the week too
Where do I start?
Every Monday, Elaine and I choose to eat meat-free and each week we want to share those ideas with you.
Keep coming back to thymetofeelalive.com for fresh ideas and quick and delicious recipes that you can get your teeth into and kick start 2020 in a positive way.
New recipes will be posted weekly on both our website and facebook page which we hope you will enjoy.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Email us with your own Meat Free Monday dishes and we can add them to our Facebook collage so that we can help spread the word together as a community
Why not go Meatless this Monday with us?!