Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Meatless Weekdays - Summer Challenge!

So far today I have had a breakfast that included egg whites, spinach, asapragus, onions, and a banana, a snack of an apple, and a lunch that has included chick peas, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. Which leads me to this - my summer challenge! Meatless weekdays.

I'm giving up meat all summer *on weekdays* (I'll explain the weekday part in more detail in a minute).  I actually started this yesterday though and am not waiting until the official start of summer but plan to end the challenge August 26th, 2012.

First let me specify: To me, meat does NOT include fish or animal byproducts. I am not becoming a "vegetarian" or "vegan" or anything with a label. I am simply avoiding the flesh of warm blooded animals for the summer (and who knows how long after). I still plan to eat eggs, drink milk, and eat fish but I don't plan to eat chicken, beef, or pork, etc..

I came up with this when I realized that 99% of the decisions I make regarding food typically don't include meat anyway. I am a VEGGIE LOVER - as you can tell above.

I have also done meatless mondays, for the most part, since the beginning of the year and have decided to give myself a challenge, switch things up a bit, and experiment with new food!

Allow me to share with you some of the benefits of being "meatless". Here are the health benefits listed by MeatlessMonday.com:

  • LIMIT CANCER RISK: Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer.

  • REDUCE HEART DISEASE: Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%.

  • FIGHT DIABETES: Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.  

  • CURB OBESITY: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain.

  • LIVE LONGER: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.

  • IMPROVE YOUR DIET. Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.

  • Not to mention the plethora of environmental reasons!!

  • ^ That is enough reason for me!

    So now to the weekend part: My good friend Daphne reminded me that Summer is prime time grilling season and if you're at a BBQ that you aren't hosting, a grilled chicken thigh can be a life saver when it comes to saving your plan! Sooo with that being said, if need be, I will allow myself lean protein on the weekends. That doesn't mean I will eat 3 hamburgers every Saturday and Sunday. Just that if the situation arises, which I'm sure it will, that I am at a gathering and the healthiest choice is chicken, then chicken it is.

    SO WHO'S IN????

    If this is all new to you and you're not sure about doing all week, try participating in Meatless Mondays or committing to going meatless 2-3 days out of the week. If that's too much, try 1 meatless meal per day.  You will probably learn how many ways you enjoy your vegetables prepared and how good things like tofu can be. TRY IT! Switch things up a bit. Not to mention, summer time calls for light, refreshing meals and for me, there is nothing more light and refreshing than fruits and veggies!

    Getting Started:
    • Check out any cookbook you already own - there is always a vegetarian section and sometimes a whole grains section as well as a vegetables section. Don't be afraid to try something new.
    • Check out Www.meatlessmonday.com for their favorite meatless recipes. Don't be afraid to try something new.
    • Google "meatless recipes" and be specific about what you're looking for. If you want something with cheese or with a certain vegetable or grain, put it in there. Don't be afraid to try something new.
    • Fitness Magazine's vegetarian meal ideas: Click hereDon't be afraid to try something new.
    • I'll post anything I try starting with the bean burgers I had last night when I get home!
    Did you get the memo???

    It's good for you in all facets of your life. It keeps things fresh! Dull is boring.

    sooo..... who's with it?? Let me know in the comments!! I tried to make a poll but it was giving me a hard time lol.



    DaphneCT said...

    I'm in!!! And trying something new is always fun :) Let's go let's go let's go :)

    BlackAngel1005 said...

    I am soooo in A few years back I actually went Vegan for 6 months and that is when I actually tried Sushi, and Tofu which are two things I said I would NEVER eat. But as the saying goes NEVER say NEVER. I know absolutely love sushi and tofu. Vegetables are so delicious and taste just as good as those not so good meats and they even taste better and as you stated Krystle they are so much better for you then meat. And veggies are very filling. I am so excited about this challenge and know i can do it since I have done it before for 6 straight months. I just have to challenge myself to working out more which is my struggle especially with all I am going through at this time. Thanks for the challenge and I am SOOOO IN

    Erika said...

    I am in too!! I love this idea.

    Unknown said...

    I'm super down! To be honest, I will probably just do it 7 days a week.If I am presented with a situation where chicken is the only option - I will do it, whether its tuesday or sunday - but mostly I will probably just cut it all out, all the time (except for fish). I was a vegetarian for 3 years when I was in High School and I found it quite easy! It wasn't for my health back then but now it can be for health and for the animals :)

    I already don't eat much meat - like you, i prefer a veggie loaded meal to a meat based meal. so this sounds good to me :) im down and think its awesome you and other readers are too! veggies rock haha.

    great post. xx

    Jamie Danielle said...

    I love chicken to much :(

    Unknown said...

    I went Vegan for a year when I first moved out of home, I found the cook book "How it all Vegan" was great in supplying wonderful recipes and weren't too preachy (they admitted to falling off the non meat wagon). Anyway I mainly wanted to say that I have been reading your blog for a while now and I wanted to let you know that it is my favorite blog! I jump on my computer at work every morning just hoping that you have uploaded a post! You are a inspiration!!

    Yvonne said...

    Count me in, girl!!
    I've been veg-curious for a while.
    You must been reading my mind. LOL!

    Carrie said...

    Challenge Accepted!!! I have actually been doing a Vegan kickstart, and I have now decided that my family will eat absolutely NO animal products throughout the week, and meat only on the weekends (sat/sun). Can't wait to hear about your results!

    Marta said...

    I'm in going to tart with 2-3 days aweek and build to 5! Just joined WE tonight so this will be a nice incorporation ;)

    Anonymous said...

    I can't even with you. You're not a doctor and you're just going extra with this. You're becoming borderline obsesed with anorexic behavior.

    Elaine Steele said...

    @anonymous: Shut up. She is NOT anorexic. Shoo

    Teresa Halminton said...

    Haha! The picture above is so hilarious!
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