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Sunday, January 22, 2017
Meatless Monday - RECIPE alert!
Who is food prepping and getting everything set for a successful week ready today? That is what I love to do on Sundays -- make my list, write things out, dream big, food prep, and get ready to #girlieboss my week!
You hear about #MeatlessMonday and maybe even do it every once and awhile. But did you know ALL the incredible benefits of going meatless just one day a week? Read on! And, as always, if you have questions – be sure to connect with me on Facebook for more tips, LIVING with cancer, being a #girlieboss, and so much more!
1. Meatless Monday can help you live longer
Studies show that eating more plant-based foods and less red meat can increase longevity. You don’t have to adopt a strict vegetarian diet to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet: cutting back on meat just one day a week can bring about the health benefits to help you live longer.
2. Meatless Monday sets you up for a successful and healthy week
The beginning of the workweek sets the tone for the rest of your week. A positive, healthy habit like Meatless Monday sets you on the right track to make better health decisions throughout the rest of the week, so come Thursday you might reach for a granola bar instead of a chocolate bar.
3. It is good for your heart
Cutting back on meat decreases your risk of heart disease, can lower cholesterol, and can decrease blood pressure. Studies have found that vegetarians have a 32% lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease than omnivores.
4. It decreases your environmental footprint
Switching out meat for plant-based foods means less water and energy is required to produce your food, and fewer greenhouse gases are expelled during production. It takes a whopping 1,800 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef compared to just 108 gallons for a pound of corn. Raising livestock is so resource-intensive because of how much corn, soy, and other feed must be grown to feed the animal. The resource footprint of a cow or pig includes all of the water, land, and energy required to grow the food that the animal eats, so it is significantly higher than the resource footprint of plants.
5. It’s easy and delicious
Meatless meals don’t have to be boring or time-intensive. Thanks to the internet thousands of easy, delicious, and free vegetarian recipes are available at your fingertips to help make your Meatless Monday meals the most delicious meals of your week. Dishes that do not normally include meat – like enchiladas, pasta dishes, or soup – are great for starting out. Protein-rich foods like beans, lentils, and tofu can easily replace meat in traditional dishes like stir-fries, tacos, and casseroles.
6. It can help you lose weight
Eating more fiber-rich plants lowers your risk of obesity, and meals that don’t feature meat tend to focus more on vegetables, grains, and fruits. Meatless diets also tend to be lower in fat, particularly saturated fat, and reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes.
7. It can help you out of a food rut
Shopping, meal planning, and cooking are time intensive, so it’s easy to eat the same meals over and over again until they become boring. Adopting a challenge like Meatless Monday encourages you to branch out and experiment with new recipes and ingredients, bringing new life to your kitchen.
8. It can save you money.
Meat tends to be more expensive than fruits, vegetables, and grains. Cutting out meat for just a few meals a week gives you more money to spend on healthy foods!
My favorite Meatless Monday recipe -- which can also work for #TacoTuesday!
Mexican Quinoa (one skillet) dish
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro.