It’s probably unfair to post this right after a huge Thanksgiving meal. Or maybe this is the perfect time :).
If you want to be efficient and do great work, it helps to be healthy! And a huge part of being healthy is being mindful of the foods you eat and how you feel after you eat them. More and more people are experimenting with foods – testing how they react to sugar, to gluten, to corn products, and to dairy products.
I would argue that it’s also important to test how you feel when you eat less meat. There’s nothing evil about meat, but it’s hard to digest. It’s high in fat. Many meat animals are fed unnatural grains and other substances including antibiotics so you don’t know exactly what you’re eating. And meat production can be taxing on the environment.
You don’t have to give up all meat to try out a month of meatless Mondays. So why not try it and see how you feel?
Besides feeling healthier, losing weight, and getting sick a lot less often, a side benefit to me of giving up meat about 10 years ago is that it made me try new dishes! I don’t know about you, but I tend to eat a lot of the same thing. One year I ate roast chicken almost every day for lunch. Another year it was sliced turkey on pita bread. One year, when I was pregnant with my second child, I ate a roast beef sandwich almost every day for lunch. When Bea was born, she was just shy of 11 pounds and about 2 feet tall. Bea is made of iron :).
I followed the same meat repetition patterns at my favorite restaurants. The foods I liked were delicious – but eating the same thing over and over isn’t healthy in a couple of ways. First, if there’s something in the food that’s harmful, it builds up in your system. And your body changes over time and listening to what it needs to be healthy is important. If you can break the habit of single-track ordering, you’ll find all sorts of delicious foods you never knew existed.
The biggest argument I hear from folks who aren’t ready to give up meat is that they won’t get enough protein in their diet. A recent article in the Washington Post lists a number of ways to get non-meat protein into your diet. You’ll find lots of seeds and nuts on this list. My favorite way to incorporate these into my diet is in oatmeal which is my new repetitive meal! Almost every morning for breakfast, I dress up hot oatmeal with chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa, sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds, and walnuts, plus dried cranberries as a sweetener. My mom is a pretty dedicated meat eater, but even she likes my oatmeal!
Other favorites from the Post include Greek yogurt with nuts and seeds, an occasional egg, broccoli, fish, beans, avocado, and spinach. In fact, if you asked me to list my favorite foods, I’d say the above list pretty much does it. Clearly, my body still craves protein even though I don’t eat meat. And by cutting out meat, I’ve naturally discovered these great alternatives.
Bottom line: It’s important to experiment with all aspects of your life when it comes to health. How much sleep you need. How much exercise. The impact of meditation. And how you react to different types of food.
Could Meatless Mondays be your foray into feeling healthier in 2018?
When you tune in to what makes you tick, you tend to tick better. Happy pondering 🙂
Things are starting to ice over here in Maine. Beautiful!
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