Want to be healthier, save money and help the environment this year? Join celebrities such as Fearne Cotton and Emma Thompson by adopting Meat Free Monday, a campaign started by Paul McCartney to raise awareness of the postitive results of skipping meat once a week.
Studies suggest that we could all benefit from having at least one meat free day a week - Meat Free Monday is the perfect way to get started
While going completely meat-free might scare you, many studies suggest that we could all benefit from having at least one meat-free day a week, and Meat Free Monday is the perfect way to get started.
Meat Free Monday is a positive way to start the week
Unlike most diets, committing to doing something every Monday is a small and achievable goal that allows you to not only start afresh every week, but sets you up with a positive mindset. This also helps you to make better choices for the rest of the week.
It’ll help you be healthier
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard that excessive consumption of red and processed meats can be bad for you. In fact, many of the world’s leading health organisations now encourage a reduction in the amount of all variations of meat we consume, with The World Cancer Research Fund recommending that people ‘choose mostly plant foods, limit red meat and avoid processed meat’. It’s also no secret that most of us struggle to get our 5-a-day, so by eating a less meat-focused diet we can ensure we get our fill of all the vitamins and minerals we need.
You’ll save money
Buy a decent cut of meat and you’ll end up spending much more than you would on the staples of a meat-free diet. Rice, beans and lentils are considerably cheaper, coming in at one third of the price of meat per serving! Enough said.
And help the environment
Last year, global climates recorded an average one degree rise for the first time, which means combating global warming has never been so important. Central to this is working to reduce our meat consumption, as the livestock industry is one of the most significant contributors, causing a massive release of harmful greenhouse gases. Yikes. Do your bit to help by eating a little less, thus helping to reduce the demand.
The easy recipes that will get you started
Think it’s a good idea but don’t know where to start? Never fear - we’ve got delicious recipe ideas, plus some helpful tips, to help.
Most breakfasts are easily adaptable to a meat-free diet. The key is to prepare in advance - think of things that are easy to eat on the go, such as breakfast bars, muffins and smoothies. Yum!
The staples such as soups, salads and wraps are easy to modify by swapping a few ingredients and make tasty lunchtime meals.
- Roasted red pepper & tomato soup
- Pear & avocado salad
- Falafel wrap
- Baked sweet potatoes with chilli & feta
An easy way to do a quick meat-free dinner is to stick to recipes you already know and love and substitute the meat for vegetables, lentils or beans.
Once you’re feeling more confident, don’t forget to try something new to keep you and your family interested. When creating a dish you haven’t tried before, start off with a base such as pastry, pasta, rice or noodles and build on it with ingredients such as vegetables and beans, topping off with fragrant herbs and spices.
- Three-garlic pasta
- Cheesy bean burgers - Tip: slice up any leftovers with lettuce and salsa, to create a Mexican inspired tortilla for lunch the following day.
- Beetroot & feta flan