Try Meatless Mondays to Improve Your Health and Save Money
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Try Meatless Mondays to Improve Your Health and Save Money

Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2013 at 1:09 pm
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If you’re like many people, a large chunk of your grocery bill each month probably goes towards buying meat. Eating meat 7 days a week can not only get expensive, but can also be harmful to the environment and to your overall well being. The Meatless Monday campaign is a non-profit initiative aimed at encouraging followers to simply cut meat out of their diet one day a week for better health.

How Can Meatless Monday Improve My Health?

Eating a diet packed with red meat, processed meats, and full-fat dairy products can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. They have also been associated with increases in total mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease. Many studies show that diets high in fruits and vegetables can reduce your cancer risk. It’s also necessary for overall health. Cooking things like beans, vegetables, and grains not only contain less fat, but you’ll get tons of vitamins and minerals like fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium, etc. On top of it all, cutting out a lot of fat from meat will probably give you more energy so you feel better overall. When you do eat meat, choose low fat cuts. You can also take it a step further and opt for grass-fed, hormone-free, locally-raised options to cut out the hormones and antibiotics found in commercial meat.

How Does Meatless Monday Help the Environment?

Traditional meat production methods take quite a toll on the environment. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, nearly one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions come from the meat industry. This is actually far more than transportation emissions. Tons of water is also needed to grow livestock. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef while only 220 gallons are used per pound of soy tofu. Finally, the transportation of feed and meat from the farm, to the processing plant, to your store requires tons of fossil fuels. Cutting out meat just one day a week is a great way to decrease greenhouse emissions, water usage, and fossil fuel demand. Buying organic local-raised meat is a great way to help the environment while still enjoying your favorite cut of chicken or beef.

How Will Meatless Monday Save Me Money?

The simple truth is that items like fruits, vegetables, pasta, rice, grains, nuts and beans cost far less than meat. When you buy a large bag of rice, for example, you can make it stretch pretty far as it keeps well and you can use it for a lot of different dishes. An added bonus is that since produce changes seasonally, you’ve got a whole year of new flavors and recipes to try!

The Meatless Monday website includes delicious meatless recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Give them a shot and see what you like! If you’re family enjoys your meatless dishes, take it a step further and add another meatless day for increased benefits and savings!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.