Even for non-vegetarians, October is a great time to take an extra moment or two to reflect on personal food choices. What we eat affects our health as well as the planet in significant ways. Every meal matters when it comes to making a difference. One way to start small with your veg journey is to start with one vegetarian night a week, “Meatless Mondays.” Try to challenge yourself, friends and family to eliminate meat from your Monday meals by creating an entirely vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even MANNA clients can participate in this vegetarian endeavor, we offer one vegetarian dinner entrée per week in addition to a large variety of fruit and vegetables with their meals.
There are several reasons to think about vegetarianism. For starters, it is a great way to focus on eating veggies. Five a day is the goal, and more is even better! All MANNA meals strive to emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables. Combined with exercise and other healthy habits, plant-based diets can reduce the risk of hypertension, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Also, vegetables, fruits and legumes tend to be very nutrient dense and are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. A vegetarian diet can also help double down on fiber and then some, the average American gets only about 12g of the 35 g. of fiber per day that is recommended.
Curious to learn more about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet? Or just looking for some ideas? Try these resources:
www.vrg.org/nutrition or www.vegetariantimes.com
Need another reason to picks beans instead of burgers in October? Do it for the planet! Vegetarian diets require less water for production and produce less CO2 as a byproduct. On a nationwide scale, this really adds up. For more information on the environmental effects of meat production, check out the article below.