Meatless Monday just got so much more appealing.
You don't have to swear you'll never touch another steak to start reaping the benefits of eating more plant-based meals. Even if Meatless Monday is the extent of your animal-free eating escapades, it's a worthwhile effort.
“A lot of research supports that a plant-based diet provides more nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants," says Amy Gorin, RDN, a dietitian for Upfield. "It also may lead to benefits such as lower LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower risk of diabetes, and better weight management.”
The benefits don't end with your health, either. “People these days want to take actions that are better for them and better for the planet," Gorin says. "People want to feel good about what they’re putting into their bodies and plant-based diets offer a combination of environmental and health benefits.”
Don't worry, though—if you're not sure how the heck to build vegan meals, you're not the only one.
“Learning to cook with new ingredients can be intimidating at first,” says Leanne Ray, RDN, a dietitian for Kodiak Cakes. “Many people are accustomed to building a meal around animal protein, so transitioning to using more pulses, whole grains, nuts, and seeds can be an adjustment.”
The key: Think about meals and snacks you regularly enjoy, and brainstorm ways to nix the animal products and incorporate more plants. Before you know it, meat will no longer be a vital component of every meal.
Whether you're ready to go all in on vegan eating or just want to make Meatless Monday finally stick, eliminate the guesswork and whip up one of these plant-based meals. They've got breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert covered.
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