We suggest: Meat-free Mondays 2024
Could you go meat-free for just one day per week? And, more importantly, why should you? The modern diet relies heavily on meat and processed animal produce. Science shows this negatively impacts both, our health and the health of our planet.
I'm not vegan - I love meat
Well, we love our meat too! So much so that many people think Greeks can't live without their gyro and souvlaki. In fact, the Greek and Mediterranean diet contains plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes. Not only do we love our veggies and legumes we dedicate days for it. The traditional Greek and Cypriot household meal plan includes one or two meat-free days PER WEEK. It helps the digestive tract rest up and provides essential plant-based nutrients. And frankly, it gives animals a break!
Your vegan bowl- your way at Greek from Greece
Let's take a look at some of the known benefits of going meat-free for a day or two per week and you can judge for yourself!
What are the health benefits of reducing meat and animal products in your diet?
Not everyone is interested in going vegan, but it's safe to say everyone can benefit from reducing the weekly quantity of meat they consume. Many of us tend to overdo it when it comes to things we love to eat! Moderation rocks! Here are the top health benefits of having a day off meat or animal products per week:
Improved Digestion: A diet with a greater emphasis on plant-based foods often includes more fiber, aiding in digestion and promoting gut health.
Reduced Cancer Risk: While complete avoidance of certain meats is often recommended for cancer prevention, even a reduction in intake may contribute to a lower risk of certain types of cancer.
Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes: the more plant based protein in your plate the better
Lower Blood Pressure: Cutting back on processed and red meats may positively impact blood pressure, reducing the risk of hypertension.
Weight Management: Lowering the intake of high-calorie and high-fat animal products can contribute to weight control and a healthier body weight.
Heart Health: Limiting the consumption of saturated fats found in some meats may help reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Cost-savings: cost of meat is notably higher than fruit & veggies. What does this have to do with health you ask? Well, anything that helps combat stress is certainly healthy! Lightening your monthly grocery budget once or twice per week might result in some savings better spent on a gym membership, exercise class or hey: a day at the spa!
Very vegan - learn more about the miraculous lentil soup
It's important to note that the degree of reduction and specific dietary choices may vary for individuals based on their health status, preferences, and nutritional needs. But everyone can benefit from the "Meat-free Mondays" plan, and anyone can stick to it because it's so simple.
Environmental impact of reducing meat consumption:
Besides obvious health benefits, just imagine the impact on the environment if everyone took a day or two off meat and animal products per week:
Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions: By reducing meat consumption, the demand for livestock decreases, helping to lower overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Decreased Water Pollution: Livestock farming contributes to water pollution through the runoff of animal waste and the use of fertilizers and pesticides on feed crops. Lowering meat consumption can reduce the need for these intensive farming practices, leading to improved water quality.
Lower Energy Consumption: Meat production, from feed cultivation to processing and transportation, requires significant energy input. A shift towards plant-based diets can reduce the overall energy demand associated with food production.
Lower Carbon Footprint: The carbon footprint of plant-based foods is generally lower than that of animal-based foods. Shifting towards a more plant-centric diet can contribute to a lower overall carbon footprint.
Waste Reduction: Livestock farming generates large amounts of waste, which can have environmental implications if not managed properly. Reducing the number of animals raised for meat production can help decrease the volume of agricultural waste.
These benefits contribute to broader efforts to address climate change, protect ecosystems, and ensure the long-term health of the planet.
Grab a fresh Greek Salad and pita on your Meatless-Monday.
For a vegan choice simply order it without feta or check out our vegan salads here (link to Salad menu)
About Meatless Mondays
"Meatless Mondays" is not a new concept. Moderation was important throughout human history for various reasons. Wars, disease and supply problems made it necessary for people to ration their resources wisely. As time went on we have also become more aware of our health and our environment too. Check out this article on 100 years of Meatless Mondays from Johns Hopkins Centre for a Livable Future. And also: "Less meat - less heat" by the University of Colorado Boulder Environmental Center.
By making mindful choices about meat consumption, we can improve our health & wellbeing. In addition we can all play an active role in promoting a more sustainable and environmentally friendly food system.
Let's hear it from you - would you go meat-free for a day? What are your favorite meatless Greek dishes? Drop us a note and let us know.