By Jamie Webber
Meatless Monday is gaining more popularity every day. Meat and potato lovers are starting to see what the fuss is all about and even the great city of Philadelphia, the cheesesteak capital, is starting to participate in Meatless Monday promotions. What’s important to remember, is that it’s smart to celebrate the beauty of meatless meals all week long. That doesn’t mean you have to go vegan or vegetarian, but enjoying plant-based meals brings a wealth of nutrients to your plate, energy to your mind, and a pep to your step.
If you’re wondering how to enjoy meatless meals at any part of the day, here are five of my favorite meals that cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, and yes, even dessert!
1. Swap a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich for a Fall in Love with Your Greens Smoothie:
Bacon typically goes through a curing process, where the meat is soaked in a solution of salt, nitrates, spices and sometimes sugar, but green smoothies are nothing but whole food ingredients loaded with phytonutrients and health promoting benefits that help your glow from the inside out.
2. Swap an Italian Sub with Chips for a Hail to Kale Salad:
Italian subs are usually loaded with cured processed meats like salami placed on white bread that’s full of empty calories and loaded with unhealthy fats like mayonnaise or too much oil. The potato chips that come on the side are cooked at high temperatures that may likely cause the formation of carcinogenic substances. When it comes to eating raw kale (Tuscan cabbage), you either love it or hate it, but give it a try! This salad may change the minds of those who don’t like it too much into an “I love it!” Just take note of how you feel after eating a salad vs. a huge sub and you might start craving that salad more.
3. Swap an afternoon Latte for a Pineapple Power Juice:
Instead of loading up on caffeine, naturally give your body a boost of energy by drinking in fruits and veggies. The plant-powered energizing enzymes are quickly absorbed into your blood stream giving you immediate energy and a nutrient-boost that caffeinated drinks don’t!
4. Swap Pizza for Quinoa & Teff Sweet Potato Pizza:
Pizza doesn’t have to mean eating crust made from white flour, or eating tomatoes from a can, or piling on loads of cheese from a plastic bag. Instead, enjoy this gluten-free, dairy-free, delicious dinner that gives new meaning to “Sweet Potato Pie”. Homemade pizza can be a healthy alternative to traditional delivery; and why not make it gluten free, nutrient and protein dense? Teff and quinoa are both naturally gluten-free grains rich in protein, fiber and minerals like iron, and calcium.
5. Swap Ice Cream for Banana Ice Cream:
Ice cream may not be a “meat” dish but it is typically loaded with added sugars , corn syrup, alkalized cocoa, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, vanillin, maltodextrin and dextrose, all of which involve some type of chemical processing or are simply artificial (and that’s just to name a few!). This Banana “Ice Cream” is just frozen bananas plus a few extra delicious and healthy ingredients of your choice. You can add any of your favorite whole food ingredients to the mixture if you prefer to spice it up.
Enjoy meatless, plant-based meals all week long in addition to your regular diet and start to notice if you feel better after eating more fruits and veggies. I bet you will!