Posted by: Kennedy | April 12, 2010

Meatless Monday

You’ve probably heard of people who ‘go vegetarian’ once or twice a week. Though they aren’t full-time Veggies, these folks have made a conscious effort to give up meat on certain days each week in order to reduce their overall consumption.

Meatless Monday is an initiative of The Monday Campaigns, started in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. According to the website, the goal of Meatless Monday is to improve personal health as well as the health of our planet. Less meat = lowered risk for health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Less meat = lighter carbon footprint as it saves resources used up in production.

Now, I know a number of awesome vegetarians who inspire me daily to eat healthily and think critically about the foods I choose. That said, I choose to be a carnivore. I was raised in the agricultural hub of Ontario. I love a good steak. However, I rarely eat red meat now that I’m on my own. I think it’s because I don’t have a BBQ. I just can’t bear to cook burgers in the oven and I don’t have the cooking tools (nor the expertise) required to make a juicy pork roast.

So, it may be the lack of a BBQ or personal ‘know-how.’ But it may also be because red meat isn’t ‘in my blood.’

Recently, I saw a naturopath. She told me I have Type A blood (am I the only one who’s spent her entire life completely oblivious to her blood type?). Apparently, Type As do best on a vegetarian diet. Something about our ancestors getting the majority of their nutrients from carbohydrates, which, over time, lowered the levels of acid in their stomachs – both meaning Type As find it tougher to digest and metabolize animal protein and fat.

I’m not sure how much I buy into this yet, since I’ve not experienced problems eating meat or dairy in the past. But it could be that even though my health hasn’t been noticeably affected by my carnivorous ways, perhaps cutting back on meat will help me achieve my optimal level of health and prevent future ailments.

My naturopath gave me the Blood Type A Diet, which isn’t a ‘diet’ in the way so many of us now think of the word: cutting out certain foods in order to lose weight. It just lists the foods that are beneficial, neutral and ‘to be avoided’ in each food group. I’m giving it a shot. I know I won’t be following it perfectly but I’m going to make an effort to at least eat more of the ‘beneficial’ foods.

Some of them I just can’t quite grasp. For example, why on earth should I be avoiding tomatoes? Or bell peppers? Or bananas? Or sweet potatoes? And why is it okay to eat mozzarella cheese, but not cheddar? I eat these foods daily so I’ll definitely notice they’re gone.

On the plus side, though, coffee and red wine are both listed as ‘beneficial’ – hooray, Type A!

So… moral of the story: I’m trying out Meatless Mondays. I don’t think it’ll be tough, since I often end up having at least one vegetarian day most weeks just by chance.

Today’s lunch was lentil soup (protein!) and a yummy salad with all the trimmings: cucumber, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, snap peas, cherry tomatoes and orange pepper (I said I wasn’t following it perfectly).

Lunch: Salad & lentil soup

Tonight, I tried out a new recipe, starring a new vegetable: spaghetti squash!

Cooking my 'sauce'

LOVED IT! Love Love Love. This meal will be added to my regular repertoire. Note: My version does not include tofu.

Adding my 'spaghetti'

The finished product!

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Responses

  1. […] once a week, in fact. A few months back, I took on the Meatless Monday challenge (find out why here) though I admit sometimes it turns out to be Meatless Tuesday or Meatless Friday […]


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