Created by Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters, Meat Free Mondays was made famous to help raise awareness of the environmental and health impact of having at least one plant-based day every week. The trend has quickly caught on with other celebs all around the world showing support for the cause.
From vegans to vegetarians, there is no denying the increased popularity of going meat free, however for those that aren’t fully brought in to giving up meat altogether, this is a nice and simple way to do your bit for the environment and animals (and your body), and is a trend that just seems to be getting bigger and bigger for varying reasons….
Meat and fish which can take up to 48 hours to be fully digested, whereas fruits and veggies are digested in less than 24 hours due to their high fibre content allowing them to smoothly move through your digestive system
A diet high in fibre has been found to: lower risk of disease and illness (including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease), reduce hunger and enhance satiety, stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce cravings for high sugar/fatty foods
Introducing more plant based meals may also reduce your risk of various illnesses and diseases due to a reduced consumption of processed ingredients and an increased consumption of vitamins and minerals. Red and processed meat in particular have also been linked to an increased risk of cancer and are now classified carcinogens. There are now so many tasty plant based alternatives available that make it so easy to prevent these health issues and let go of some of our favorites.
You may be familiar with the term “food coma” and if you've ever indulged in a heavily meaty/high calorie meal you may have also experienced one. Another added benefit of consuming less meat has been described by many transitioning vegans, vegetarians or flexitarians as a feeling of “lightness” and increased energy levels. Such feelings can aid motivation for getting those tasks you've been putting off like going to the gym!
Not only can this new motivation help you achieve your goals by actually getting you moving, but plant based diets have been found to be typically lower in calories and contain little saturated fats.
Research has also shown that those who consume less animal based products may have a healthier Body Mass Index on average.
Healthy balanced plant based diets should be colourful, involve lots of fresh wholefoods and also encourage more home cooking. As diet contributes to around 70-80% of your overall progress, could this be the missing factor that has been holding you back?
Producing animal based products for consumption is reported to have a sizeable strain on the environment. The huge quantities and transportation needed to feed animals for meat consumption is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss, species extinction and 14.5% of gas emissions
Reducing meat consumption doesn’t just benefit your health and the environment, but also acts as a stand again animal cruelty and exploitation. This remains one of the most popular reasons for people ditching the meat for tasty alternatives.
Animal based products can also not only be detrimental to our personal health, but they can also cause damage to our bank balance. Many plant based foods are incredibly cheap and can often be purchased in bulk; pasta, beans, nuts, rice, fruits and veggies.
Meat free diets have come a significantly long way over past years! Not so long ago, many would associate these diets with boring leaf piled plates, however, there is now an extensive range of amazing alternatives available almost everywhere. Some people have the notion that reducing meat intake has to be an all or nothing approach. However, this is completely incorrect, even switching one meal per week is a great start towards damage limitation.