The Great Meat Debate

Did you know that October is Vegetarian Awareness Month? For those looking to find more room on the plate for nutrient-rich produce, consider scaling back on how much meat you eat or skip it all together! If Meatless Monday isn’t your thing, however, look for meats that earn 3 Guiding Stars such as boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pork tenderloin or sirloin steak. You can also find meats that are raised with environmental responsibility in mind, but making the effort to include vegetarian meals in your routine has a wealth of benefits worth considering.

Vegetable stand
Vegetable Stand / Michael Cannon / CC BY 2.0

Eat more produce!

The number one change recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to increase our intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Dropping meat from the meal forces us to seek sustenance from higher protein whole grain and plant-based proteins such as beans. This shift is bound to increase the amount of dietary fiber we’re eating while lowering the saturated fats we often get from animal products. It’s win-win as far as your body is concerned.

Eat at home!

Being mindful of meat might be the right motivation to get your family to try new dishes at home, where you can choose omega-3-rich oils like olive oil over butter and reduce the amount of salt that goes into preparing your food.

Try new foods!

If you grew up on a classic meat and potatoes diet, there might be a world of interesting and delicious vegetables that you have never tried cooking with. By taking a break from the routine meals you’re so familiar with, you give yourself and your family a reason to go looking for those new and exciting vegetables that might just make meals more rewarding than they’ve been in years while meeting the all-important goal of eating more vegetables.

Start today! Here are a few of our favorite vegetarian recipes to help you out.