Meatless Monday

by Rebecca J. Clark

Happy Monday to you!

I've been playing around with becoming somewhat of a vegetarian for various reasons. One, cutting up and preparing meat totally grosses me out. If I make it, I often can't eat it...but I have no problem eating meat at someone else's house or a restaurant. Yes, I'm weird. Two, I feel better when I eat less animal protein (I look better, too). Three, going meatless would really help with the grocery budget. Four, I'm reading a couple of books that have scared the #$@% out of me regarding animal protein consumption (The China Study and The Starch Solution).

If my family included just me, I'd go cold turkey and try a vegan diet for 30 days or so to see how I feel and look. I did this about 15 years ago and have never felt so good--people told me I looked 10 years younger. Then I cheated and started eating dairy again and that was that. These days if I went all vegan, I think my family would divorce me. So, I'll settle for Meatless Mondays...for now.

Those of you who know me or follow me on social media know I'm a personal fitness trainer in my other life. :) Eliminating animal protein is mostly contrary to everything I've ever learned about nutrition. I encourage my clients to include a good protein with every meal because you need sufficient protein to build muscle. I've always heard that whey protein and eggs are the best protein source for muscle growth. Animal protein is more concentrated, thus a better option for our muscles than vegetarian protein. These are the beliefs I've "lived" by. But I'm starting to question these long-standing beliefs.

But because I'm still a bit skeptical about what I've been reading, and because I can't imagine never eating a cheeseburger again, and maybe because I'm a Gemini and just can't make up my mind, I'm going to start by going meatless one day a week. On Mondays. Not necessarily animal-protein free (I still may eat yogurt, eggs and cheese), but meatless. No flesh (is that a disgusting way of looking at meat? As 'flesh'? Blech.) I think this is called Lacto-ovo vegetarianism--no meat, but you can eat eggs and dairy products.

I have three cookbooks I'll cook from: The Eat Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook,  How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites. I'll also try recipes from my various magazine subscriptions. 

My family says they're willing to go along with this experiment, but I can hear the comments now during our first Meatless Monday dinner: "Where's the meat?" "Mom, did you forget to thaw something for dinner again?" or my favorite, "This is dinner? Seriously?" 

Wish me luck. 

I'll be posting my favorite recipes on my author page on Facebook if you're interested. 


  1. Hubby and I gave up meat a few years ago when our daughter suggested we read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. We do eat dairy. One thing I've learned, giving up meat doesn't save THAT much money because fruit is super expensive! So are nuts. Enjoyed your post and I'll check out those cook books. My favorite and the one I cook from the most is The Vegetarian Bible. Here's a recipe for you from my blog:

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I'll try it out! You're right about fruit being expensive, especially organic fruit. Sheesh. Do you feel better going meatless? I always feel lighter when I eat less meat, but maybe it's all in my head.

  3. Bravo! I didn.t eat meat for thirty years but now drop some in my diet for protein. Also my family loves meat even though both kids were meatless until age 4. Meatless Monday sounds like a great idea !

  4. I've heard great things about The China Study! Can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the interesting post.

  5. I don't like cooking and eating meat either; however, I personally think it's important for my health. My body does better on meat and vegetables. I think each body is probably different and you have to learn to listen to your own body. I do think our current CAFO (is that the right acronym) of raising and slaughtering animals is inhumane as well as unhealthy (GMO corn fed to the livestocks) and I've tried to go organic as much as I can. Talk about expensive! I have no problem going meatless for many meals though. In looking at the Paleo diet, I found an interesting blog post to those who protest killing an animal. You're killing a plant, as well. And apparently plants have feelings too-I read that James Praagh, the guy who talks to ghosts, can hear plants as well. Something to think about, right? LOL I have a bunch of vegetarian cookbooks, but mine are old and still have a lot of Tofu. I avoid soy products now that more facts are in, although fermented soy is supposed to be okay. It's all very confusing so I try to stick with clean eating as much as possible, and avoid boxed food/fast food as much as I can. Good luck in your quest, it sounds like a good idea!