Despite the ridiculously warm weather we’ve been having in NYC, there hasn’t been much running going on in these parts since my last post.
Sadz. The hamstring still isn’t feeling horrible, but it’s not 100% and I really want it to get better before I get back to regular training. So I’ve been swimming and spinning like a fool while pretending I’m on the bridle path watching the sunrise (this is hard when you’re mistakenly inhaling chlorinated water). Good thing I have a very active imagination.
Have you heard of “Meatless Mondays“? It was started in 2003 by The Monday Campaigns, in association with Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, and is fairly well-known in the nutrition world.
Basically, the goal is to go “meatless” once a week for two reasons: reduce your risk of chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity; and at the same time reduce your carbon footprint.
I’ve always brushed off the whole “meatless” idea because I think eating lean meats like chicken, turkey or fish are the best way to get high quality protein, which is kind of important when you’re running lots of miles and your muscles need to rebuild themselves after every workout.
BUT, there are days that go by when I don’t eat meat, and a lot of my favorite recipes and restaurants are actually vegetarian or vegan.
Vegan lasagna from Candle Cafe.
I think it’s totally possible to get adequate protein without meat, you just need to think about it a bit more, like:
- Beans (black, kidney, garbanzo, lentils)
- Low fat dairy
- Soy-based products (tofu, milk, edamame)
- Brown rice
- Nuts and nut butter
Recently Meatless Mondays has been getting some attention in mainstream news, and a study published this week found people that eat more red meat have a higher risk of dying at an early age. People that eat a lot of processed meats, like hot dogs and bacon, had an even higher risk of early death.
Why? Red meats have a high saturated fat content, which increases risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. Cooking red meat at high temperatures can also produce dangerous carcinogens.
Mark Bittman recently wrote a piece about reducing consumption of inhumanely raised, dirty/disease ridden and unhealthful chicken in favor of fake vegetarian meats both for our health and the environment (and the chickens!). I’m not a big fan of fake meats – they’re expensive and can have lots of additives/preservatives – but he (like always) made some great points about the benefits of going “meatless” sometimes.
What do I think? Everything in moderation. I’m definitely going to be more conscious about where my chicken comes from when I buy it, and maybe give the fake stuff another go if the ingredients are all pronounceable. But I’m still going to enjoy a nice, juicy steak every now and again, probably just as much as I like my favorite vegetarian recipes and foods.
I’m curious again. Are you a vegetarian? If not, do you ever have a “meatless” day? Thoughts on going “meatless”?