With my stomach growling one recent Monday, I ended up at our hospital cafeteria for a tasty and filling lunch. As I entered the cafeteria, I noticed a sign with the headline “Eat less meat. Good for your body, your mind and your wallet.”
Well, I’d heard of “Meatless Mondays” before, but never really stopped to think about what the catchphrase meant. After a short conversation with Patti Oliver, director of nutrition for UCLA Health, Mondays had a whole new meaning for me.
“Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of preventable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity,” says Oliver. “It may also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. If you do eat meat on other days, we strongly recommend grass-fed options, locally-raised, and raised without the routine use of antibiotics.”
Oliver offered up some of the benefits for consuming less meat for me to chew over.
And on almost any given day of the week, the cafeteria offers plant-based, meat-free items. Offerings such as “Meatless Mondays,” in addition to UCLA Health’s many other wellness and sustainability initiatives, has resulted in UCLA Health receiving several sustainability and green practice awards.
Needless to say, after reading the sign, I chose a scrumptious meatless dish and am considering expanding my personal “meatless Monday” to other days of the week using recipes from this handy UCLA Health healthy recipes website.
With the holidays and calorie-rich temptations just around the corner, going meatless might be just the thing to keep me healthy and balanced.
Tags: cancer, carbon footprint, cardiovascular disease, chronic conditions, colon cancer, diabetes, green practice awards, greenhouse gases, healthy recipes, meatless, meatless monday, News & Insights, nutrition, obesity, saturated fat, sustainability initiatives, weight control