March is national nutrition month. So to celebrate, I encourage everyone to try to go meatless for at least one meal every Monday of the month starting TODAY! If that sounds too simple, go totally meatless on Mondays.

Why meatless you might ask?

According to, “Vegetarian eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes including lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure. Also, vegetarians tend to consume a lower proportion of calories from fat and fewer overall calories, and more fiber, potassium and vitamin C than non-vegetarians.”

It’s also good for the environment. A plant-based diet places much less stress on the environment.

Look at what you’re gaining instead of what you’re giving up!

Consider your meatless meal a time to feed your body nutrient dense vegetables, beans, whole grains, and fruit. Think of all the nutrients and fiber that you’re getting instead of what you’re giving up, meat.

“Whole-grain, unprocessed carbohydrates — such as whole-wheat bread, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oats, buckwheat, quinoa and millet — can help prevent heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes. Experimenting with a new grain choice on your next meatless day can provide fiber for normal bowel function, along with a variety of vitamins and minerals that contribute to the nutrient density of your diet.

Americans regularly eat more than enough protein, and adding beans or lentils to your meat-free meal also maintains an adequate protein intake. Providing about 16 grams of protein per cup cooked, beans and lentils also are a great source of fiber, folate, iron and potassium. These nutrient-rich foods are good sources of manganese, magnesium, copper, and thiamin.

Vegetables are nutrient powerhouses and add color and texture to your meals. Try leafy greens such as kale, collards, bok choy and broccoli for good plant sources of calcium.”