Today we started our Meatless Mondays. As a mom, I am always trying to get my kids to eat better and eat more fruits and veggies. But lately it's hard to get even a them to eat something like a banana, don't all kids love bananas?
We also try to eat organic as much as we can but.. sigh. It's so expensive! But I do the dirty 13 produce anyway. I've been reading a lot of articles and books on GMO's (genetically modified foods) and pesticides and how these environmental hazards have been causing so many illnesses (leukemia, autism, celiac disease)- it's pretty scary. So I go the organic route as much as possible. And don't get me started on the nitrate-free, preservative free, non-hormone, antibiotic free. I mean, shouldn't foods be free of these things anyway?
Lately all the meat and poultry products have labels talking about 'all natural' and 'hormone free'. We all know that eating red meat is something we need to cut back on for health/heart reasons but cutting back on eating meat can also help reduce eating all of the yucky additives they feed the animals and add to their products. Plus cutting back reduces the greenhouse emissions associated with livestock production.
For me personally, I haven't eaten meat or pork (or wild game for that matter) since I was 18. Yes, I get weird looks from people, especially living in Texas, the prime capital for meat eaters! I have several reasons for not eating it, mostly because I never liked it as a child, but also because of the health benefits and animal rights. But for my meat eating family, I now try to buy fish that is Wild Caught (less mercury and toxins) vs Farm, and buy meat products for them that are organic so they are free of the additives. But expensive as anything!
And if the additives in meat and fruit doesn't scare you, I also just finished reading the book Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers (12$ Amazon):
It was pretty eye opening about how much the wheat grain has changed in the past 30 years due to changes to the crops (the genetically modified stuff). Basically the author talks about wheat gluten and how many of us are sensitive to it, causing ADHD, dementia, anxiety, depression, etc. He also talks about how bad additives are and how much processed, sugar foods are damaging to our bodies.
So what are we supposed to eat if everything has toxins in it? Seriously, it's pretty scary.
So I vowed last night to get back on track and feed my family a good diet by starting Meatless Mondays.
In case you haven't heard of it, it's a program that was started by Paul McCartney to encourage people to see the value in eating less meat and save money too. And being on one income, I love saving money!
If you need help getting started on trying to go meat free one day a week, there's a great cookbook about it The Meat Free Monday Cookbook: (19$)
It's definitely easier than you think. We started with a really good Fall dish, Butternut Squash Lasagna (pictured at the top) from my fave low fat blog Laalosh! Click here for the recipe (oh and I used frozen organic chopped squash- much easier!). The kids liked it for the most part, as long as it has cheese :) It was really good and makes for great leftovers. And that's another benefit of eating meat free, the vegetable dishes last longer than the meat ones for left overs, just saying.
We'll see how long we can keep up with our Meatless Mondays and nitrate free, hormone free, antibiotic free, organic, non GMO, no preservative lifestyle. It's pretty exhausting AND expensive. Anyone have any suggestions on how they keep their families diets healthy?