Meatless Mondays: A national campaign for a healthier U.S.

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Why Mondays? According to their website, "Research has shown that adding a time factor to a campaign helps people to change their behavior." Plus, it would be a great way for a fresh, healthy start on your week. Also, this does not mean you have to become a vegetarian once a week- fish and seafood are on the "ok" foods list. Basically, this is not a diet or a fad, it's a change in eating habits at least once a week. Small changes can lead to big results. The site also features an array of tasty-looking recipes to help jumpstart and inspire your Monday (or any day) meals.

The President of HCC's Nutrition & Dietetic Club, Valeria Hadginikitas, filled me in on this great program. She and some of her classmates just started implementing Meatless Mondays in their school cafeteria by hosting it once a month. They are also starting a program, inspired by this one, called "Healthy Mondays". According to Valeria, "Healthy Monday is an initiative that encourages students to regard Monday as the day to get back on track with their health routines, be it in the form of fitness routines, smoking cessation, or reducing saturated fat." Their next Healthy Monday event will be held on campus on April 6th.

Want to start Meatless Mondays in your school, office, or home? Meatless Mondays site provides free information and action toolkits, as well as items you can purchase to help your campaign. Register today!

While speaking at one of Hillsborough Community College's Hospitality program classes last week, I found out about this program called Meatless Monday. This is a national public health campaign and non-profit organization working in association with the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health dedicated to helping prevent the four leading causes of death in the U.S.- heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

How are they trying to combat these diseases, you ask? By asking Americans to cut out meat (beef, poultry, and pork) and high-fat dairy just one day a week, thus limiting their weekly intake of saturated fat and preventing those diseases. Their goal is to reduce Americans' consumption of saturated fat by 15% by next year, which could be done by cutting it out just one day a week.

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