The Part-time Vegetarian: An Omnivore Dabbles in Meatless Monday

Let’s face it, we could all make some healthy changes to our diet. Some of us eat too many carbs, others go crazy with cholesterol, and how do you NOT overdo it with sugar? The fact is, we all have our unhealthy vices, and the trick to eating better is to take small steps that really make a difference.

To give an example, our vegetarian guest blogger, Kelly, convinced her husband to take a small step toward changing his diet. Here is her tale:

“I recently asked Beau, my omnivore husband, if he’d be willing to participate in Meatless Monday. His response? “Sure, but I’m eating a big steak at midnight on Tuesday.”

He was kidding, of course. Thankfully, he’s not one of those meat-and-potatoes guys who can’t stand vegetables; he just really loves food, and that happens to include meat. I was the same way until my early twenties when I became a pescatarian. (I ate fish, but no other meat.) About six years ago I gave up fish as well, but still eat eggs and dairy.

We’ve cohabitated peacefully for more than two decades under this arrangement. I don’t push my eating choices on him, but when I learned about Meatless Monday, I asked him to try it. It’s been eight weeks now, and I’m happy to report that he has been a champ.

Meatless Monday has received lots of media attention, but in case you aren’t familiar with it, here’s a quick overview. It’s a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. The idea is pretty simple: encourage people to eat a meat-free diet once a week to lower their risk of chronic preventable conditions, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. There are numerous environmental benefits too. You can read more about the reasons to participate here. The basic theory is that you don’t have to become a full-blown vegetarian or vegan to make a difference. Reducing meat consumption by just 15 percent can significantly improve personal health and the health of the planet.

So, back to Beau. What has it been like for him to forego meat once a week? Here’s the exclusive interview.

What has the experience been like for you?

Not at all unpleasant. It was a piece of cake.

What kinds of foods have you been eating on Mondays?

Tree bark, couch cushions, and pop rocks. No, seriously, I ate all kinds of stuff – veggies, fruits, beans, grains, eggs, cheese. 

 Did you try any new foods?

 No, I live with a vegetarian, so I’ve pretty much tried everything by now.

How do you feel physically on the days you don’t eat meat?

 Clean and energetic. I felt great! I wasn’t hungry at all.

Do you think you could, or would like to, continue doing MM indefinitely?

If my wife told me I had to, yes [winking]. Sure.

What are your overall thoughts on the concept of Meatless Mondays?

It’s a good place to start.

Ready to give Meatless Monday a try? If you’re not sure what to eat in place of your usual chicken/beef/fish, the Meatless Monday website offers a ton of recipes that sound easy and delicious. They even have recipe videos with step-by-step instructions. The site also has a nutrition FAQ if you’re concerned about that.

And I promise you won’t have to eat tree bark, couch cushions, or pop rocks – unless, of course, you want to.”

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Janice Flahiff

     /  November 6, 2012

    There was another meatless day mandated by a certain organization until the 70’s (or was it 60’s?)…Meatless Fridays! of course it had nothing to do with health.


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