Meatless Mondays: A Challenge for Myself
[This post was written by Kelly Clayton, a college senior living with celiac disease. Kelly will be working with NFCA through the Spring 2012 semester, and we’re glad to have her on board! To learn more about Kelly, read her article on Living Gluten-Free in College and Being a Scout with Celiac.]
I have always felt this pain inside when eating a hamburger, steak, chicken or any type of meat. I consider myself an environmental advocate and try to recycle all things, shop at thrift stores, buy locally and make every facet of my life sustainable. I have thought about going vegetarian several times within the past few years, and I just can’t bring myself to it. I like meat too much. Also, my Mom would knock me over the head if she knew I was giving up meat.
Being gluten-free is difficult enough, and when you are gluten-free, meat becomes a staple you depend on.
This past school year, starting in September, I decided that I could make an impact by going meatless for just one day. Since I am completely dependent upon my college’s cafeteria, a lot of my meal options are what they are cooking, so sometimes I don’t have the choice to go meatless. I decided to join the revolution called Meatless Mondays. It is a movement where people sign up online and pledge to be meatless on Mondays and in return the site tells you all about the energy you are saving.
The point of going meatless on Mondays is to get people to cut their carbon footprint and to reduce the risk of heart problems. Heart problems have been linked to overconsumption of red meat, so by cutting one whole day of meat, it helps your heart. The site says they chose Mondays because people are more likely to follow a strict diet and less likely to cheat at the beginning of the week.
My diets on Mondays have consisted of salads, rice, green peppers, egg sandwiches (on gluten-free bread), gluten-free cereal, yogurt, rice cakes (too many, I’m addicted) and gluten-free multigrain crackers. While this may not sound very hearty and filling, believe me it is enough.
I really enjoy Mondays because it makes me think out of the box and get creative with my food. I am starting to really enjoy omelets, and I’m finding new fillings to put in them!
My next challenge is going to be going meatless for Mondays and Wednesdays. I am going to try to start adding on more days in order to save more energy and reduce my carbon footprint! I am not a big cook (only because I live on a college campus), so the cafeteria rules my diet! If you have any meatless suggestions, I am going to need some help!
– Kelly Clayton, NFCA volunteer