Healthy Habits Challenge: Go Meatless One Day a Week

August's Goal: Go meatless one day a week. Monday—or any day. All 3 meals.

You can feel the ground shifting in America concerning vegetarian eating. Most restaurants, high and low, offer all-plant dishes. Supermarket products are changing, as well. This isn’t to suggest that our beef-loving, bacon-crazy, and chicken-clucking country is thinking about giving up meat (nor is this magazine). Rather, more people are recognizing that all-plant meals can be delicious; that other populations that eat more (or only) vegetables tend to be healthier; and that reducing the amount of meat in the diet doesn’t mean eliminating the pleasures of eating meat: You don’t have to be a vegetarian to eat vegetarian sometimes.

We all know that grains, fruits, and vegetables are among the healthiest foods you can eat—loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all things associated with reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. The nifty thing about vowing to eat vegetarian at least once a week (all three meals of the day) is that it broadens your culinary horizons and leads to you experimenting with foods you might pass over.

If you already eat meatless meals a few times each week, increase by a few more each week. And if you’re a vegetarian, spend this month expanding your cooking repertoire and making sure your diet is healthy and balanced with good sources of protein and fiber (and not too many saturated fats from dairy).

Get started: Vegetarian breakfasts are a simple first step toward success. Begin your meat-free days with no-fuss morning meals, like cold or hot cereals, whole-wheat waffles, or a scrambled egg sandwich with whole-wheat bread, sliced tomatoes, and cheese. With our tips and suggestions, lunch and dinner will be a breeze, too.