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Meatless Monday

Fit Links: Love Morning Workouts and Banish Back Pain

Written on February 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm , by

That bed is comfy, but won't it feel amazing to accomplish a workout? (Photo by Laura Doss)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Filmmaker Aims for “World Vegucation”

Written on November 8, 2011 at 10:37 am , by

Marisa Miller Wolfson shares a new take on the meat-free lifestyle in her new film. (Photo by Stephen de las Heras)

The food movement occasionally seems skewed toward the super-serious (Michael Pollan), the sexy (PETA) or the surreal (Supersize Me). But Marisa Miller Wolfson, a fairly new vegan, is bringing a little levity to the issue with her new film Vegucated. Her unique perspective and six-week experiment trying to persuade three carnivores to embrace a more produce-based diet caught our attention, so we reached out to her to learn more.

Can you tell us more about your personal transition to veganism?

I lived with vegetarians for seven years and rabidly defended my right as a Midwesterner to eat my meat. I thought vegans were from outer space—way too radical. Then I saw a documentary that showed how animals are treated on farms, and I went vegetarian on the spot, and went vegan three months later after I read more about health and environment issues. The whole process felt crazy: to have all these stereotypes of vegans and then suddenly call myself one. The first few months were a little tricky, but I lost 15 pounds and felt amazing, so I stuck with it.

There have been a few movies and books recently related to the topic of eating less meat, but Vegucated seems to be told in a different “voice” than many others. How did you decide to make your film stand out?

I had toured around the country showing award-winning documentaries on this topic and decided to make a film that appealed to a slightly different, younger crowd. I wanted to make it highly entertaining, charged with personality and I wanted people to laugh more than they cry, even when they’re getting exposed to powerful information. I used to do comedy.

Keep reading to discover how the film’s stars are eating now and to learn how you can find a happy veggie medium.

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Celebrate Meatless Monday With the Founder’s Favorite Meal

Written on October 31, 2011 at 5:43 pm , by

We love making chopped salads, like this Greek option with pita croutons, as a main dish on Mondays. (Photo by Joseph Deleo)

Last week at Food Day, we were able to connect with Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of the growing Meatless Monday movement. The group asks us all to cut back or eliminate meat on Mondays, with an overall goal to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent worldwide.

Lerner resurrected the Meatless Monday trend in 2003 with this focus on health and the environment. It originated during World War I to help conserve resources for the war effort. “People have different reasons why they participate, whether it’s ethical, or to lower fat and cholesterol intake,” Lerner says. “It’s a small change you can try each week that’s good for you and good for the planet.”

Reducing meat consumption can lower the overall carbon footprint (did you know animals raised for meat emit more gas than our transportation systems?) and water usage (1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef, while one pound of tofu requires 220 gallons).

Lerner mentioned that, thanks to support from big names like Oprah, Paul McCartney and Mario Batali, 50 percent of Americans polled in a recent survey said they are aware of Meatless Mondays, and 28 percent claim that it affects how they eat. We couldn’t think of a more fitting way than pulling our slow cookers out of the back of our cabinets to give one of Lerner’s favorite Monday recipes a try!

“I love chili. It’s tasty, colorful, high in protein and you can make it a million ways. I like to say, ‘If you think chili needs meat, you don’t know beans,’” Lerner says.

For a one-pot meal to try on future Meatless Mondays, keep reading.

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