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February 4, 2014 > Enjoy the Health Benefits of Eating More VegetablesÑCelebrate Meatless Monday!

Enjoy the Health Benefits of Eating More VegetablesÑCelebrate Meatless Monday!

Class Will Show You How to Get More Veggies On Your Plate

The first month of 2014 has passed . . . and are you sticking to your New YearÕs resolution to get fit and eat healthier? If youÕve Òfallen off the wagonÓ or your resolve is flagging, donÕt give up. ItÕs not too far into the New Year to get back on track. And, hereÕs a great way to do it: Meatless Mondays!

A meatless, or vegetarian, diet has incredible benefits in helping to prevent chronic health problems, like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and other conditions.

ÒThe vegetarian diet helps to lower your blood pressure, risk for cancer, and body mass index, a number doctors often use to determine if you are at a healthy weight,Ó said registered dietitian Kimberlee Alvari, director of Food and Nutrition Services at Washington Hospital. ÒYou really canÕt beat the benefits of going meatless.Ó

Today in the U.S., there is growing interest in the vegetarian diet. Consumers are purchasing more vegetables, and stores are responding with more products. Restaurants and hospital cafeterias are offering more vegetarian meals, and some are observing Meatless Mondays. The latest statistics show 22 percent of Americans eat meatless meals on a regular basis, and 2.3 percentÑor 4.9 million peopleÑclaim to be vegetarian.

Learn about Meatless Monday
You can learn more about the Meatless Monday concept at a class called ÒMeatless MondayÑGet More Veggies on Your Plate.Ó The class will be held on Monday, Feb. 10 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium, in the Washington West building, 2500 Mowry Ave. in Fremont. The class will provide menu ideas and items to taste. The class is limited to 50 participants and costs $5 to attend. To reserve your spot, call (800) 963-7070.

During the class, youÕll have an opportunity to consider how you can fit eating vegetarian into your daily diet and learn about available options. YouÕll sample meatless products and prepare one item to take home.

ÒWeÕll also share recipes,Ó added Alvari. ÒWe want you to be well equipped to put these ideas into practice after you leave.Ó

Give veggies a try
Trying Meatless Mondays will give you a taste of how satisfying and nutritious vegetarian meals can be and how they can help you reach your health and fitness goals. Even if you decide to eat just a few meatless meals a week, it can make a difference.

ÒMeatless Monday is an easy way to introduce people to eating vegetarian for better health,Ó explained Alvari. ÒIf you donÕt adopt a completely vegetarian diet, we recommend eating a meatless meal at least two to three times a week. It will still be good for your health.Ó

Besides better health, there are other benefits to going meatless, Alvari pointed out. If you select local produce thatÕs in season, you can capitalize on the lower cost of the items you eat. And, you can avoid the high cost of meat, poultry and fish.

ÒWe are fortunate to live in an area where so many healthy fruits and vegetables are grown near-by,Ó she said. ÒWhen you eat local, you eat foods that require less energy to get to market. Going meatless is a win-win-win for your health, your pocketbook and the environment.Ó

Not heeding the message
Today, there is the USDA Food Pyramid and recommended daily allowances for different types of food. And yet, most people arenÕt heeding the advice.

ÒCurrent dietary guidelines are sadly misaligned with how most of us actually eat. What the recommendations are and what we say is not what we are doing,Ó observed Alvari. ÒTaking a class about vegetarian eating is a good way to turn that around. The class isnÕt just for people who want to be vegetarian. ItÕs for people who want to eat healthier.Ó

ÒThe biggest part of learning a new behavior is translating what you learn into practice,Ó Alvari continued. ÒThat is our goal at the Meatless Monday classÑto help you figure out how eating meatless can work for you.Ó

Register for the Class Today!
To register for the Meatless Monday class, call (800) 963-7070. For more information about Washington WomenÕs Center, visit or call (866) 608-1301 or (510) 608-1301. To download healthy recipes approved by registered dietitians from Washington HospitalÕs Food and Nutrition Services Department, visit

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