Meatless mondays and more

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By Briana Hayes
Staff Writer

In 2011, a popular documentary was released called “Forks over Knives.” This documentary stresses the essential health benefits of plant-based diets.

Starring in this documentary is T. Colin Campbell, vegan doctor, who has done quite a bit of research on plant-based diets.

The Wellness Ambassadors, including Isabel Milosevich as lead ambassador, wanted to focus on this month-long meatless campaign to highlight the benefits of eating a plant-based diet.
On Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., at Quadside, the documentary will be playing for anyone who is interested in learning more about eat a diet based on plant protein.

The health benefits of eating a plant-based diet are numerous. There is a lot of research linking plant-based diets to a lower risk of diseases that seem to be appearing a lot more frequently in everyday life.

“Forks over Knives” goes into depth about how by rejecting processed foods and the meat-based diet many Americans are so accustomed to, they can prevent and even reverse the effects of many diseases.

By consuming legumes and whole grains instead of red meat and poultry for protein needs, an individual has a lower chance of being diagnosed with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and cancer. Eating plant-based foods also increases longevity and overall health.
In addition to your personal health, eating a plant-based diet can benefit the environment by decreasing greenhouse gases and reduce the dependence on fuel.

“Meatless Mondays” will be promoted throughout the duration of November at Simmons College by the Wellness Ambassadors. However, this campaign is a nation wide ideal that has spread far and wide based on its effectiveness.

Protein is an important aspect of our nutritional needs and is usually the issue when someone considers cutting meat out of their diet.

In the U.S., the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein is 0.8 to 1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. To calculate your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. That number is about how many grams you need each day.

Protein has many functions, due to its building block components, amino acids. They help form enzymes, hormones, and new tissues.

The diet of an individual must provide nine of the 22 amino acids that the body requires.
A plant-based diet can provide all of these 9 amino acids by combining legumes and whole grains to form complete proteins.

When asked if one day a week truly makes a difference, Melissa Tanguay responded, “I like to think of it as a change jar. Each day you add a little change and it eventually adds up and makes people think about meat-free choices on other days of the week as well.”

Tanguay also said, “One day a week adds up to about two months of meat-free eating.” When you consider two months out of the year, it turns out to be a pretty significant amount of time.
This campaign is only one event that the Wellness Ambassadors of Simmons College is promoting. In addition, they also host “Wellness Wednesdays.”

On Wednesdays, they will host events that bring to light a different topic each week. These topics include “Get your greens,” fitness testing, and “Rethink your Drink.” “Get your greens” will include delicious green smoothies to show that greens are good for you, but also can taste good.

The Wellness Ambassadors also are hosting “Tuesday Taboo Topics,” in which on Nov. 18, Dec. 2, and Dec. 9, they will hold discussions on “taboo” topics such as menstrual cycles.

There are plenty of events with a variety of topics regarding health and wellness. If you would like more information, email health education. Also, give “Meatless Monday” a try.