Publishing giant Rodale is the company behind Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Prevention and a wide array of other wellness magazines. Recently, Rodale furthered their commitment to a healthy worksite by offering Meatless Monday meals in their corporate cafeteria. This weekly focus on plant-based options caused online editor Emily Main to ask herself, “Why Monday”?
In an interview with Monday Campaigns founder Sid Lerner and president Peggy Neu, Main asks about the inspiration behind Meatless Monday, the philosophy of one day a week and how else Monday can be used to spread health. Originally a war-rationing effort, Lerner reinvented Meatless Monday in 2003 as a movement to reduce saturated fat and chronic disease. He soon found that a Monday reminder to cut back “turned out to be a good nudge… an opportunity to get back on track with healthy behaviors”.
President Peggy Neu surmises that Mondays are so effective because they are the start of the week; a man-made unit of time that is critical in shaping human attitudes and behaviors. Offering a chance for change at the beginning of this cycle allows us to break long-term goals into smaller chunks; reflecting on the previous week and setting our intentions for the next seven days. “Some of the problems we’re facing today, like climate change or obesity, can be so overwhelming that people just don’t know where to start. Buy saying something like ‘cut out meat once a week’ or ‘have a Healthy Monday to reset your health intentions is a very easy, incremental way to stay on track.”
Proof that Monday works can be seen in the worldwide movement of schools, worksites, restaurants and communities that forgo meat one day a week. But Mondays don’t end with meatless: there’s a wide array of other Healthy Monday programs that use weekly reminders to improve habits. To learn how you can use Monday to get moving, quit smoking, maintain your weight and more, visit www.HealthyMonday.org.