Cleveland City Mayor Signs a Meatless Monday Resolution

September 8th, 2014

At the end of August, the city of Cleveland passed a Meatless Monday resolution, much thanks to the legwork of councilman and sponsor Joe Cimperman, MM advocates like Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Roxanne Sukol, and the signature of Mayor Frank Jackson.

The resolution states: “the City of Cleveland recognizes the benefits of a diet high in fruits and vegetables and urges residents to participate in Meatless Mondays to improve their health and decrease their carbon footprint.”

Dr. Roxanne Sukol joined us for a Q&A about the Meatless Monday Program.

Job # 043168  Richard 06-24-11Meatless Monday: Why did you become involved in advocating for this resolution?

Dr. Roxanne Sukol: My goal is to decrease the obesity epidemic. While there is no single solution to help reverse this epidemic, one strategy is to institute Meatless Monday. My focus is on encouraging consumption of real food, including nuts, whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. I teach people how to tell the difference between real food and manufactured calories.

MM: What factors contribute to obesity and chronic diseases?

DS: Our eating patterns—we are eating processed foods, stripped carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar. We need to eat intact carbs such as beans which are high in fiber and protein.

We need to eat real food, not “entertainment” food like corn chips. Call this the “corn continuum”: on one side, you have corn on the cob, which you would be unlikely to overeat. On the other side, you have corn chips, which you can easily overeat in one sitting.

Lack of spontaneous activity and exercise. Our communities are not built in a way that promotes activity.

Stress in negotiating our way through our daily lives (being constantly plugged causes stress)

MM: Do you have any suggestions on how to make Meatless Monday work?

DS:Focus on the opportunity to eat delicious non-meat options. Try adding more legumes and whole grains to replace stripped white flour, white rice and meats, especially processed deli meats.

By going meatless one day a week, you can opt for and enjoy higher-quality meat when you have it—without antibiotics or steroids.

Enjoy rich-tasting avocados, olive oil, peanut butter, nuts, dark chocolate, and occasional eggs, ideally from chickens that eat bugs and grass.

About Dr. Roxanne Sukol

Meatless Monday advocate Dr. Roxanne B Sukol practices preventive medicine in the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Sukol authors the blog Your Health is on Your Plate, and serves as Medical Director for Cleveland Clinic Wellness Enterprise at Cleveland Clinic Wellness.

She is a 1995 graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine with distinction in Biomedical Ethics, and a member of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), the Honor Medical Society.

A recognized expert in the field of diabetes prevention, Dr. Sukol has been published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Wall Street Journal Online,, Human Pathology, and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). You can follow her on twitter @RoxanneSukolMD.