MorningStar Farms Cooks up a Healthier New Year With the Meatless Monday Campaign

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Every year the New Year brings a new commitment to head to the gym, ditch bad habits and get back on track for living a healthy lifestyle. But while the jury is out on how long this new healthy living will last, MorningStar Farms is joining forces with the Meatless Monday campaign to make every week a new chance to improve eating habits.

"We're happy to welcome MorningStar Farms to the Meatless Monday movement, which is embraced by hundreds of thousands of people including nationally known chefs, schools, restaurants and whole communities in 21 countries around the world," said Peggy Neu, President of the Meatless Monday campaign. "Going meatless just one day a week is a simple, easy change that can have a big impact on your personal health and the health of the planet."

To help Americans have even more meatless choices, MorningStar Farms is launching two new "better for you" meat alternatives in January 2012, Meal Starters Veggie Meatballs and re-introducing Veggie Dogs. The Veggie Meatballs have 80-percent less fat than the leading frozen fully cooked meatballs, and the Veggie Dogs are a low-fat alternative to real meat dogs.

The brand is also launching the "MorningStar Farms Monday Button" on MorningStarFarms.com to help inspire smarter living. Simply click on the button to receive a weekly challenge, and have the chance to collect prizes such as a year's supply of product and a kitchen makeover. In addition, celebrity fitness trainer and author Kathy Kaehler is providing advice on making easy changes to help families be healthier.

Why Mondays?

"Most fad diets don't last long-term because they're not realistic to maintain," said Kaehler. "I like to take a weekly approach to meal planning, and the meat-alternative products from MorningStar Farms are a favorite of my family."

To help kick-start a meatless Monday routine, Kaehler recommends these simple steps:

>> Sunday Set-Up: Create a list of what to buy. Include a grain, lean protein, fresh fruits and veggies. Opting for seasonal produce is typically easier on your wallet and tastes better anyway.

>> Share the Health: The best way to take on a new behavior is to have the support of friends and family. Enlist your co-workers, spouse, friends or children to go meatless on Mondays. Share recipes and meal preparation tips.

>> Make the Unfamiliar, Familiar: Start incorporating familiar meatless products into your routine. For example, pair your favorite pasta sauce with the new MorningStar Farms Meal Starters Veggie Meatballs and spaghetti. There are more than 30 varieties of meatless products from MorningStar Farms to choose from.

>> The Rest of the Week Counts Too: Exercise is a critical part of the formula for a healthy lifestyle. In addition to reducing meat consumption, try to exercise at least three times each week. Walking around the block is a simple way to get moving!

For more information about Meatless Mondays, visit meatlessmonday.com.