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Meatless Mondays, Coming to a Restaurant Near You

The national awareness campaign will launch locally on Monday, May 7.

Meatless Mondays will come to Loudoun County next month when the national campaign makes its Leesburg launch on May 7.

According to Sue Sedlazek, who is spearheading the Meatless Mondays campaign in Loudoun County, about a dozen Leesburg restaurants will feature meatless dishes—in addition to their regular offerings—each Monday.

Sedlazek said each restaurant will have a lot of flexibility in deciding how they want to participate in the campaign, which was started to raise awareness about the importance of reducing saturated fat in one’s diet.

“We’re telling [restaurant managers], ‘You can make it whatever you want',” Sedlazek said. “If all you say is, ‘Try our veggie sandwich,’ you’re still doing your part to raise awareness.”

Among the first Leesburg restaurants to sign on to the effort were and .

Sedlazek said Shoes owner Jane Shihadeh “lit up” when they first met to discuss bringing Meatless Mondays to Loudoun County.

“When Jane got excited about this, she was like, ‘Let’s roll!’” Sedlazek said. “She was really the spark that I needed to get things going, because she was a business owner that really embraced it.”

She noted that Shihadeh, a former oncology nurse, “totally understands the importance of a healthy diet.” 

Shihadeh said she was very happy that Shoes is championing Meatless Mondays. It seems like such a simple way to make significant differences, she said.

Tenderjacks Marketing Director Cindy Printz said she's looking forward to participating.

“Many folks enter our restaurant for healthy vegetarian options,” Printz said. “This is one day in particular we can showcase what we have to offer and show our customers that we [can] meet their vegetarian needs.”  

On May 7, Shoes will offer a special vegan sandwich and Bunker Sports Cafe will take 15 percent off the price of its veggie burger.

will offer a free fountain drink with purchase of a vegetarian sandwich, and Tenderjacks will offer customers who purchase a vegetarian meal the chance to enter a lottery for a free meatless meal later that month. 

Meatless Mondays, which started in 2003 as a grassroots awareness campaign, received a boost when it was endorsed by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

It has proven to be popular with restaurants, partly because it draws customers on Mondays, which are typically slow days for them.

Restaurants will now get a whole new demographic on Monday, Sedlazek said.

“This opens up more choice to people and brings in another market,” she said, adding that Monday is also the day of the week when people like to “recharge” and start a new diet or health regime.

Sedlazek said she is still reaching out to restaurants across the county, so that the local meatless campaign grows beyond Leesburg.

“We hope this is ongoing and people jump on board,” she said.

For more information about Loudoun Meatless Mondays, and a complete list of participating restaurants, visit the local campaign’s website.

Leah M. Kosin (Editor) April 25, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I recently finished a Vegan diet about a week ago and although it was challenging I felt very good with the results. It was definitely a nice way to become aware of what I was eating on a normal basis. I also learned that my weakness was diary. I missed it a lot! I give a lot of credit to anyone who a vegetarian or vegan.
Robin Blue April 25, 2012 at 04:24 PM
This is wonderful!
Sue Sedlazek April 25, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Thanks for covering this event! It's so exciting to see the community getting on board with the campaign. A big thank you goes to Shoes owner Jane Shihedah, who really blazed the trail for Meatless Mondays here in Loudoun, and to all the restaurants who've jummped in - Bunkers, Downtown Saloon, Jasmine Cuisine, Jimmy John's, Juliano's, Leesburg Restaurant, Mama Lucci's, Puccio's, Tenderjacks, Very Virginia and Village Lanes. Also a thank you Mayor Umstattd and the Leesburg Town Council for getting behind the initiative. Good health to all of you!
Leah M. Kosin (Editor) April 25, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Sue, if my restaurant reviews have a good following I'll be sure to try out one of the new vegetarian dishes on May 7!
Sue Sedlazek April 26, 2012 at 02:31 AM
That would be fantastic! Thanks Leah!

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