The ABC’s of being a vegetarian

Ever been curious about trying out vegetarian or vegan eating but are a little nervous that you won’t get enough protein, iron, calcium ect…in your diet?  Is there a fear you won’t feel full or satisfied without meat?

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Being a vegetarian myself, I can tell you I get just as excited for meals, but rather than be excited about a steak, I look forward to the beautiful assortment of vegetables at the farmer’s market.  And yes, I do feel FULL AND SATISFIED after eating a delicious vegetarian meal, but it’s different than that heavy uncomfortable full my meat-eater friends tell me they experience.  There are so many resources for innovative and delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes, it’s not just eating a salad every night.  Like
Whatever your reason for wanting to try cutting out animal products, wether it be to lose weight, to lower cholesterol, or because you have had your eyes opened to the awful treatment the animals are subjected to and the impact eating animals makes on the environment, you will need to do some research and learn the proper and healthy way of converting.  There are many resources to help you along the way via the internet and books.  I will help you get started! Below are sources to help you maintain a balanced diet and make sure you aren’t depriving your body of any nutrients.  Let me know if you have any questions and please share if you do take the step!

  • VITAMIN A: carrots, butternut squash, romaine, spinach, chard, turnip greens
  • VITAMIN B6: bananas, garbanzo beans, soy, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, whole wheat flour, lentils
  • VITAMIN C: oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, blueberries, kiwi, guava, red/green peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, brussel sprouts, cantelope, spinach, chard, cauliflower and broccoli
  • VITAMIN D: good ol’ sunshine!!! mushrooms (if exposed to sunlight, especially shiitake)
  • VITAMIN E: almonds, sunflower seeds/oil, walnuts, wheat germ, turnip greens, safflower oil, peanut butter, and avocados
  • VITAMIN K: kale, spinach, chard, collards, beet, dandelion, and turnip greens, brussel sprouts, avocados
  • FOLATE: lentils, garbanzo beans, wheat germ, spinach, artichokes, quinoa*
  • POTASSIUM: cherries, bananas, white mushrooms, avocado, spinach, whole grains, lentils, parsnips
  • CALCIUM: almonds, brazil nuts, green leafy vegetables, kelp, soy beans, bok choy, and broccoli
  • MAGNESIUM: almonds, green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, broccoli, corn, parsley, seaweed, bok choy
  • ZINC: lentils, soy, lima beans, herbs, sesame and sunflower seeds, peanuts and wheat germ
  • MANGANESE: beets, kale, eggplant, dates, buckwheat, brown rice, blackberries, pecans, pineapple
  • SELENIUM: avocados, broccoli, cabbage, garlic, lentils, and wheat germ
  • IRON: kale, spinach (really all dark green leafy vegetables), lentils, seaweed, walnuts
  • COPPER: mango, kale, dates, cacao, nuts and seeds
  • PROTEIN: anything in the nut and seed family, pasta, quinoa*, soy, beans (garbanzo have 14.5g and refried 15.5!!) If you are not going vegan: cheese, eggs, yogurt.  Also vegetables have protein: avocado 10g, peas 9g, broccoli/spinach/asparagus 5g**
  • OMEGA 3: walnuts, Flax seeds/oil
*quinoa is an optimal food for vegetarians but is controversial because of the ethical trade, fair trade options are available
** sources through Care2, VegNews, The Big Book of Juices, and The Daily Green
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Categories: Eat & Drink

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