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February 16, 2011

Vegetarian Diets Neither Good Or Bad

A few years ago when I was bent on saving the world and everything in it, I swore off all meat. I just stopped, cold turkey, one day. Within a month or so I was exhausted and run down and pretty dang hungry. I thought, “Geez…vegetarian diets are bad!” and after a few more months of being tired and hungry, I became a carnivore again. Now that I am more informed, I realize that it was me, not the vegetarian diet that was bad. If you are going to go vegan, get some information before you do it.

First of all, I was pretty closed when it came to fruits and veggies. At that time I ate the same five vegetables and a limited number of fruits. That made it hard to get all of the protein and nutrients that I needed If I had widen my fruit and vegetable selections, I could have alleviated the sluggishness and the boredom. Currently I eat meat but sparingly. Generally I try to do a vegetarian diet at least two weeks out of the month. This is very simple now that I have been exposed to a variety of different recipes that only require fruits and vegetables.

The key to maintaining a healthy vegetarian diet is variety. Some of the myths about vegetarian diets are, you can’t get enough protein, there are not many vegetarian recipes and human are supposed to eat meat. If you decided to become a vegetarian, make sure that you are exploring the full range of vegetables and fruits that are available to you.

To keep your protein levels where they need to be eat tofu, nuts and seeds. Sprinkle seeds on pasta dishes. Make chili with tofu and beans and toss lentils into your soups. Use nuts as snacks instead of sugary treats. Also, remember that you will be fulfilling more than just your protein requirements with these foods. Beans, lentils and tofu also have iron in them and protein and iron are two things that are often low in vegetarian diets that are not well planned out.

Calcium is another nutrient that many vegetarians miss out on. If you do not eat dairy products you can get calcium from kale, almonds, spinach, legumes or navy beans. Subscribe to a vegetarian e-zine or magazine so you can keep a steady flow of recipes easily accessible. Vegans have no problem getting calcium in if they keep things creative.

Be open minded when it comes to vegetables and fruits and a vegan lifestyle can be just as wonderful as those that meat eaters enjoy. There is no wrong or right about being vegetarian or not. One thing that you do want to guard against is the idea that being a vegetarian means that you can eat as much as you want to. I’ve known more than a couple of vegans that thought that they could eat as much hummus and spinach pie as they wanted to. Needless to say, they ended up extremely overweight and just as unhealthy as someone that eats to of meat. All things in moderation is the way to go evne if you go vegan.

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