Archive for the 'Vegetarian Eating' Category
I’ve recently decided to become a vegetarian and am finding it very difficult to continue to eat a balanced diet. I’m living on rez and have a meal plan which seems to be making it even more difficult. Do you have any suggestions/meal suggestions on how I can make sure I’m getting all the nutrients that I need to?Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
While living in Rez the key thing I would focus on is getting enough protein, make sure it is part of every meal or if you miss it as a meal include a protein rich snack. I’m going to assume you eat eggs and cheese and recommend the following which you should be able to get at the Residence Dining Hall.
Breakfast – have nuts on top of cereal or oatmeal, eggs with toast and fruit, yogurt with granola and nuts, peanut butter on toast and a glass of milk
Lunch – Sandwich or wrap with hummus, egg sandwich, cheese and veggie sandwich, veggie chilli with a bun, soup with cheese sandwich, salad with chick peas and a bun
Dinner – any vegetarian entree that includes tofu, lentils or beans
Protein rich snacks – peanut butter on an apple or crackers, a handful of nuts or trail mix
Also be sure to drink at least 2 cups of milk a day. The Residence Dining hall staff are very receptive to student suggestions sofeel free to talk to the managers there (Lisa or Ayesha).
I am a 21 year old female who used has been practicing vegetarianism for 4 years on and off. Recently I have decided to go back to a strict vegetarian diet, however I need to be able to accomplish this while training for a marathon. Please let me know what kinds of foods I should be incorporating in my diet.Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
It is possible to get your nutrient needs met through food choices alone, no need for supplements. When training for a marathon be sure you are getting enough energy or calories. As a vegetarian pay special attention to the milk and alternatives food group, for calcium and vitamin D, as well as protein rich foods such as beans and nuts. You of course need to have enough carbohydrate as well as this is your primary fuel source. Stick to the guidelines in Canada’s Food Guide or you can create your own version of the food guide at www.myfoodguide.ca and keep in mind the amount of food recommended is actually for sedentary individuals so if you are very active you will need to increase the number of servings from each of the 4 food groups.
Also see the following resource, Eating Well for Vegetarian Athletes.
Nutrition Question: I’ve been struggling with this idea of going vegetarian- not to lose weight but for ethical reasons. However, I’m concerned that if I cut out the protein it will be much harder for me to lose the excess weight that I’m carrying. What are you thoughts on this issue and do you have any recommendations?Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
So you are thinking about going vegetarian. Good for you for asking your questions first, before you make your decision. Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean you cut out protein, you absolutely need protein – you will just get it from other sources (nuts, seeds, lentils, beans, tofu or eggs). For weight management following Canada’s Food Guide is your best bet, even as a vegetarian. I won’t speak about the ethical viewpoint, that is outside of the scope of this blog. But I will mention the nutrients you want to pay particular attention to.
Protein helps to build and maintain the body. Eggs, as well as milk and milk products (yogurt, cheeses) are all excellent sources of protein. Plant sources of protein include legumes (e.g. split peas, dried beans, lentils and soy foods), as well as nuts and seeds. Vegetables and whole grains also provide protein, but in smaller amounts
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D are needed for bone health. Cow’s milk is rich in both calcium and vitamin D. Fortified soy and rice beverages are the most reliable vegetarian sources of these nutrients. Other foods – such as broccoli, almonds, and molasses – contain calcium but the amount is quite small. Vitamin D is not found in abundance in plant foods except fortified soy and rice beverages. Although sunlight is often touted as a good source of vitamin D, it’s important to recognize that this is not the case for people living at northern latitudes like Canada. Changes in the length of the sun’s rays mean that our bodies cannot make adequate amounts of vitamin D from sunlight between the months of October and April. Choosing foods that are rich in vitamin D is a more reliable way to ensure that you get enough of this essential nutrient.
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the creation of blood and in nervous system health. Milk products and eggs are good sources of vitamin B12. Few plant-based foods contain significant amounts of B12 and the only reliable vegetarian sources are foods fortified with B12 (including some soy products and soy beverages, and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements.
Vegetarian eating has been linked to reduced risk of obesity, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Choose well by using the food guide and you can reap these benefits and enjoy the taste and variety of vegetarian eating. But the choice is yours!
If your body’s iron stores are LOW, the BEST way to bring them up is with a supplement but ONLY if your doctor recommends them. This is because iron rich food sources can help maintain your iron levels but it is difficult to improve your iron stores with food alone. Vegetarians can have difficulty getting enough iron because they need more, about 33mg/day for women and 14mg/day for males.
Good vegetarian sources of iron include pumpkin seeds, enriched oatmeal, lentils, kidney beans and chick peas. Basically, make sure you are getting your servings from the Meat and Alternatives group from Canada’s Food Guide. There is a great list of Iron Rich Foods through the BC Health Files. Also, be aware that eating foods high in Vitamin C (citrus fruits/juices, kiwi, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes) can help your body absorb vegetarian sources of iron.