A Beginners Guide to Becoming a Vegetarian
“If you think the pursuit of good health is expensive and time consuming, try illness.”
Some of you have mentioned that you try to eat more of a Vegetarian diet but never feel full!!
The trick is, and the best part is… you get to EAT MORE!!! Vegetables are a lot less caloric dense than meat, so you need to eat an abundance of food!
Firstly I would say, if you want to do it long term, focus more on adding new foods in as opposed to focusing on all the foods you can’t eat. Slowly transition your diet, then you’re more likely to stick to it instead of just giving up because it’s too difficult.
I'm not crazy when it comes to getting in all my macros, but I am always conscious about it.
I always try to make sure I get in healthy Carbs, Fat, and Protein. Carbs are definitely the easiest to get in! When I say carbs I’m thinking fruits and veggies. Fat - go to is avocado, and Protein - beans - usually chick peas.
If you’re used to eating meat, when you turn veg, you need to increase your portions, OR eat more often. When you’re transitioning, try and eat even before you get hungry so that you’re not tempted to go back to meat. If you’re eating vegetables then you don’t have to worry too much about calories because they’re pretty low in cals. Also just take one thing at a time.
**Don’t be surprised if you start to feel worse before you start to feel better. When you make big changes to the diet often your body will detox first. Don’t be alarmed! Stick through it and soon enough it will be rewarding.
Also drink lots of WATER! Honestly probably most of the population is dehydrated - I usually have a glass before I eat - to make sure that I'm actually hungry and not dehydrated. Most of the time all I really need is water.
I always have a protein smoothie after my workouts. I get it in right away because your body needs to refuel!! (TBH sometimes it’s whey protein if I get it from the gym, but I always use vegan protein if I'm making a smoothie at home.)
Start with Real Food
vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, beans, non-refined (whole) grains and pseudograins, legumes, and fruits.
Add HEMP HEARTS to anything you can!! Extra protein! woohoo! Smoothies, Avocado Toast, Salads, Soup, Chili, really you can add it to almost anything!
Limit Salt & Oil
High salt intake has been linked to high blood pressure, and can lead to overeating on unhealthy foods quite easily, never leaving us really satisfied.
Fill up on Plant Based Proteins
Seeds, nuts, beans, and legumes
Protein signals satiety messages to the brain, nourishes the cells, and benefits the metabolism and brain function.
When going veg it’s important to have healthy snacks on you!! Get in the habit of packing a lunch, or easy snacks.
almond butter & apple
hummus & carrots
Protein Bars (preferably plant based)
See My Go-To Snacks/Meals Blog
Eat Meals, Not just Snacks
If you’re having troubles feeling full - eat real MEALS as opposed to constantly snacking. Just put everything in a big bowl - I often have salads, but to be honest there’s never usually lettuce in it… I just call it a salad but it’s a ton of vegetables, beans, avocado, and a bit of dressing in a bowl. When I say eat a lot I mean family sized salads! Don’t be scared to eat more!!
Health Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet
Good for Heart Health
Reduces Cancer Risk
Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
Lowers Blood Pressure
Decreases Asthma Symptoms
Promotes Bone Health
For more info click here
Vegetarian Diet Deficiencies
Omega 3 fatty acids
*Can get it from eggs/dairy if you decide to eat them. There are a ton of variations of a vegetarian diet so please play around to see what works best for you!! I have gone in and out of eating eggs although currently don’t feel that they serve me. However, I still have dairy here and there, my goal is to be vegan, but dairy still does have some benefits for you.
Everyone should try being vegetarian for a couple days, yes it’s not for everyone but how do you know if you've never tried it?! Play around with your diet, see what works best for your body instead of just following habit. It can be quite fun sometimes!!
Don't feel bad eating lots of food!! If its healthy food that’s ok!! You have to be willing to experiment, rarely do we get anything right the first time in life. Give it some time and have faith in yourself. If it’s not for you don't be hard on yourself!! Trust your body that it knows whats best.
THERE IS NO ONE FITS ALL DIET EVER!!!
Please read that 3 times to yourself. Don’t force yourself to follow a diet if it doesn’t work with your body!! Just like careers, hobbies, family, DNA, literally everything in life, we are all different and that is the beauty of life. PLAY around with different diets, not fad diets, but actual food. Think of it as a lifestyle and not a 30 day challenge. Food is here to fuel us, start to love your relationship with food and it will love you back.
Message me if you have any questions! But pay attention to what you put in your body, it literally creates all your cells and neurotransmitters - so YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!
Obviously don’t restrict yourself, but begin to play around with it - and remember it’s never too late to get started :)