10 Tips for Eating a Healthy Vegetarian Diet and Living a Healthy Lifestyle

10 Tips for Eating a Healthy Vegetarian Diet

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about going vegetarian for a while now. But you were not sure how to get started.

Maybe you went meatless but found it was too difficult and too hard for you to choose proper foods.

Perhaps you’ve heard that eating vegetarian can save you money… And this can help control and lose your weight.

Regardless of what your reason is for wanting to go vegetarian, we want to help you make that transition by offering you some tips that can make things easier for you.

Top Tips for the Vegetarian Diet

Here is a guide for eating a healthy vegetarian diet, moving to a healthier eating pattern, and living a healthier lifestyle overall.

Don’t be Afraid to Experiment

There is a wide variety of vegetarian food that tastes like meat, but isn’t, such as soy burgers or eggplant “bacon”. You can also start trying different recipes using vegetables that you hadn’t considered eating before. Don’t be afraid to try something new; it might become your favorite new dish!

Remember your B12

Since most B12 comes to us via animal products, you might want to consider taking a B12 supplement or look for fortified foods like cereal and soy milk that contain B12.  

Think Protein

While some vegetarian foods, such as beans and peas, contain protein, it’s not the same as meat protein. Be sure that you add protein-rich foods to every meal – this is to ensure that your body is getting what it needs.

Keep it Simple

The truth is that vegetarian meals are not really complicated. Think of veggie pizzas, vegetable lasagna, pasta primavera, vegetable stir-fry and vegetable soup with rice.

Don’t Forget Calcium

While most vegetarians don’t mind drinking milk or consuming milk products, others prefer to avoid them. If you don’t want to include dairy products in your diet, be sure to consume calcium-rich veggies, such as spinach, Bok Choy, and mustard greens. You can also consume fortified soy milk or orange juice, as well as calcium-fortified cereals and tofu.

Colors Matter

Wholesome fruits and veggies are some of the best foods on the planet. Naturally low in calories, yet high in fiber, these are the foods that keep the heart healthy and the body young. Color is important when it comes to these foods, however. Try to make your plate a rainbow of colors, such as deep reds, blue, and dark yellow in addition to the usual green. Highly colored produce means they contain an abundance of antioxidants, which prevent aging.

Crazy about Nuts

Nuts are perhaps the most perfect snack on the planet! High in fiber and protein, these little powerhouses can add a lot of flavor to ordinary dishes as well as make the perfect take-along snack. Add them to salads, vegetable dishes, or mix them with some dried fruit as a nighttime snack.

Go for the Grains

All bread and pasta start off as whole grains. Look for the words whole grains in your sandwich bread, pasta, and crackers to lower your risk of heart disease, as well as adding flavor and variety to your diet.

Iron and Zinc

Both of these minerals are vital to a healthy body, but they can be harder to come by with a vegetarian diet. You will find iron in spinach, black-eyed peas, peas, and dried fruits. Zinc supports the immune system, so be sure to include a wide variety of beans as well as wheat germ and pumpkin seeds.

Watch Your Snacks

Too many vegetarians think they are eating healthy because they avoid meat, but then snack all day on chips, cookies, and pretzels. These types of processed snacks are anything but healthy! Think carrots, celery, and nut butter, and air-popped popcorn.

How to Make Sure You Are Living a Healthy Lifestyle?

You might not be following the latest fad diet or running marathons, so how do you know if you are eating right and following a healthy lifestyle? 

It can be hard to tell, especially if you are on a vegetarian diet.

Are you looking at your diet and thinking that you eat right most of the time, but that Sunday dinner at moms when you couldn’t resist two servings of pie? What about those nights out when you didn’t get home until dawn? Or the gym membership you dropped so you could join the volleyball team?

What about weight loss dietary supplements? Do you remember to take them on a regular basis?

Healthy Lifestyle for Vegetarians

No one wants to live their life reading it like it’s a statistic, so check out the tips below that can give you an indication whether you are on the right path or not when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.

Q: Are You Apple Shaped or Pear Shaped?

You could always ask yourself if you are overweight, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. While a few extra pounds are probably OK, it’s where they are located that makes the difference.

Are you apple-shaped? They usually have extra weight around the middle, have a much higher risk of heart disease than those who carry their weight in their hips and thighs (they are called pear-shaped). Apple shapes should drop excess weight and discuss their diet with their doctor.

Q: Are You Getting Shorter?

If you’ve lost a half inch or so in the past 5 years, this could be because your bones aren’t strong enough to hold up your weight.  You should be tested to see if you have a bone density problem or osteoporosis. You can rebuild new bone at any time of your life, but the younger you are, the easier this is to correct. Be sure you are consuming enough calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, as well as talking to your doctor.

Q:  How Well Do You Sleep at Night

Most of us have those “health” watches, such as FitBit. They can track the quality of our sleep. The average person should get about 4 hours of deep sleep and 4 hours of moderate sleep each night. If you wake up and still feel tired, you might have a hormonal problem. Try turning off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed and don’t sleep with the television on. If you still suffer from poor sleep, see your doctor.

Q:  You are Almost Never Sick

This is generally a good sign that your immune system is in good working order. Most people, when they practice good hygiene and eat a healthy diet, can fight off many bacterial infections, as well as viruses.

Q: When was The Last Time You Saw Your Dentist?

If it was more than 1 year ago, you should make an appointment ASAP. A checkup and cleaning are vital to the health of your heart and possibly the brain. For yet unknown reasons, the bad bacteria in your mouth likes to take their vacations in your heart, causing heart disease or inflammation. Get your teeth cleaned at the dental office, at least once per year. And take care of your teeth so they last you a lifetime!

Always consult with your doctor before you make any major changes to your diet or lifestyle, including an exercise program.