The month of January is a time where many of us want to start fresh, set new goals, and jump into the new year on the right foot! Every January, I will try to write down 1 goal that is health focused, 1 goal that is financial focused, and 1 goal that is personal/mindset focused. Setting goals at the beginning of the year keeps me on track of my goals and helps me become the very best version of myself. Being a Dietitian, I receive a lot of diet and exercise questions around this time of year! One being “What diet should I be following to lose weight?” The U.S. News revealed the best diet rankings of 2019. Here are the top 3: Mediterranean Diet, DASH Diet, followed by the Flexitarian Diet. To be honest, I was surprised that the Ketogenic Diet did not make the top 3 with all the hype over the past year!
If you couldn’t tell, I love sharing my personal recipes and tips for following a vegetarian diet. With being a vegetarian for over 10 years I’ve found my go-to plant-based proteins, how to make delicious meals that are appealing to my meat-lovers out there, and I’ve figured out what staples to always have on hand! That being said, I’ve also gotten practice on how to meal prep and grocery shop without spending an arm and a leg each trip! I want to share with you this month how you can incorporate more vegetarian recipes, how to meal prep, and also how to feel full without animal-based protein sources!
I can’t tell you how many people have asked me the same question of “how do you eat enough protein to keep you full without eating meat? Or “How do you eat enough calories to keep up with your exercise routines?” Needless to say, I’m excited to answer these questions today!
A vegetarian diet focuses on eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and incorporating more plant-based oils. The best part? Your plate is always bursting with color and you feel energized and not sluggish after eating a meal. Protein is essential in our diet and it helps to build, repair, and maintain our body’s structures. Most plant-based proteins are incomplete, which means they are missing at least one of the essential amino acids (with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat).
Here is a quick list of some of my go-to protein sources:
Plant-based proteins are higher in antioxidants and fiber, but are low in vitamin B-12 and heme iron that come from certain animal proteins. Therefore, it’s always important to speak with someone knowledgeable before changing up your eating habits! My plate may have more volume than someone who does not follow a vegetarian diet. Why? Well plant-based proteins are usually lower in calories and protein, which means I just need more volume to meet my daily protein needs. My protein needs can change depending on if I am training for a marathon or some sort of race!
If you’re wanting more recipes or to see my vegetarian “staple” list click here!
Wishing you a healthy and happy 2019!