Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to Lose Weight on a Vegetarian Diet

Are you wondering how to lose weight on a vegetarian diet? If so, here are a few easy ways to do this:

1) Reduce the amount of oil you use.  Olive oil is very healthy, but it is also high in calories. You can save a lot of calories by cutting down on the amount of oil you use, or by  purchasing a spray oil

2) Always check the labels. Foods can be deceiving, so if you are regularly buying pre-prepared foods always check the fat and calorie content on the label. Just because it is vegetarian, it doesn't necessarily mean it is healthy!

3) Up your intake of fresh vegetables. Most vegetables are very low in calories and they are also highly nutritious and often filling, By increasing your intake of vegetables you will reduce your desire to snack on other foods in between meals.

4) Eat a good breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and by eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast you will avoid these mid morning hunger pangs. Include some wholegrains and protein in your breakfast to make it as satisfying as possible.

5) Search for low calorie recipes online or in cook books: A lot of low calorie vegetarian dishes can be found online and in vegetarian cookery books. Alternatively you can just create low calorie vegetarian recipes by altering regular recipes, using healthy replacements like diet cheeses or replacing full fat cream with plain yogurt.

If you are creative, you will be amazed to discover that you can find plenty healthy vegetarian recipes and able utilize these recipes into your diet and achieve your weight loss targets.  All you need to do is learn how you can make replacements that will turn high calorie foods into light foods.

Embrace low calorie vegan recipes into your daily diet plan and you will find that you can consume tasty foods while sustaining your vegetarian standard of living.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Vegetarian Diet to Lose Weight?

Are you thinking about going on a vegetarian diet to lose weight?

One of the myths about vegetarianism is that it automatically makes you healthier and slimmer but it’s not that easy; to stop eating meat and lose weight it is necessary to follow a vegetarian weight loss diet not just a vegetarian diet. This might seem strange if you are used to thinking of vegetarians as slim health fanatics but  you still have to watch your calories like any meat eater does. Vegetarian fast food can be as calorie heavy as a burger bar; and if you ever checked out the calories listed on the side of a packet of peanuts you’ll know that it’s not just meat which will make you fat.

Whenever I find it difficult persuading someone of the possibly high calorie content of a vegetarian menu I find one fact makes my point better than any other. Those huge Japanese Sumo wrestlers don’t put on weight eating burgers, ice cream and chocolate all day; they eat a traditional vegetable stew called Chanko-Nabe. Yes, it is possible to be huge and vegetarian so don’t think that dropping meat is the easy way to drop your pounds.

The sad truth is that if you want to try a vegetarian diet to lose weight you have to do the usual things that all sensible fat reduction food plans require: a planned, low calorie diet set out over a sensible time period with regular exercise thrown in. All diets do the same basic thing; they reduce your calorie intake and generally increase your dietary fibre while providing enough protein to keep your body from trying to make its own.

But the good news is that a vegetarians do have a head start, since a proper veggie meal plan will include lots of fibre, lots of protein and a lot less fat than a meat eater’s – if it’s done properly. Dropping meat from your diet doesn’t automatically mean dropping inches from your waistline, especially if you replace it with fatty veggie food; so it’s necessary to consider a properly laid out and planned vegetarian weight loss diet including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and some good brisk walks.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Vegetarian Raw food delivery services

Vegetarian Raw food delivery services are becoming a reality. It is now possible to order a meal from a variety of restaurants in the United States that cater to those who prefer to eat uncooked foods. These restaurants will deliver, within whatever radius they have chosen, the foods that so many more people are craving today. The eating of raw or uncooked foods has become more popular than many people had anticipated. This seems to be because so many more people than it was expected are seeing the benefits to eating these foods. They are enjoying what they feel is a healthier lifestyle.

Others will say that it is not necessary to cut out meat, diary, eggs and fish to be healthier. But those who are into the raw food idea will disagree. Those people will never buy another tin of food; they will never consume any more food dyes, preservatives or those food enhancers that are used to mask questionable tastes. Everything they eat is one hundred percent natural.

The foods that they prefer can be bought from stores, some of which are online, that will deliver them like the grocery stores used to decades ago. Simply tell them what you want over the phone, or fill in the order form from their online store, and the next day your organically grown foods will arrive.

More and more restaurants, often catering to the vegetarian and vegan populations, are opening all the time that serve only raw foods. This term means foods that are uncooked and fall into the fruit and vegetable categories. There are those who think this must be a boring way to eat yet they do not understand the unlimited possibilities of what kind of meals can be made. That is why these stores are becoming so much more popular and why many of them have added the ability to deliver as one of their services.

Vegetarian raw food delivery service has become a reality for those who like to eat healthier whether they are from a high quality organic food store or a restaurant.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

High Protein Low Carb Diet for Vegetarians?

Is it really possible for a vegetarian to follow a high protein low carb diet?

Since the underlying principle of the Atkins diet is one of high protein low carb intake it would appear to be difficult to argue in favour of a vegetarian Atkins diet. A veggie diet is typically lower in protein and higher in carbs than a meat eating diet and so a strict vegetarian or vegan may have difficulty finding foods with the appropriate content. However, it’s not an impossible task and if you are one of those veggies who allows themselves to eat seafood, fish, eggs or dairy products then you may have little difficulties atall.

The secret to a high protein low carb vegetarian diet is to discover as many high protein foods as possible and make them a part of your diet. As a non-meat eater that means eating a lot of seeds and nuts, which are all high in protein, and if you do eat diary produce and fish then these are excellent sources of protein too. Other high protein low carb options are meat and dairy substitutes such as soy products, mycoprotein, textured vegetable protein (TVP) , tofu and tempeh.

The highest non-meat protein providers are nuts and seeds; seeds especially. Although even higher levels of protein can be found in soy which is what makes it such an excellent meat substitute.

The difference between the protein provided by meat and that provided by vegetarian foods is that meat and animal proteins contain complete essential amino acids in the exact combination required by the human body; whereas proteins obtained in a general vegetarian diet do not. This means that in order that a veggie gets the proper and adequate protein intake their body requires, they must combine different food types in order that they get the complete proteins they need. Typically, this means combining beans with grains.

Apart from the protein element of the Atkins diet there should be no real problem for a vegetarian to follow it. The list of allowed foods contains most vegetables although it excludes potatoes, peas and corn since they are high in carbs. The fats and oils allowed by the diet are also of no particular problem. So, even a non-meat eater can follow a low carb high protein vegetarian atkins diet.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Vegetarian Definition

A vegetarian diet can mean different things to different people. Many people who eat such a diet may not call themselves, or consider themselves to be, a vegetarian. Similarly, Someone who calls themselves a vegetarian may not be considered to be one by others who give themselves the same label. It really isn’t as complex as it might sound at first but certain ethical considerations are often part of a person’s decision to become a ‘veggie’ and so what is on the menu may be more than just a matter of meat versus veg.

Strictly speaking, the vegetarian definition is someone who does not eat meat. But to be absolutely clear, that means not eating anything that might be called an animal in the strictest sense. It’s easy to point at cows and pigs and say ‘I’m not eating those’ but many people stop there and somehow allow themselves to eat poultry. But to be clear: poultry is meat. Other people might not eat beef, pork, lamb and chicken and turkey but allow themselves fish. Again, strictly speaking, fish is meat. Further, some might rule out all the above yet indulge in seafood such as oysters or prawns. This is a grey area to some since to some these are not animals; but, strictly speaking, they are. A great many will also rule out dairy and milk products, and eggs.

So, vegetarian definition really means not eating meat of any kind. But some take this a step further; and this is where the ethical aspect comes in. Essentially, there are three kinds of non-meat eater:

  • there are those who don’t eat meat for health reasons
  • those who are squeamish or don’t like the taste or have some other aversion, and then #
  • there are those who don’t agree with the killing or exploitation of animals;
This last group may well treat their diet as a part of a lifestyle which also includes the avoidance of leather products, dairy produce, and even wool.
The reasons for this choice of diet are almost as varied as the people that choose it. But, whatever a person’s reasons, the basic outcome is this: a healthy, high fibre diet with ample vitamins and minerals and low fat. Followed sensibly, a vegetarian diet can make you feel healthier, fitter and you can look a cow in the eye without feeling guilty.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Benefits of a Vegan Raw Food Diet

Many people will use a raw food detox plan when they have been feeling sluggish. But what is it that people hope to accomplish by going on a raw food diet?

Here are some of the reasons why a vegan raw food diet from time to time is thought to be worthwhile.

The concept behind cutting off all processed foods and going on with raw foods is that there are so many additives in everything these days, from the frozen and canned vegetables to the meats and dairy products we consume. Over time, the residue of these additives can increase the chances of developing some major health problems, many of which have to be fought with synthetic drugs or even more aggressive means.

Choosing to engage in raw food diet for a period of time helps to eliminate the presence of those added preservatives and other components and allows the individual to enjoy the benefits of receiving the pure goodness of the fruits and vegetables consumed.

For people who believe in a balance between body and mind, they may decide to engage in a detox period of a few days or perhaps a week so that they accomplish two things. First, they enter into a period where they are not adding any synthetic compounds to their bodies, which will provide the body with better chances of pushing the substances through the system. Second, the use of the natural fruits and vegetables act as a cleanser that not only nourished the bodies with uninhibited vitamins and nutrients, but also increases the body's ability to throw off the illness producing additives.

There are a number of persons who believe that performing this ritual on a monthly basis helps to offset the abuses of modern living that have created the alarming amount of obesity and heart disease we see today. Also, many report a better mental outlook after a few days on the program. If you've never thought of raw foods as a way to detox your system, it may be worth a try. Vegan raw food diet plans are available for free on the Internet.

Click here to find some great vegan raw food recipes to make your diet more interesting!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Vegetarian Diet Meal Plan

There is more to a vegetarian diet meal plan than just leaving out meat and animal products. If you’re not careful, you can end up consuming just as many calories on a veggie menu as you can on a meat eating diet. Properly planned, a veggie diet can be high in healthy carbohydrates, fibre and antioxidants and low in the less wholesome saturated fats and cholesterol typical of many meat eating diets; and those carbs, fibres and antioxidants will assist in good health and weight reduction. But the key word here is ‘planned’, any proper diet which is going to produce the desired results of weight loss and good health has to be planned and vegetarianism is no different.

One of the first things people often mention, when considering a vegetarian diet meal plan, is: where will the protein come from? It is a mistake to think that meat is the only good source of protein, and some might even argue that meat is not even the best source of protein. A vegetarian meal plan can be as high in protein as any that includes meat, and will be free of the saturated fats and cholesterol that accompanies most meat protein.

There are many sources of non-meat protein: nuts, beans and pulses, seeds, soya and tofu are top of the list, and are as good a source as any animal product, while protein can be found in many other sources too. In fact, there is nothing in meat which cannot also be found in a non-meat food; the vitamins and minerals we get from beef or chicken can also be found in nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables and there are far less concerns in preparation and storage and you don’t have to splash out to buy the best cut each time, either.

The main thing to consider in any structured vegetarian diet meal plan is that all the necessary vitamins, mineral and nutrients are accounted for and that the body has enough energy to work with. Eating as a veggie is no different but the unexpected outcome may well be that after a few months of following a vegetarian diet plan you find that, with your body free of the meat fats and your palette cleaned and cleared from eating plenty of fresh produce, you no longer wish to return to eating meat.

Click here to learn more about creating a healthy vegetarian diet plan.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vegetarian Diet Benefits

It is a common assumption that vegetarians are healthier than meat eaters and that is the main vegetarian diet benefits.

Of course it is possible to be a vegetarian and be unhealthy but it seems that statistics do support the fact that in general vegetarians tend to be more healthy.

A vegetarian diet, if planned properly, is rich in dietary fibre, carbohydrates, omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins C and E, carotenoids, magnesium and potassium and contains far lower levels of cholesterol and saturated fats and none of the animal protein of a meat eater’s diet.

Despite the fact that Japanese Sumo wrestlers get fat on vegetarian stew, they are the exception and the vast majority of vegetarians don’t.

Here are just a few vegetarian diet benefits:

Good for your Waistline: The high level of dietary fibre in a normal veggie’s menu is what reduces the overall number of calories absorbed into the body and, therefore, makes a vegetarian diet a more slimmer one.

Good for your Heart: The high fibre, high antioxident and low saturated fat which is typical of a non-meat diet is also conducive to low blood pressure and a healthy heart: further health benefits from ceasing to eat meat.

Lower Risk of Cancer: The lower general fat and protein intake of a veggie tends to cause a lower production of carcinogens in the body and, therefore, produces a lower risk of cancer. The higher presence of dietary fibre is also good for your general health and well-being, promoting good digestion and less change of digestive disorders.

Kinder to Animals: Aside from the dietary elements of vegetarianism there are additional benefits which may be overlooked. For those concerned about the well-being of animals there is some reassurance in refusing to eat meat.

Greater Awareness of the Environment and Health: The general awareness which comes with making such a big change to your diet can affect other areas of your life and often a result is a greater awareness of environmental and health issues, as well as a better understanding of your own body and health. It may be that, statistically, a more healthy body is one of the main vegetarian diet benefits, but a better awareness of health and your environment may, in the longer term, be the greater benefit of a vegetarian diet.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Diabetes Vegetarian Diet

Is there such a thing as a Diabetes Vegetarian Diet? While being, or becoming, a vegetarian cannot, by itself, be considered either a prevention or cure for diabetes a vegetarian diet does encompass many of the eating habits which are recommended in order to combat the onset or reduce the effects of this disease. The majority of adults who develop Diabetes are overweight and if they were to undertake a high fibre and low fat plant or vegetable based diet and lose weight they could reduce the effects of the disease.

There are two types of diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes used to be known as ‘Juvenile Diabetes’ and typically requires insulin treatment; it’s an autoimmune disease whereby the body’s immune system attacks insulin producing cells in the pancreas.

Type 2 Diabetes, also known as Adult Diabetes, doesn’t effect the pancreas in the same way since it still creates insulin but, instead, the body becomes resistant to the insulin. It is Type 2 Diabetes which can be favourably affected by adopting a vegetarian eating plan.

Vegetarianism along with regular exercise can have a positive affect upon Diabetes. A diet which includes large quantities of fruits and vegetables, beans and pulses, is a diet which is high in dietary fiber and phytochemicals; and low in calorie intake and cholesterol. Apart from the obvious advantages of having such a healthy diet, the main advantage of such a diet is in its ability to help lose weight and, therefore, reduce the effect that obesity has on the cause and development of diabetes.

Another aspect of a meat eating diet which may cause and assist in the development of Diabetic complications is the higher level of protein intake. Too much protein in the body can aggravate the symptoms of the disease especially in the way it effects the blood vessels which then cause problems with the eyes and kidneys. A diet high in dietary fiber and carbohydrate yet low in protein, such as that of a vegetarian, can help to prevent many of these symptoms. Yet the typical meat eating diet which is high in protein and low in carbs will tend to aggravate them.

So, apart from the more usual health benefits of a vegetarian diet, the Diabetic can find additional advantages in adopting such a regime; an anti diabetes vegetarian diet could not only bring good health but may also prevent bad.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Low Carb Vegetarian Diet

A lot of people tend to relate low carb diets with meat; but it is supremely possible, and even may be preferable, to do a low carb vegetarian diet. The reason for thinking low carb means meat is because of the emphasis such an eating regime puts on protein and, as we all know, meat contains protein – well, so does soya, tofu, quorn, tempeh, textured vegetable protein (TVP), and a range of other meat substitutes as well as good old dairy and eggs. In fact, the meat substitutes are an excellent source of protein and can take the place of meat in any dish with the added advantage that they are a lot easier to store and prepare and are often cheaper too.

The more traditional meat substitutes, also called ‘meat analogues’, were originally made from wheat gluten or grains such as rice; or tofu. But the more recent versions include such things as textured vegetable protein made from soy, and the ever popular quorn which is made from mycoprotein; which is mushrooms. The varieties are seemingly endless and the forms which each takes are as varied as the forms that meat takes. Quorn steaks are not uncommon, nor are soya mince; and fried tofu can take on a taste and texture which can exceed anything but the most expensive cut of meat.

For those wishing to follow a low carb vegetarian diet but would prefer to avoid consuming too much dairy products there are vegetarian alternatives to this too. The most common form of vegetarian dairy substitute is soy, and gone are the days of tasteless insipid soya milk; nowadays many people drink soya milk in preference to the real thing. And if that doesn’t take your fancy there is rice milk, or almond or cashew based cream alternatives and for every variation there is a further variety of flavourings which can give you a wide range of tastes for whatever your mood at the time.

So when you next think about lowering your carbohydrate intake you don’t necessarily have to think in terms of meat and dairy products. There is a ever increasing range of substitutes and alternatives which make dieting a far more interesting choice than it ever has been before. And for those of you who do wish to refrain from eating meat it’s never been easier to follow a low carb vegetarian diet.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Vegetarian South Beach Diet

If you have heard of the South Beach Diet you may be wondering if there is a Vegetarian South Beach Diet.

The South Beach Diet was originally created by a cardiologist named Dr Arthur Agatston to help his heart patients to lose weight. Like many other diets, it was created with meat eaters in mind although the doctor does consider it possible to follow a vegetarian south beach diet and many veggies do, indeed, follow it. What distinguishes the south beach diet most of all is that it is designed to be followed in three ‘phases’ and focuses on consuming ‘good fats’ and ‘good carbs’ as opposed to ‘bad fats’ and ‘bad carbs’. And example of bad fats are saturated fats and trans fats which the doctor believed to be responsible for cardiovascular diease.

What are meant by ‘good carbs’ are carbohydrates which are high in fibre or have a lot of ‘good fats’ in them with a low glycemic index, which means they are slowly digested into the body. ‘Good fats’ are considered to be polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats and fats with omega 3 fatty acids.

The first phase of the diet is the most restrictive, and probably the most difficult for if you plan on following a vegetarian south beach diet as it consists of a two week period in which the dieter must cut out all sugars and sweets, fruit, pasta, rice, bread, baked foods, cereals, grains and potatoes. The idea of this is to encourage the body to lose its insulin resistance by not eating these high glycemic carbs and so it should start to use excess body fat – losing from 8 to 13 pounds.

The second phase starts after two weeks. Carbs, whole grains and fruit are slowly reintroduced to the diet emphasising foods with a low glycemic index. When the dieter’s desired weight is attained the third phase of the diet begins which includes three servings of whole grains and three of fruit per day.

Apart from the first phase restrictions, the diet can easily suit a non-meat eating diet and many vegetarians have already turned to it.

The third phase of the diet is, in theory, a life-long phase and once your desired weight has been attained through the preparations of phase one and two you are merely required to maintain that weight. If at any time your weight begins to increase again you return to phase one.

Treating this diet as a vegetarian south beach diet means treating your vegetarian lifestyle as phase three.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Easy Vegetarian Soup

Are you looking for some easy vegetarian soup recipes? If so, here are two very tasty and simple 100% vegetarian recipes for you to try.

2 Vegetarian Soup Ideas
By Christine Szalay Kudra

Vegetarian soup can be just as flavorful as a meat or fish soup but many people are unaware of this and assume that vegetable soup is supposed to taste plain and boring. There also seems to be a popular consensus that all vegetarian soups are for dieters and this is also untrue. Actually, there are plenty of vegetarian soup ideas that you can use to make the most delicious soup recipes.

You can make creamy vegetable soups or add homemade croutons or plenty of cheese. It is a myth that meatless and fishless soups have to be healthy and you can use cream, cheese, nuts or croutons to add flavor, crunch, or creaminess.

If you want to follow a meat or fish recipe but omit the meat or fish, you can substitute eggs, tofu, or a grain like barley or rice, depending on the soup recipe. It is probably easier to follow a few vegetarian soup recipes to begin with and then you can start to create your own. Use plenty of delicious herbs and spices to give maximum taste to the soup.

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

If you are looking for a rich, satisfying vegetarian soup, what about making a vegetarian version of French onion soup? Classic French onion soup is made with beef broth but you can use vegetable broth instead, for a tasty soup.

The flavor of the soup will not be exactly the same as in the classic French onion soup recipe but if you love onions and you want to make a vegetarian onion soup, this is a good way of doing it. You can also substitute vegetarian cheese for the Gruyere cheese, as a tasty topping for this warming dish.

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and sour soup is great as an appetizer or even as a meal. In Taiwan and China, this would be enjoyed for breakfast but you will probably prefer it for lunch or dinner. This is a wonderful way to make a full-flavored vegetarian soup. This is a vegan recipe as well as a vegetarian one. If you like, you can add some seitan or fried tofu.

What you will need:

  • 1 small can water chestnuts
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (try shiitake or wood ear mushrooms)
  • 2 tablespoons chili oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 3 minced cloves garlic
  • 1 small can bamboo shoots
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

How to make it:

Bring the vegetable broth to a simmer and add the water chestnuts, mushrooms, vinegar, garlic, bamboo shoots, black pepper, soy sauce, and hot sauce. Simmer the soup for half an hour, then add the green onions and simmer it for five more minutes. Stir in the chili oil and add extra vinegar, soy sauce, or hot sauce to taste.

Did you know that there are many different versions of the classic French onion soup recipe? If you fancy making this tasty dish, you just need a few key ingredients and you can make a mouthwatering and perfectly flavored French onion soup recipe just like the professional chefs do.

FrenchOnionSoups.com - Simple, Elegant, Perfection; Soup the Way it Was Meant to Be!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What are the Benefits of Being a Vegetarian?

Becoming a vegetarian can be hard. Meat is such a large part of our everyday diet that it may seem like a bad idea to be a vegetarian. You may be wondering what are the benefits of being a vegetarian. I've listed seven of them below:

1. More energy - Meals that consist of vegetables and fruits stabilize your blood sugar which will help you have more energy. The vegetables and fruits will give you a more consistent energy level, so you will not have that fatigue feeling that people normally get after meals.

2. Weight loss - Quitting meat and dairy products will help you with weight loss. By simply becoming a vegetarian and changing nothing else you will lose a little weight and eventually get back to your natural weight.

3. Save money - Vegetarians spend far less money on meals than non-vegetarians. Families that become vegetarians save upwards of $10-$15 per day.

4. Helping the environment - If you are environmentally conscience than becoming a vegetarian is a good thing. One pig farm in Utah raises 2.5 million pigs each year, creating more waste than the entire city of Los Angeles. By cutting meat from your diet you can help cut down on pollution.

5. Health - Vitamins are crucial for your health and adding more fruits and vegetables means more vitamins. Also, by removing meats you are adding less toxins and hormones to your body that are not wanted. Your immune system will also improve.

6. Bone longevity - An average woman at the age of 65 suffers 35% bone loss. A vegetarian woman at 65 suffers only 18% bone loss. The reason for this is non-vegetarians get 150% more protein than needed each day.

7. Avoid heart disease - Diets full of saturated fats and cholesterol from meats and dairy products have been connected to cardiovascular disease. The average meat-based diet has a 50% change of dying from heart disease. If that person cuts out meat the chance of dying from a heart disease decreases by 15%, and falls to 4% if they also cut out dairy products.

Although it is often hard to become a vegetarian as most of our diet is meat. However, the advantages of becoming a vegetarian are many and it is something every American should consider. Now that you know the answer to the question what are the benefits of being a vegetarian, the only thing left for you to decide is if you want to become one or not!

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Best Sources of Vegetarian Protein

By Kardena Pauza

Most foods have some combination of protein, carbohydrates and fat – even vegetables contain all three macronutrients! So here’s a list of some whole foods and their protein, carbohydrate, and fat content.

The reason I am showing you the three macronutrients is because people tend to eat too much of the wrong foods and they are gaining weight or stuck at a plateau and not losing weight. Typically a person is more likely to over eat on starchy carbohydrates or fat.

Some foods may contain more fat than protein, adding an excessive amount of calories in such a tiny portion. You want to be aware of these foods so you make sure and eat the right portion so you can easily lose weight.

Food Type : Protein / Carbohydrates / Fats (in grams)

· Tofu 4 oz.: 8 / 4 / 4

· Black Beans ½ cup: 7.5 / 20 / 5

· Peanut Butter 1 Tb: 4 / 3.5 / 8

· Almond Butter 1 Tb: 2 / 3 / 9

· Cashew Nuts ¼ cup: 5 / 9 / 12

· Seitan 3 oz.: 20 / 8 / 2

· Tempeh 4 oz.: 16 / 14 / 6

· Sunflower seeds raw ¼ cup: 6 / 6 / 14

· Soybeans ½ cup: 16 / 14 / 8

One food I love is almond butter and I could eat almond butter everyday, twice a day.

The problem is it’s loaded with fat which means it’s very calorie dense. Every gram of fat equals 9 calories of energy where as protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram. You have to expend more energy to burn off 1 gram of fat than 1 gram of protein or carbs.

Fat is not particularly bad, it’s the quantity that’s the issue.

Our body’s need fat for many functions so please do not cut them out completely. On average for a female, you want to take in between 7-12 gr. of protein per sitting depending on your calories for the day and if you are eating it for a snack or as part of your main meal.

An extra scoop of nut butter here and there can add up to hundreds of excess calories that can sabotage your weight loss progress. It is easy to over eat on nut butters so measure out a serving and put the rest away so double dipping doesn’t happen.

What’s the Deal with Complementary Protein?

Protein is made up of amino acids, often described as its “building blocks”. We actually have a biological requirement for amino acids, not for protein.

Humans cannot make eight of the twenty common amino acids, so these amino acids are considered to be essential. In other words, we must get these amino acids from our food. We need all eight of these amino acids for our body to make certain proteins in the body.

Only eggs, milk, meat, and fish contain all of the essential amino acids.

Plant proteins on the other hand are usually low in one or two of the essential amino acids. For example, grains are lower in lysine (an essential amino acid) and higher in other amino acids. Legumes are lower in methionine (another essential amino acid) and high in other amino acids.

As a result, many diet experts insist that vegetarians consume “complementary foods” at

a meal – meaning that you eat two foods that combine to give you all the essential amino acids – such as beans and rice.

But that’s “old school” thinking.

Recent studies have shown that this is not the case at all. Our bodies have what’s called an amino acid pool where it cycles amino acids in the blood stream and stores them until it can use the amino acids for other purposes in the body or it’s used for energy.

Your cells are constantly breaking down and synthesizing new proteins. Each day more amino acids are recycled in your body than are supplied in our diet. If you eat a grain source of protein in one meal and a protein source from beans the next meal, then that will be just as good as eating them together at the same meal.

As long as you have a variety of proteins throughout the day, the body will hold on to the amino acids that have not been used and place them in the amino acid pool to be used later.

Our bodies are AMAZING and RESOURCEFUL.

As long as you eat a variety of grains, vegetables, and nuts everyday the body will have the resources it needs to build healthy protein.

What about Protein Powders?

Protein powders have found their way into every grocery store and health food store.

These powders can be helpful in supplementing protein when you are busy or if you are looking for an alternative to beans or nut meal.

There are a variety of protein powder options on the market now. Traditionally you would find only egg protein, whey, and soy. With newer technology and knowledge about other healthy sources of protein a new generation of protein powders has arrived.

Now you can find pea protein, hemp, rice, and artichoke protein. These next generation protein powders are great for vegans since whey and eggs are dairy-derived the selection was limiting.

Remember that protein powder is a supplement and NOT a meal replacement. These powders supply protein but you will need to eat other foods with your meal to ensure you are power packed with nutrients.

Whole natural foods are your premium source of nutrients and digestible protein so lean on this source mainly and secondly use protein powders.

A healthy and safe portion per day is 1-2 servings. A protein smoothie with berries for breakfast and possibly a snack size portion later in the day will boost your protein intake and still give you plenty of opportunities to incorporate whole foods. A serving size of protein powder for a female is approximately 15 grams and approximately 20 grams for men and half this amount for snacks.

So, there are just a few tips to ensure you get enough protein into your daily diet.

Learn more about this in the Easy Veggie Meal Planner.