Seven Tips for Vegetarians

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While my diet is pretty plant-based, I am not a vegetarian. Many of my clients are vegetarians or have children who have recently become vegetarian.  Some complain that vegetarian diets get boring or do not feel filling; parents show concern that their veggie kids aren’t getting the nutrients they need.

Let me dive into some tips that can help you maintain a vegetarian diet that is fun and healthy!

  1. Be sure to get enough protein

My number-one question for all vegetarian diets is: Where do you get your protein from? If you are a vegetarian and feel sluggish at all, it may just be that you are not getting enough protein. Protein feeds your muscles and your blood.  Consider it the fuel that keeps you moving.

Sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans include beans, nuts, nut butters, peas, tofu, tempeh, and some whole grains like quinoa. Low-fat dairy (Milk, cheese, Greek yogurt for example) and eggs are also good protein sources for lacto-ovo vegetarians.

You may have heard that you need to eat a combination of proteins in each meal to get complete proteins, but that is not true as long as you have a decent amount of protein in every meal.

  1. Eat the colors of the rainbow

One way to assure you are getting enough nutrients is to eat as many colors of fruits and veggies as possible. This blog goes into detail of what nutrients are found in each color.vege-1-1

  1. Try a new recipe each week

You don’t need to eat a salad every day to be a vegetarian. There are so many fantastic vegetarian recipes out there. Hop on to Google or Pinterest and you will certainly find hundreds of easy recipes to try!

  1. Be careful with refined flour and sugar

It’s so easy to become a junk food vegetarian. Try not to rely too heavily on boxed food; the refined flour and sugar can spike your blood sugar and cause inflammation throughout your body.

  1. Check out fortified foods

While I just told you to be careful about packaged food; there are some healthy options like whole-grain bread. Look for foods that are fortified with vitamins to give you a boost in nutrients. If you are lacto-ovo vegetarian, milk is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

  1. Pump some iron

Sadly, your body doesn’t absorb iron from plants as well as it does from menuts2at so it is essential that you get plenty of high-iron vegetarian foods in your diet such as beans and legumes, dried fruits, molasses green vegetables, and whole grains. Many cereals are fortified with iron just make sure that the cereal of choice is low in sugar (5 grams or less) and high in fiber ( 4 grams or more) as well.

  1. Consider a vitamin B-12 supplement

Getting enough B-12 is very difficult in a vegetarian diet. I highly encourage vegetarians to take a B-12 supplement.

If you have any questions about a vegetarian or vegan diet, please feel free to email our team and we’ll help you out!

By Kelly Springer, RD, MS, CDN

 

 

PMS Prevention Tips

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How do you feel five to 11 days before your period? Bloated? Irritable? Tense? Anxious? Emotional? Exhausted? Mood swings? Do you get migraine headaches? Do you have insatiable cravings for sweets? If you experience any of these symptoms, then premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is no stranger to you.  Guess what though? I have good news for you! You can ease these symptoms through nutritional changes. PMS is the result of hormone imbalances; here are some ways that you can balance those pesky hormones.

Kick Refined Flours and Sugars out of your Diet

Refined flour and sugar, found in almost all processed foods, are highly inflammatory to the body, which sparks hormone imbalances and exacerbates PMS symptoms.

Reduce your Caffeine and Alcohol Intake

Like refined flours and sugars, caffeine and alcohol can also spark hormone imbalances due to their inflammatory properties.

Reduce your Dairy and if you do Consume it, Choose Organic

Dairy products have a lot of hormones, causing you to have excess estrogen. Organic dairy has far less hormones, so if you do enjoy your dairy, go organic!

Let’s look at fresh ways to boost your health and lessen your likelihood of experiencing PMS

Eat a lot of Cruciferous Veggies

Broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts all belong to a group of veggies known as cruciferous vegetables; these powerful, detoxifying veggies remove excess estrogens from your body.

Eat a lot of Omega-3s

Sardines, salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed all boast omega-s, which are anti-inflammatory and can help balance your hormones.

Eat Foods High in Fiber

You want to get as much fiber as you can as your approach your period; fiber will help balance your blood-sugar and will prevent those intense cravings. Fruit and veggies, oats, beans and legumes are awesome choices. Also consider adding ground flaxseed to your salads and smoothies for a boost of fiber.

Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium helps to balance hormones and is especially helpful at preventing or easing migraine headaches. Leafy greens, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and fish are all great choices that are high in magnesium.

Lastly, be sure to MOVE! Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise 4-5 times a week. Exercise also helps to balance your hormones and can help prevent irksome PMS symptoms.

I hope these tips help all of you ladies who are literally TIRED of PMS!