What is a Vegetarian Diet?
Becoming a vegetarian will certainly require some adjustments, but it should not be overly restrictive or boring. Many meals that typically contain meat or poultry can easily be made Vegetarian. First, we recommend going home and checking out the vegetarian-friendly protein sources that you already may have in your kitchen and pantry.
Tofu - firm
Black Beans - cooked
Garbanzos (Chick Peas) - cooked
Kidney Beans - cooked
Lentils - cooked
Peanuts - dry roasted
Pinto Beans - refried
Nuts & Seeds
Pumpkin seeds - roasted
Walnuts - chopped
Bread - whole wheat
Buckwheat - groats roasted
Oatmeal - boiled
Quinoa - cooked
Rice - brown, medium grain
Spaghetti - whole wheat
Broccoli - cooked, chopped
Kale - cooked, shredded
Egg - hard boiled
Milk - fat free or skim
When shopping for a vegetarian diet, opt for minimally processed foods for balanced meals and snacks, following Retrofit’s guiding principles of the 50-25-25 plate at meals and produce & protein at snacks.
1) Start your shopping trip with the fresh produce section. There are no worries in this sectionwhen shopping for non-starchy veggies! Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, which are naturally nutrient rich, low-fat, and low-sodium. (NOTE: This is often where you’ll also find refrigerated vegetarian products, such as tofu, cheeses, yogurts, milk-substitutes, and meatless meats.). Some fruits can fit into your plate too within the 25% carbs section of the balanced plate.
2) If you’re thinking of including poultry or seafood in your diet, then head into the fresh meat, poultry, and seafood section. (If not, skip to #3!)
Many grocery stores have started to stock more products that are specifically vegetarian. Check out the “organic” or “health food” section for additional products. And most grocery stores typically have vegetarian foods in their frozen food section.
Can I enjoy eating at restaurants?
Before leaving home, do your homework. Most restaurants have a website, so you can review the menu online to see if there are vegetarian options available. Some restaurants have a Vegetarian menu to order from: Uno’s Chicago Grill, PF Chang’s, Chili’s, Chipotle, Noodle & Company, and many others. When you are ordering, do not be afraid to ask how the food is prepared. Be pleasant and informative, if questions arise.
Are all Vegetarian foods healthy?
· 50-25-25 Approach to Meals:
50% fruit/non-starchy vegetables
25% lean protein
25% carbs (whole grain or starch, starchy veggies, fruit, dairy)
· Produce & Protein at Snacks:
Protein foods include - legumes, nuts & nut butters, soy products and dairy
VEGETARIAN SAMPLE DAY:
Oatmeal with ½ cup blueberries and 2 Tbsp Sliced Almonds
Non-Fat Greek Yogurt and 2 Tbsp Low-Fat Granola
(Salad vegetables, ½ cup black beans, ¼ cup corn, ¼ cup salsa, and 2 Tbsp Guacamole)
100 calorie pack of Almonds and Apple
Grilled Tofu with Steamed Vegetables and Herbed Quinoa
½ cup Frozen Kefir topped with ½ cup fresh berries