I have a lot of vegetarian clients. Many of them are operating on a diet high in soy or fake meat products and grains, which contributes to the health problems they are working to resolve via our consultations. I was a vegetarian for 13 years before I decided it wasn’t right for me, and I don’t advocate vegetarianism now. But if you choose to be a vegetarian, there are some considerations you must implement to prevent deficiencies or imbalance. I’ve also included a excellent resource below to help you navigate vegetarianism.
- Avoid the soy milk, soy protein and processed fake meat products. Your Morningstar Farm breakfast “sausage” is highly refined and loaded with chemicals and processed soy. Soy is very estrogenic and contributes to hormone imbalance, thyroid disturbance and digestive issues.
- Eat healthy fats from egg yolks, butter, coconut oil, avocados and olive oil. These fats support brain and hormone health. Many vegetarians are deficient in the essential fatty acids, which can cause dry skin and hair, poor vision and cardio-vascular issues. Avoid the inflammatory vegetable oils!
- Don’t make your diet grain or gluten-based. Many vegetarians I’ve counseled were relying on pasta because it’s easy to prepare and easy to make meatless. Gluten in particular can contribute to inflammation and digestive issues, and if you’re trying to lose weight, it can sabotage your efforts by adversely affecting blood sugar and hunger levels. Grain-based diets contribute to weight gain, and many people have trouble digesting them because of the lectins and phytic acid. Focus on legumes, veggies, and eggs.
- Soak grains and nuts. Soaking these foods increases digestability and reduces the phytic acid that can block absorption of other nutrients. Even better, try sprouting your grains & legumes for enhanced nutrition.
If you are a vegetarian and experiencing digestive issues, weight gain (or loss), hormone issues or infertility, it may not be the right choice for you. I know how difficult it can be to reintroduce meat for the ethical reasons alone, but why risk your health? You can affect change by choosing organic and sustainably raised animals and boycotting CAFO meats.
Fortunately, I have an excellent resource for you.
My friend and fellow blogger Hannah Healy has written a recipe and resource book filled with gluten AND soy free vegetarian recipes. Her book features over 120 pages of gluten-free, soy-free, meatless real food recipes along with tutorials and guides to help you make food from scratch. I can get behind that. There is also a bonus: vegan and grain free desserts.
I frequently share Hannah’s recipes on my facebook page and have made many myself. I recommend this book to all my vegetarian clients. Some of my faves are the sweet potato pancakes, the cauliflower crust pizza and the lentil “meat”balls. I made her raw fruit tart for a dinner party once and it was TO DIE FOR. The book is more than a cookbook– it features tutorials on how to make your own staples like ghee, almond flour, salad dressings and vegan cheese. She also teaches you how to soak, sprout and ferment your food to increase digestability.
The grain free desserts bonus book includes her famous chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chia mousse, dairy free ice cream, date sweetened brownies, and that delectable fruit tart. And the food photography is beautiful!
Right now the book AND the bonus grain free dessert book are both on sale for only $19.99! Snatch them both up now– you only have until Tuesday, October 15 before this offer expires!.
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