Vegetarianism 101



by Raluca Tutulan, Registered Homeopath

So you’re thinking of becoming vegetarian…

You have made the decision to eat less meat. Now what?

What do you eat instead?

How do you make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet?

Where do you get your essential fatty acids?

What will you do in social situations?

Join us over the next few weeks on Wellness Wednesdays as we will be talking about how to change your diet to a more plant-based, vegetarian diet. You will receive tips on how to set yourself up for success and making sure you are getting a well-rounded diet.   We want to make sure you have enough protein and essential vitamins and minerals in your diet so you don’t end up being a junk-food vegetarian and substituting extra bread, cheese and pasta for meat (I’ve done it, many vegetarians have). We will also talk about how to prepare yourself for social situations.

What to expect from this series:

  1. How much protein do we need and where do we get it?
  2. Where do I get my essential fatty acids?
  3. Tip for success: Substitute your favourite meat dishes.
  4. How to avoid an unhealthy vegetarian diet
  5. Tips for social situations

First, I would like to begin by saying that there is no one ‘right’ diet for everyone. Every person is different. I want you to pay attention to what your body needs. Some of us don’t do well with grains, or vegetables such as nightshades, some have trouble digesting meats, others have a hard time with dairy. I want you to pay attention to what your body needs and how it responds to different food groups. A strict vegetarian diet is not a good fit for everyone, but incorporating more plant-based foods in your lifestyle is always a good idea!

Why eat vegetarian?

There are many reasons to eat a vegetarian diet. Reasons can range from health benefits, to spiritual reasons, to animal welfare and concerns about the environment.

For me the reason was simple. It just felt like the right choice for me. I watched a lot of documentaries on plant-based eating and the effect it has on our health and environment and I they resonated with me. There are plenty of documentaries on Netflix if you want to check them out. My favourite was “Forks over Knives”.

I have been vegetarian for 5 years. I never said I would do it forever. I decided I would just do it until it felt right and good for my body. So far, so good.

I discovered that being vegetarian is FUN! It gives you so much room to experiment with recipes and substitutions and try vegetables and foods you haven’t tried before. Your meals are about to get SO MUCH MORE COLOURFUL!

What would you like to include and exclude from your diet?

There are a few types of vegetarian diets.

Pescetarian- exclude all meats except fish

Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian- Exclude meat and fish but include eggs and milk

Lacto-Vegetarian- Exclude meat, fish and egg, but include milk products

Vegan- No animal products. Exclude meat, fish, eggs, milk

Think about what the right fit for you would be. How much would you like to exclude from your diet?

Again, there is no right or wrong diet, only what is right for you and your body.

Let’s end this week with tip #1

My tip is start slow and be patient. Most of us have an “all or nothing” attitude. We want to make drastic changes quickly, like go from no exercise to doing a 90-day workout program that requires 1 hour commitment 6 days a week, or trying to add 5 new habits to our routine at once because we found out successful people do those things, or completely change our diets overnight.  You want these changes to be long-lasting so there is no rush to get to the finish line. Instead, be patient with yourself and take your time to make lasting changes.

Meet yourself where you are right now. If you have meat in every one of your meals, then start by removing meat from one meal a day. Or remove meat one day a week. Once you have accomplished that, then eat meat-free for a few days at a time.

If you would like to book a vegetarian transition consult with me (and get 1-on-1 guidance on how to make the change work for you),  contact me here!


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