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What is a Vegetarian Lifestyle?

Following are the forms of vegetarianism:

  • Lacto ovo vegetarian – (the most common) – in this diet you eliminate meat, fish, poultry. This diet allows dairy products and eggs.

  • Lacto vegetarian – with this diet meat, fish poultry and eggs are eliminated. Dairy is allowed.

  • Ovo vegetarian – eliminates meat, fish, poultry and dairy but allows eggs.

  • Pescatarian – eliminates meat, fish, poultry but allows fish and sometimes eggs and dairy.

  • Vegan – completely plant based, eating nothing that had a mother or derived from something that had a mother, ie honey from bees.

  • Flexitarian – mostly vegetarian diet that allows for occasional meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy.

If you’ve ever considered starting or adopting a vegetarian lifestyle. Making this type of lifestyle change will be difficult. It will require a tremendous amount of planning and discipline. Before you even begin, remember to extend yourself grace for when things don’t go as planned. I suggest you find a good book on the subject, consult a nutritionist, join a support group or convince a buddy to so the same, or maybe just consider going at it gradually. If being a vegan for instance is your goal, then consider starting out as a Flexitarian.

I would offer the following advice that might help you be successful. Plan your meals. Plan to shop and meal prep. Create shopping lists in advance. All these things will help you avoid making mistakes or eating outside of the plan that you’ve chosen. Experiment with new fruits and vegetables and even recipes that you’ve not tried before. It is very important to keep the experience interesting.

Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs provide protein, omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, B12, calcium, and vitamin D. When you eliminate these, you must be careful to continue to get these nutrients from other sources. To ensure that you don’t become deficient, include a variety of vegetables, whole grains and foods fortified with these nutrients. You might also have to include multivitamins and supplements.

Some benefits of choosing to be a vegetarian include good heart health, lowered cancer risks, prevents type 2 diabetes, lowers blood pressure, weight control and a host of other good things.

In closing, if this is a path that you are choosing, consult your doctor and or a dietitian. It is a great time to explore this option because the idea a vegetarianism is now very common and acceptable. It is easy to find restaurants and the groceries you need in your local farmers market and grocery stores. Be intentional in eating whole foods and don’t fall into the junk food vegetarian trap!


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