Is going vegetarian healthy?

Any vegan or vegetarian will tell you that the number one question they're asked is where they get their protein?  It's almost perplexing to some that getting adequate nutrition from a plant based diet is even possible! Well balanced meals that forego the meat are actually proven to provide the nutrients necessary for energy, and maintaining optimal health without the burden of cholesterol or saturated fats.

Meatless Monday has become quite a trend and a very healthy one at that!  Replacing one meat meal a week with a veggie based option can really cut back on the amount of saturated fat, and cholesterol that is consumed over the course of a month.  Protein is a hot topic, in fact people are a little obsessed with getting enough.  It's important to include lean protein into most meals because it stabilizes blood sugar, and keeps you satiated.  It may be surprising to know that there are plant based sources of protein that most wouldn't suspect.  For example two cups of kale (yes greens!) contains 4 grams of protein, and a cup of broccoli 6 grams.  Other amazing sources include legumes, quinoa, nuts and seeds, and of course soy products such as tofu.

Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nervous system function, and the formation of red blood cells. The only food sources of B12 are in animal products, so it is important for vegetarians and vegans who don't eat eggs or dairy to take a good quality daily supplement.  That being said, a whole foods diet will otherwise provide the necessary vitamins and minerals one would need for optimal health.

Include a few heart healthy veggie based meals into your week, and you'll find this way of eating to be both sustainable, and delicious! Can someone please pass the carrots?

~Adriane Rosenberg