IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
WITH A
VEGETARIAN MEAL PLAN

A vegetarian diet emphasizes the consumption of plant foods, and discourages the consumption of animal products. Reasons for adopting a plant-based diet can range from religious beliefs and animal welfare concerns to personal health, and those who choose to eat this way often experience a wide variety of results.

If you choose to adopt a vegetarian diet, it’s important that you do not rely too heavily on processed foods as a substitute for meat and other animal products, and make sure that you’re consuming the nutrients your body requires.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE
A VEGETARIAN?

In the broadest sense, a vegetarian is someone who excludes meat from their diet. However, vegetarian diets often vary when it comes to the specific animal products they include or exclude:

  • A lacto-vegetarian excludes meat, fish, poultry, and eggs from their diet, but includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter.
  • An ovo-vegetarian excludes meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy from their diet, but includes eggs.
  • A lacto-ovo vegetarian excludes meat, fish, and poultry from their diet, but includes both dairy products and eggs.
  • A pescatarian excludes meat and poultry, dairy, and eggs from their diet, but includes fish.
  • A pollotarian excludes meat, fish, and dairy from their diet, but includes poultry.
  • A vegan excludes meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products from their diet, as well as any other foods that come from animals in any way, including honey and gelatin.

BENEFITS OF FOLLOWING A
VEGETARIAN MEAL PLAN

Some people may choose to simply reduce the amount of meat they consume, focusing primarily on plant-based foods, while including meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, and fish on occasion and in small quantities. Reducing the amount of meat and animal products in your diet, or adopting a vegetarian diet meal plan, can result in the following benefits:

Increased intake of fruits and vegetables

Increased antioxidant intake

Reduced cholesterol levels

Decreased risk of heart disease

Possibility of weight loss

Increased energy levels

Increased fibre intake

More deliberate food choices

Cost savings

Animal welfare

Environmental benefits (since most meat is commercially farmed)

Can help support changes to a more active lifestyle

If you opt for a vegetarian diet, it’s important to ensure that you’re not substituting processed foods for meat and other animal products. These foods are often high in calories, sugar, fat, and sodium. Make sure you know your nutritional needs! Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and calcium-rich foods to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs.

WHAT THE EXPERTS
ARE SAYING

Time after time, studies have shown that vegetarianism is a great way to improve your overall health. A study conducted by the University of Toronto in conjunction with St. Micheal’s Hospital showed that a vegetarian diet can lower so-called “bad“ cholesterol by almost 29%. And that’s not all! A fruit and vegetable diet can provide tremendous benefits, including reduced cancer risks; colon cancer, in particular, is less likely once you cut out red meat.

Some studies have compared vegetarians to non-vegetarians, showing that vegetarians have a better mortality rate. Pescatarians and ovo-lacto vegetarians had a 34% lower mortality rate than non-vegetarians, while standard vegetarians had a 24% lower mortality rate.

A vegetarian diet, if properly planned and carefully followed, can easily meet the human body’s nutritional needs. In fact, some estimates argue that more than 80% of cardiovascular events and issues can be prevented or mitigated through changes to diet and lifestyle. Like switching to a vegetarian diet!

So what’s the biggest barrier to this change? Many people just love eating meat! Thankfully, with LowFatLowCarb.com’s delicious vegetarian recipes, you’ll be loving your meals too much to worry about that!

WHAT FOODS DO
VEGETARIANS EAT?

FRUITS

VEGETABLES

WHOLE GRAINS

LEGUMES

NUTS & SEEDS

HEALTHY FATS

EGGS
(Lacto-ovo and ovo-vegetarians)

DAIRY PRODUCTS
(lacto-ovo and lacto-vegetarians)
Zucchini Tomato Pesto Salad

WHY CHOOSE A
VEGETARIAN DIET MEAL PLAN

For some, making any dietary change, no matter the reason, can be overwhelmingly difficult; but it doesn’t have to be! Making use of the tools and resources at your disposal will almost certainly make the transition easier, and increase your chances of success. One such tool is a vegetarian diet meal plan.

Creating and making use of a healthy vegetarian meal plan is a surefire way to stay organized in the pursuit of your dietary goals. Some of the other benefits you’ll experience as a result of your meal planning efforts include:

SAVING MONEY
EATING HEALTHIER
WASTING LESS
STRESSING LESS
SAVING TIME
EATING A WIDER VARIETY OF NUTRIENTS-RICH FOODS

GETTING STARTED WITH AN EASY
VEGETARIAN MEAL PLAN

Lucky for you, LowFatLowCarb.com makes meal planning easy!

Create a Template

Before getting started with meal planning, create a template! This will be the master document to which you add all of the delicious and nutritious recipes and vegetarian meal ideas that you carefully select. Pre-planning your meals using this template will help to ensure that you’re including a wide variety of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals in your diet. You can keep this template and vary the recipes week by week.

If you’re looking for a handy tool to craft an easy vegetarian meal plan, make use of Low Fat Low Carb’s menu planner (if you’re not yet a member, sign up now!).

Browse Recipes

With your template ready to go, it’s time to decide what delicious, healthy vegetarian meals you’ll be preparing for yourself, your friends, and your family! If you’re looking for somewhere to start, LowFatLowCarb.com has a range of vegetarian recipes that are as fast, healthy, and simple as possible. You can be sure that any recipe you find here will incorporate fresh, high-quality ingredients that are beneficial to your health. Each one includes a minimum of two cups of vegetables, and five to eight ounces of protein to help you meet your daily nutritional goals.

Create a Grocery List

Once you’ve selected the recipes that you’ll be preparing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s time to make a list! Include each of the ingredients that you’ll need for the recipes you’ve selected, and don’t forget to make note of what you already have at home in order to reduce waste!

The tool you use to create this list is completely up to you; use a pen and paper, an app on your smartphone, or the handy grocery list tool at LowFatLowCarb.com (if you’re not a member, sign up now!).

Go Shopping!

With your detailed list in hand, it’s time to hit the grocery store! Remember that you don’t want to rely on processed foods as a substitute for the meat and other animal products that you’ve chosen to eliminate from your diet. Keep your nutritional needs in mind, and purchase fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other nutrient-dense foods./p>

Get Cooking!

Now comes the fun part! It’s time to get cooking! As you spend time in the kitchen, you’ll see that cooking healthy vegetarian meals is no more difficult or time-consuming than preparing those you may be accustomed to cooking and eating now! To ease the transition, feel free to continue cooking with your favourite ingredients, but don’t be afraid to try new things!

VEGETARIAN DIET MEAL PLAN
TIPS & TRICKS

If you’ve just begun using a vegetarian diet meal plan, you may be wondering where to start. Here are some tips and tricks for crafting and sticking to your healthy vegetarian meal plan:

GO BIG

If you commit to preparing large amounts of the foods and ingredients that you’ll be eating frequently throughout the week, you’ll save plenty of time in the long run. Dedicate a few hours at the beginning of each weak to cooking and storing bulk ingredients. Cut up large amounts of your favourite fruits and vegetables, or pre-cook rice and quinoa to have on hand!

KEEP YOUR SCHEDULE IN MIND

The goal of a meal plan is to reduce stress as much as possible, so it’s important to take your schedule into account before you start to plan. If you eat dinner with your girlfriends every Wednesday night, plan your healthy vegetarian meals accordingly. If your daughter has soccer practice every Friday, make sure you’ve scheduled a meal that’s quick and easy to prepare.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

There’s no rule book that says you must choose recipes that call for expensive ingredients and take hours to prepare at the end of a busy day. Choose recipes that incorporate ingredients and cooking techniques that you’re familiar with, and timeframes that work with your schedule. If your family truly loves a particular vegetarian dish, keep things simple and repeat it weekly!

BE FLEXIBLE

Life happens; if your meals for the week don’t go exactly according to plan, there’s no need to stress! Your easy vegetarian meal plan should be adaptable and flexible depending on your needs, and should only make your life easier. As long as you’re focusing on consuming real, nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods, it’s OK to eat breakfast for dinner, or to prepare the salad you had planned for Thursday on Tuesday instead.

BE CONSISTENT

As with any big change in our lives, it’s important to stay consistent. Stay committed, and before you know it, sticking to your healthy vegetarian meal plan will be second nature! Employing these strategies on a regular basis will surely lead to the achievement of your goals!