Most of these tips really apply to everyone, not just vegetarians. They may seem trite, but they are tried and true and you will notice the difference in your health and energy levels. Need a little inspiration? Check out how more than 60 people lost weight and improved their health on a vegetarian diet.
- Eat a dark green vegetable (broccoli, spinach, kale, collard greens) at least three times a week. These nutritional powerhouses are packed full of vitamins such as calcium and iron. On the run or hate spinach? Try drinking your greens. I recommend Naked Juice's Green Machine-its made with fruit juice as well as greens, so it tastes better than others.
- Take a vitamin supplement that contains B12 or include nutritional yeast in your diet regularly, especially if you're vegan or mostly vegan.
- Water water water! It's been said over and over again for a reason-because its true! Most people don't drink nearly enough. Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go and invest in a simple filter for your home. Water is especially important when adjusting to a new way of eating, as it will help curb any cravings you may experience.
- Make it a goal to eat at least one piece of raw fruit or a handful of raw vegetables every dayI try to eat an apple first thing in the morning to get it out of the way.
- Reduce your refined sugar intake. I've got as much of a sweet tooth as anybody, but I try to keep it under control by using such sugar replacers as brown rice syrup, stevia and agave nectar whenever possible (such as in coffee and tea) and indulging in the refined stuff only occasionally.
- Keep your favorite salad dressings on hand. I find that I'm much more likely to eat my greens or some raw veggies when my favorite salad dressings are in the fridge. A little variety is great too--I try to keep at least two kinds, either store bought or homemade on hand at all times. Some of my favorites are homemade goddess dressing, Thai peanut sauce from my local Asian grocer and rasberry vinaigrette. A vegan ranch dressing was helpful as well when I was trying to wean myself off dairy.
Eat the rainbow! Fruits and vegetables all contain different nutrients. A simple way to remember to eat a range of vitamins and minerals is to vary the colors of the vegetables you eat. Of course, greens are always good, but try eating a rainbow of tomatoes, yellow squash and purple cabbage!
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