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A Star Is Born: Vegetarian Meets Low Carb

Author: Sylvie Charrier

I grew up in a vegetarian family. As a child, I had more grains, vegetables, and soy products than most people will eat in a lifetime. When I was about 16 years old, I had had enough--I wanted to eat meat! At first, it was strange cooking with real meat. After all, I had never touched meat before, so I was a little repulsed by it at the beginning. But over time, I learned how to cook meat and found that I really loved cooking. But, I never really felt quite right about eating meat. Since my formative years were spent living a healthy vegetarian lifestyle, the new meat-eating me felt sluggish and unhealthy. Sluggish or not, I continued to eat meat into my adult years. I knew I needed to make a change in my diet, but I wasn't sure exactly how to go about it. How could I have ever guessed that my daughter would be that catalyst for a change that I'd needed since I was a teen myself?

One of the unique joys of motherhood has been nurturing a mutual relationship with my children: I inspire them, and they inspire me. As they grow into their own personalities and pursuits, I am constantly amazed--and sometimes caught entirely off guard--by their independence and self-declarations. For example, a short while ago, my eldest daughter stood up at the dinner table, after stirring her food around on her plate for a while, and announced that she wanted to be a vegetarian. I was surprised at her announcement. I was not surprised at all, however, when--without any arguments--the rest of the kids and I decided that we would all "go vegetarian" together as a family. I'd been considering it for quite some time, but wanted the kids to decide for themselves.

The impact of that decision was bigger and better than I could have ever imagined. I quickly realized that, not only was I reducing injury to the health of our planetary body and our animal friends, I was also starting to see an amazing difference in my own body. Within weeks, my digestion improved; I had more energy; and, the insomnia I had suffered from for so many years was suddenly gone! But, with all this positive affirmation, I was quite surprised to find that I wasn't experiencing the kind of weight loss I had anticipated when I returned to my vegetarian ways. Frankly, I was disappointed because--health aside--I wanted to lose weight.

I began my search for the perfect, veggie-friendly weight loss solution. As have so many others, I read extensively on the most popular low carb diets on the marketplace today, including the Atkins Nutritional Approach™, the South Beach Diet, The Zone, and other low-carb diet plans. Although I could readily see the benefits of living the low carb lifestyle, I found no low carb diet plans available in the marketplace that would be acceptable to vegetarians. Meat is at the center of each and every low carb plan.

If I wanted to lose weight by using a low carb diet, I would have to either be A) willing to eat meat, or B) put my research, cooking, and vegetarian skills to good use and develop a plan that allows vegetarians to successfully lose weight without compromising their food and lifestyle ideals. Since eating meat was not an option for me or my family, I chose Plan B!

To those ends, I was particularly interested in the G.I. Diet, a book by Rick Gallop, which emphasizes a healthy, low carb diet plan that doesn't completely exclude carbohydrates from the daily meals. The diet is more focused on the process of reducing and/or eliminating foods in the diet that increase blood sugar while increasing foods that are low on the Glycemic Index scale. This combination leads to effective and healthy weight loss.

The G.I. Diet asks people to consider changing the way they think about themselves, the foods they eat, and dieting in general. As such, if the commitment is made, the diet is sustainable and nutritionally-viable so one could reasonably maintain it long after the weight has come off. However, the G.I. Diet is not vegetarian.

So, with research in hand, I began thinking about how I could merge the valuable contributions of Gallop and a low carb diet together with a vegetarian lifestyle. After extensive trial and error in the kitchen--some things just don't taste right no matter how good they are for you--I created a series of fun, easy, and amazing ways to re-design some of the most delicious recipes to make them both low carb and vegetarian. I'd finally found a way that I could lose weight, be healthy, and live well as a vegetarian.

When my family and friends saw me lose over 20 pounds in less than 3 months, the questions started pouring in:

How did you do that?

What are you eating?

How do you make vegetarian chicken parmesan and vegetarian beef stroganoff?

Where's the meat?

Where do you get your protein?

How can you eat low carb when you aren't eating meat?

My answers to those questions and the countless recipes that I scribbled down for my friends and families became the backbone of this FREE book, Living La Vida Low Carb: The Vegetarian Way, which can be found for free at http://www.VegetarianLowCarb.com,that I share with you now. I can't tell you that you'll experience the same results as I did. I can tell you--with pride and honesty--that these recipes can help you achieve a healthier, more balanced diet. And, thankfully, the book demonstrates that losing weight as a low carb vegetarian no longer means peanut butter and tofu at every meal! Good luck and good health!

Ready to learn more about this revolutionary way to eat healthy, without sacrificing taste? Visit http://www.VegetarianLowCarb.com/Article_Vegetarian-Meets-Low-Car b.html

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About the Author:
Sylvie Charrier is a busy work-at-home mom, and she discovered simple ways to get more results from her low carb diet. She shares her recipe makeovers, fitness and health tips on her website http://www.VegetarianLowCarb.com

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - A Star Is Born: Vegetarian Meets Low Carb

The Toddler Road To A Vegetarian Diet

Author: Jasper Sayer

Though many people have the idea that feeding a toddler a vegetarian diet isn't safe, so long as parents take care to make sure that all the appropriate nutrients are met, it's actually quite healthy.

Some benefits to a lifelong, proper vegetarian diet include a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

The main problem with vegetarianism and toddler nutrition is making sure your child gets enough nutrients and calories. Calorie consumption is important for ensuring your toddler has the energy he needs to play hard and grow.

It can be challenging to develop a well-rounded vegetarian toddler menu that provides enough protein and iron. Since toddlers already have such a small appetite, it can be difficult to get them to eat enough vegetables or beans to receive all of their nutrients. Therefore, it is important that vegetarian children are served nutrient-dense foods.

Soybeans and tofu are a great source of protein for adults and children over four. For toddlers, though, it shouldn't be used as their main source of protein. In this instance, compliment the tofu or soybeans that you serve with soymilk that has been fortified with vitamins and minerals. Not only will this help provide some protein, it will also help your toddler's nutrition by providing calcium, and vitamins A and D, which can often be hard to get in a vegan diet.

Iron can be found in many vegetarian-friendly foods. Kidney beans, lima beans, green beans, and spinach are all excellent sources of iron. However, unlike iron derived from animal sources, iron from vegetables can be hard for your body to absorb properly. But serving a vitamin C rich food with those beans or spinach can make the iron easier for your toddler to absorb. Some great sources of vitamin C include tomatoes, oranges, broccoli, red peppers, and cantaloupe.

While it is possible to raise a healthy vegan, it can take a bit more work. You may need to supplement your toddler's diet to ensure they get all the nutrition that they need. Vitamin B-12 can be especially difficult for vegans to get enough of.

While vegetables contain some B-12 vitamins, the body does not easily absorb these. Your toddler's healthcare provider can help you decide on a B-12 suitable for toddlers.

A diet that does not allow for calcium can also be detrimental to your child's health. Calcium helps to make bones stronger and aids in proper growth and development. Choose soymilk that is calcium-fortified, but be sure it's also fortified with other nutrients that your toddler needs for good nutrition.

Vegetarian child. The term almost sounds like an oxymoron we've joked about through the years, like jumbo shrimp. The words just don't seem to go together! It's not as unnatural as it may sound.

Actually, kids are almost natural vegetarians. It's imperative that you offer your growing vegetarian child a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and soy based proteins to ensure they have the energy and nutrients needed to grow up strong, healthy, and happy.

When you're planning a healthy vegetarian diet, you're only limited by your imagination. It's important to incorporate a wide variety of whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits in different meals, including seeds and nuts. Variety is the spice of life, and it will help ensure your vegetarian diet is nutrient-dense, interesting, and fun! Aim for variety, even when you serve favorite entrees over and over again, by serving different side dishes, snacks and desserts.

Be creative in planning meals. Boost your consumption of beans and vegetables by eating these foods at lunch time rather than just for dinner. Make it a goal to serve a vegetable every day for lunch and two for dinner.

Plan a meal around a vegetable. A baked potato can be a hearty entree; serve it with baked beans, a sauce of stewed tomatoes or a few tablespoons of salsa. Or make a simple meal of sautéed vegetables and pasta.

Try new foods often. Experiment with a variety of grains such as quinoa, couscous, bulgur, barley, and wheat berries. Try fruits and vegetables that are popular in different international cuisines, such as bok choy. Accentuate the positive. Focus more on healthy foods that fit into a vegetarian plan instead of foods to avoid. If you're unsure how to include a new food into your vegetarian diet, ask the produce manager at your local grocer or health food store for ideas on how to prepare it. The internet can be a great resource for new recipe and preparation ideas. But be sure that you're building your menu on a strong plant food base. Make them the core of your diet.

Don't stress about getting enough protein. As long as calories are sufficient and the diet is varied, vegetarians easily meet protein needs. Grains, beans, vegetables, and nuts all provide protein. Vegetarians do not need to eat special combinations of foods to meet protein needs. However, it is important to be aware of fat.

Even vegetarians can get too much fat if the diet contains large amounts of nuts, oils, processed foods, or sweets.

About the Author:

Read about vegetarian nutrition and vegetarian health at the Vegetarian Facts website.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - The Toddler Road To A Vegetarian Diet