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Vegetarianism and healthy eating for athletes and soldiers

Posted Sep 07 2008 8:36pm

Q. I know you always stress eating meat, but do you have any tips for eating healthy while being vegetarian? Also, my choices of food are VERY limited. I'm deployed to Iraq right now, and the dining facility doesn't offer very many vegetarian foods.

A. Hello Daniel and thanks for the question. Healthy eating can be tough everywhere, but I can only imagine the challenges you must face! Eating healthy is really about eating natural, unprocessed foods so if you can't eat meat I wouldn't sweat it too much, just choose foods in their natural state whenever possible. Also, I understand that you are a vegetarian, but do you eat fish or eggs? If so, you are laughing and should make those choices a major part of your diet. Now, if you won't eat any animal products and need to keep those protein levels high, I would look to nuts, beans and legumes. Nuts such as almonds are high in protein, healthy fats and loaded with minerals and vitamins, plus they will fill you up much like meat does. To be honest I think every meal of yours would have to include nuts, beans or legumes in order to ensure you are consuming enough protein.

I know that my answer is pretty light so I found some great articles regarding vegetarianism for athletes so these should help you more than I can.

UFC Fighter Mac Danzig's Vegan Dietby Mac Danzig
Making the Vegan Diet Work by Mike Mahler

Good luck overseas Daniel!

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