Top Vegetarian Myths Busted– Part 2
It’s easy to believe myths that develop and get shared because they are so commonplace that you think they must be true. They almost become an urban legend of sorts. Well, let’s set the record straight with some more vegetarian myth-busting action. (If you missed Part 1, where I presented the first 5 myths, I highly encourage you to have a look at it).
Myth #6: You won’t get enough protein
As someone who grew up with steak at just about every meal (no, I am NOT exaggerating!), my family thought I was crazy when I went vegetarian 30 years ago. They honestly thought I was going to compromise my health because I wouldn’t be getting enough protein. Vegetables, beans, legumes, quinoa, tofu, tempeh, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and eggs are just some of the foods I enjoy and that provide ample amounts of protein. Many people do not realize that vegetables, on their own, contain protein. Are you just a little mind-blown right now? Check out the list below.
Myth #7: Kiss eating out goodbye
Eating out as a vegetarian has gotten infinitely easier over the decades. When I first became vegetarian, the struggle was real. I always ended up with a green salad as my meal because there were no other options. Yawn city and certainly not fun for the taste buds! With the growth of vegetarianism (as well as food allergies), restaurants have expanded their menus offering a variety of flavorful vegetarian dishes. I have yet to go to a restaurant where I have not found something to eat. Sure, I may tweak my order, but I make it work for me. Something I do quite often is omit the meat from a dish and ask for a side of beans in its place (assuming there is no other vegetarian dish option available). Restaurants will happily do this because it saves them money!
Myth #8: Vegetarians are malnourished
My mother’s favorite line with me was that I needed more blood. She was convinced that I was lacking in nutrients because of my vegetarian lifestyle. While some nutrient deficiencies as a result of omitting animal protein from one’s diet can occur, if you’re cognizant of this, you can avoid the pitfalls. The main ones you want to be aware of are Omega 3, Vitamin B-12, and iron.
Myth #9: You can’t be an athlete if you’re a vegetarian
Really? Would you like to inform Venus Williams, Hannah Teter, Carl Lewis, Bill Pearl, and countless other famous vegetarian athletes of this little tidbit? I think they missed the memo when they were winning grand slams, Olympic snowboarding and running medals, and the Mr. Universe title for bodybuilding! Clearly, your vegetarian lifestyle will not preclude you from having amazing workouts, developing muscle, and competing with world-class athletes.
Myth #10: Pregnant women should not eat vegetarian
Representing over here!! I went through three pregnancies all while being a vegetarian, and my kids turned out great (if I do say so myself)! During my first pregnancy 21 years ago, I had an insane craving for a Whopper—yep, you read that right—a burger from a fast food chain. I decided to satisfy the craving. NEVER AGAIN! I got SO sick—it was not pretty. It goes to show that, once your body is used to the vegetarian way of eating, it will let you know that meat is no longer welcomed in your temple. I’m not suggesting that you start your vegetarian lifestyle during a pregnancy. But, if you’ve already been eating vegetarian for a while and discover that you are pregnant, there’s no reason to change your way of eating.
Myth #11: It’s too expensive
Umm, have you priced a pound of meat vs. a pound of vegetables or beans lately? Eating vegetarian actually is quite the money saver. Not only will you save on your grocery bill but also on your restaurant bill. My non-vegetarian hubby’s meals are always more expensive than mine when we eat out.
So, there you have it… another bunch of vegetarian myths blown out of the water. Whether you’re already a vegetarian, dabbling in it, or considering this way of eating as your permanent lifestyle, it’s important to educate yourself on the facts so you’ll know how to best #FuelUpforaFitLife.