Before you decide to say no to your favourite steak, listen to what an expert has got to say about going green. Susan Fyshe, a dietitian and nutritionist for 20 years says vegetarianism is not a trend and definitely here to stay. Susan says the first thing you have to ask yourself is whether you’re serious about cutting out meats from your diet and whether you’re committed to eating healthy. “The stricter of a vegetarian you are, the more time you should take to research it. Being a healthy vegetarian is not so much age related but it’s the issue of understanding there’s different ways to be vegetarian. You can be a healthy vegetarian at any age.”
Fruitarians strongly believe you shouldn’t deprive a plant of their potential. Many won’t eat root vegetable like carrots, onions and garlic because that’s where the rest of the plant grows from, and strict fruitarians won’t even eat nuts or seeds because they believe this is robbing the seed of the chance to grow into a tree or plant. But if you’re fruitarian, it’s okay to pile your plates with tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes, avocados and zucchini. Susan doesn’t recommend this kind of diet because it’s unbalanced for growth and development in teens. She says there’s no way teens can get enough nutrients from choosing to eat from such a small range of fruits and vegetables.
Forget that tall glass of milk with those cookies. Welcome, to the life of a vegan. Vegans are considered the total vegetarian because they eat only grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. These
vegetarians avoid all meats, fish, dairy and everything and anything that may contain animal products. That means no more gummy bears and jello (these are made with gelatin, which is really boiled animal bones, skins and tendons… yuck!) Many vegans don’t wear leather or fur. Susan says teens who go vegan (no meat, eggs and dairy) have to be extra careful that they’re getting all the necessary nutrients. This means eating more grains and vegetables than they usually would. Susan says the best way to do this is to combine grain food with legumes. So next time you eat some toast, choose whole-grain bread with peanut butter or cashew butter. Eat some bean chili with rice and of course, lots of tofu.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat eggs and Lacto vegetarians, don’t. Lacto-ovo vegetarians will enjoy a glass of milk, a chunk of cheese along with their eggs and if they feel like it, may have some tuna. But they will never eat any bacon, or any other type of meat because their diets are usually based around grains, fruits and vegetables. Lacto vegetarians have pretty much the same diet as the Lacto-ovos but they don’t believe in eating “flesh” of any kind so that means no eggs, meats, and only vegetarian cheeses along with their fruits, veggies and grains. Susan says that becoming a lacto-ovo vegetarian is just as healthy and balanced as a non-vegetarian diet if you get enough protein from your eggs and dairy.
Macrobiotic vegetarians believe in the old, traditional values of Asia. They believe that there should be a balance in food, a yin/yang in everything you put in your body. That means not eating any animals or refined or processed foods. Anything with preservatives and caffeine are also a big no-no. Say good-bye to coffee, steaks and frozen pies. But say hello to tons of veggies and a totally good way to eating.
Living and Raw Foodists
Living and raw foodists only eat uncooked, unprocessed, unheated and organic plant based foods and believe that cooking food kills all its nutritional value. Living and raw foodists only drink purified water and freshly made juices. Susan says raw foodism is not for growing teens, “Raw eating has been popular on and off over the years. It is believed that food is only nutritious when it’s raw but that’s not true. There’s no need to just eat raw food to get the nutrients you need.”
Visit Susan Fyshe’s website at http://www.healthylifestylenutrition.ca for more information.
Written by Faze contributor Linda Nguyen