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Vegetarian Diets For Women

By October 7, 201210 Comments

 vegetarian recipes

Vegetarian Diets for Women

When a vegetarian diet is well planned, it can meet your nutrient needs for training and fitness. The key to this is to get enough energy from other sources then meat and to replace key nutrients found in animal products.  If planned and executed properly a vegetarian diet has many potential health benefits. They include lower rates of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Other benefits include lower blood cholesterol levels and a lower risk for gallstones and intestinal problems.

Vitamin Supplementing

Vegetarians need to make sure that they are getting an adequate supply of zinc, B12, calcium, iron and Vitamin D.  These are all things that meat eaters get from animal sources.  Always check with a doctor regarding your diet and how to supplement with vitamins.


Zinc is an essential mineral in the diet.  Generally ample amounts of zinc are found in meat. To replace zinc, vegetarians can choose these foods: beans and chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds and yogurt.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found naturally only in animal products. If you don’t eat eggs or dairy products, include foods fortified with vitamin B12 like meat substitutes (veggie dogs, veggie burgers) or even better, take a B12 supplement .

Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are important for healthy bones, muscles and nerves. Dairy products, and some fortified orange juices provide both. Almonds, figs, beans, tahini, turnip or collard greens, broccoli and kale also provide calcium. Vitamin D is also made when the sun hits the bare skin. In the late fall or winter in Canada, our bodies can’t make enough vitamin D from the sun. If you train indoors most of the time, you may be at risk for low vitamin D. A supplement with 200 IU of vitamin D daily would be a good solution.


Vegetarians need almost twice as much iron of non-vegetarians because iron from plant foods is poorly absorbed. Training can increase your need for iron too. Iron deficiency leads to fatigue and can impair your performance.  Make sure you eat enough iron rich foods every day. Choose from beans, lentils, seeds, soy, and whole grain or fortified cereals, breads and pastas.  Include a source of vitamin C like citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli to help your body absorb the iron from plant foods.


Food – Portion Size – Calories (cal) – Protein (in grams – gm)

Nuts and Seeds

Pumpkin/squash seeds 1 oz,  126 cal 5 gm

Black walnuts 1 oz, 173 cal 7 gm

Pine nuts 1 oz, 190 cal 4 gm

Roasted almonds 1 oz, 22 count 171 cal 6gm

Pistachios 1 oz 49 count 161 cal 6gm

Sunflower seeds 1 oz 166 cal 5 gm

Cashews 1 oz 18 kernels 164 cal 4 gm

Hemp seeds 2 T 160 cal 11gm

Flax seeds 1 T 100 cal 4 gm


Dairy Products

Ricotta cheese lowfat ½ c 171 cal 14 gm

Romano cheese 1 oz 108 cal 9 gm

Cheddar cheese 1 oz 113 cal 7 gm

Provolone cheese 1 oz 98 cal

Mozzarella 1 oz 71 cal 7 gm

Parmesan 1 oz 116 cal 7 gm

Gouda cheese 1 oz 100 cal 8 gm

Swiss cheese 1 oz 100 cal 8gm

Feta cheese ½ c crumbled 200 cal 21 gm

Cottage cheese 2% low fat 1 cup 163 cal 28 gm

Egg 1 whole 77 cal 6 gm

Egg whites 1 whole 16 cal 4 gm

Milk 1 cup 137 cal 10 gm

Yogurt low fat 1 cup 137 cal 14 gm



Sun-dried tomatoes ½ cup (1 oz) 72 cal 4gm

Soy beans 1 oz 35 cal 4 gm

Tofu ½ cup 95 cal 10gm

Navy beans 4 oz 88 cal 8 gm

Peas 4 oz 108 cal 8 gm

Lima beans 4 oz cal 88 cal 5 gm all

Brussel sprouts 1 cup 65 cal 6 gm

Spinach 1 cup chopped 65 cal 6 gm

Broccoli 1 cup spears 52 cal 6 gm

Asparagus ½ cup 20 cal 2 gm



Apricots dried ½ cup 190 cal 3 gm

Peaches dried ½ cup 185 cal 3 gm


Cereal, bread, grains and pasta

Oat bran 1 oz 59 cal 5 gm

Oats 1 oz 109 cal 5 gm

Spaghetti, sprouted wheat dry 2 oz 198 cal 8 gm

Buckwheat 1 oz 96 cal 4 gm

Couscous dry 1 oz 105 cal 4 gm

Bulgur dry 1 oz 96 cal 3 gm

Millet raw 1 oz 106 cal 3 gm

Rice, brown long grain cooked 1 cup 216 cal 5 gm

Sprouted wheat bread 1 slice 69 cal 4 gm

Oatmeal bread 1 slice 73 cal 2 gm

Rye bread 1 slice 83 cal 2 gm

Sprouted wheat pita bread 4” diameter 74 cal 3 gm

Quinoa – 1 cup cooked – 170 cal – 7gm


Here is a vegetarian recipe to get you started:

This one too:

Check out this video for tips on how to incorporate fitness into your routine as well!

This article also has great information for vegetarian diets to source fats, proteins and carbs:



Vegetarians tend to consume less cholesterol and saturated fat then meat-eaters. They are also known to consume more beneficial fibre, vitamins and antioxidants than meat-eaters. There is also the cost savings of buying meat alternatives versus purchasing meat.  The savings can be significant.

Vegetarian diets for women can be very successful and provide many benefits if it is planned out right.  Starting with figuring out your protein needs and finding substitutes will ensure that you are not filling up on empty calories that will just add weight on!  Protein is the best way to feel fuller longer.  Like anything in life, smart choices will work to your advantage.

 Click here to download your EASY Veggie Meal Plans

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Sophie says:

    Hi Flavia, Thanks for this awesome article about how to eat vegetarian. Thanks for taking the time to produce such quality content. Thanks for helping animals by encouraging a cruelty free, healthy and wholesome diet.

  • Anna G says:

    This a very well written and thought out article, Thanks Flav! You made some very good points. 🙂 One question: I thought beans and seeds weren’t a complete protein, you needed to combine them with another protein to get the complete amino acid profile so your body can properly absorb it?

    • Victoria says:

      Yes, most beans/seeds/grains are not a complete protein (except a few, such as quinoa), but you do not need to be concerned about combining foods to get a complete protein in one meal. The body has an amino acid pool and adds to it throughout the day. Therefore various foods throughout the day will form a complete protein.

      • Anna G says:

        ok, that’s interesting. Thanks Victoria 🙂

        • Nickjaa says:

          Also the missing amino acids in beans/pulses can be made up with rice. So just have rice and beans and you have all the amino acids. Not that you need them all in every meal anyway

    • Flavia says:

      Not too sure that you need compete proteins for each meal, but rather you would need to eat all the essential amino acids within the day – I believe!

  • Ashley says:

    Just keep in mind that the entire population cannot eat vegetarian and stay healthy!

  • kate says:

    hey, I’ve done the curvalicious programs, and I am still using them! and, here it comes, I am a vegan 🙂 yes that’s right. I wanted to lose weight, so I just planned my diet, and besides eating the legumes that I use to, i added a scoop of sun warrior in my smoothies 🙂 it worked well for me! and I got really good results, without feeling tired and exhausted, or anything like that. vegans or vegetarians who feel tired and so, might feel that way because they don’t get enough energy from their diet in general. and to work out you’ll need a lot of energy. the sun warrior was an easy solution when I came home from a work out and just wanted to do something quick 😉

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