I’m a Lacto-Ovo Pescatarian. Bravo if you know what that means. If you don’t, it means I’m basically vegetarian, but dairy products and fish are acceptable forms of foodstuff for me. I also live an extremely active lifestyle, I have mountains to climb and waves to surf, so I have to feed my body the right provisions to keep up with my omnivorous counterparts. I’m not a preachatarian, go ahead and eat all the bacon you like, but if you are wondering…it’s a piece of cake to thrive without chowing cow. Sure, stashing jerky in a pack is easier than say, preparing an Ahi Poke snack for a fourteener, but I’ll trade the carnivorous convenience for a lower cholesterol level, lower risk of heart disease, lower risk of cancer and an increased life expectancy.
Vegetarianism can be confusing to some, but the most common varieties are:
- Vegans: eat a strict vegetarian diet and don’t consume any animal products including meat, eggs, dairy and honey.
- Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarians: don’t consume any meat, but do eat eggs and dairy.
- Lacto-Vegetarians: eat dairy, but no eggs.
- Ovo-Vegetarians: eat eggs, but no dairy.
- Opportunitarians: eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but cheat on occasion for a special slice of meat.
- Pescatarians: don’t eat any kind of meat, except for fish.
Occasionally, I debate which seafaring creatures I might consume, such as frogs for instance. Technically both frogs and fish live in Poseidon’s realm, but could I eat Kermit? Um, probably not. I’ve also heard that crocodiles are a toothsome treat and taste rather like chicken; however, it’s been 17 years since I’ve had any chicken and I don’t recall the taste of it. I suppose lobster is okay, but I feel guilty when I eat them. I imagine them strapped on the plane socializing and surmising as to where they might be headed on vacation; flying in fresh as it were. Poor little guys just don’t see the boiling water coming. Every vegetarian has different reasons for abstaining from a meaty menu. For some it’s about animal rights, some dislike the taste of meat and others just want to improve their health. Regardless of the reasons, vegetarianism is becoming easier for many to digest, and much easier to practice due to a substantial growth in popularity and an increased availability of vegetarian foods.
5 Healthy Habits of an Active Vegetarian:
- 1. Drink a protein shake every day, especially for recovery after working out. If you’re a vegan, replace milk with almond milk in your shake. It’s cholesterol-free, low glycemic and high in calcium, potassium and Vitamin E. Chocolate milk is also great post exercise.
- 2. Eat yogurt daily, and look for products that are low in sugar and high in probiotics. Choose Greek yogurt when possible for its high protein content.
- 3. Follow a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Bananas, blueberries, spinach, beans, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds and quinoa are best.
- 4. Incorporate good fats in your diet like olive oil, avocados, dairy, eggs, nuts and nut butters. Walnuts and flax are great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- 5. Drink more water. Hydrate or die. ‘Nuff said.
Consuming ample amounts of protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and calcium are the key to a healthy vegetarian diet that keeps you properly fueled for high-endurance activities. Take a daily multivitamin to supplement nutrients you may be missing in your diet. Herbivore or not, adding these details to your diet will help boost your performance and overall health. For recipes and more information about being an active vegetarian, visit activevegetarian.com.
Vegetarian Dining in SLC
Blue Plate Diner
2041 S. 2100 East
City Dogs Street Cart
200 East 300 South
Evergreen House Cafe
755 S. State Street
Evergreen House Cafe
Long Life Vegi House
1353 E. 3300 South
151 S. 500 East
2148 S. Highland Drive
473 E. Broadway
2280 S. West Temple