Healthy Vegetarian Diet for Athlete & Non-Veg BF

How to have a healthy nutritious vegetarian diet for athletic lifestyle AND non-veg boyfriend at the same time?


I would first like to say Savvy Vegetarian is an  excellent website! I found it through a “healthy vegetarian diet” search. I guess I lucked out.  I have some questions, and maybe you guys can help me.

I have not eaten red meat in over 15 yrs, it makes me very sick and my stomach uneasy at the thought.  I used to love to eat pork, chicken, turkey, and fish, but lately I find it has been upsetting my digestive system and making me feel heavy, does that make sense?

I also have a non-vegetarian boyfriend, who baulks at the idea of a vegetarian  life style. He loves it when I cook, but I always have to make separate stuff.  Number one time consuming and expensive. How can I make this situation easier?

I am an athlete, a runner, training for a half marathon. I am 25, 108 to 110lbs, 5’4.  I eat pretty healthy, with the occasional ice cream and sweet treat fix.  I understand tofu, tempeh, and seitan are good but in moderation.  How do I know how much of these to eat in a week? I love beans and usually eat them every other day – inexpensive, tasty, and packed with nutrients.

Okay, how do I make sure I get the appropriate nutrition for my athletic lifestyle? How can I make my budget go further? I have a garden so that really helps. Also, is soy milk okay to have everyday?

I sincerely thank you for your help in advance. I think I am on the right path with this new healthy life style and my diet, but maybe need a little guidance here and there. Again, thank you to the 10th power.

Eager to hear what you think – K.D.

P.S. I tried the White Bean Italian Style Soup – delicious!!

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One thing to keep in mind is that there are many foods that both veg and non-veg can eat. And even omnivores don’t need to eat meat at every meal. Most other cultures eat a far more varied diet, including grains, legumes, nuts and seeds in their diet besides meat – and considerably less of that.

Please read the SV Report: Veg NonVeg Together,  for ideas on how to eat and co-habit with your non-veg boyfriend.

And remember, you don’t have to do all the giving. If your bf can’t meet you half-way (e.g. by cooking the non-veg component of the meal, or by eating vegetarian sometimes), you might want to consider whether he’s more important to you than your vegetarian diet. There must be some worthy straight vegetarian men out there somewhere!

It does make sense that your digestive system would reject animals – once it knows there’s something better. Opinion is divided on this, but personally, I don’t think people are meant to be omnivores.

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As far as your diet is concerned, it sounds pretty good. Since you are probably underweight, if anything, eat as much as you like of whatever appeals to you. Certainly all the lentils & beans you want – tofu, tempeh, or seitan too more moderately.

Try to eat two or three servings of whole grain a day, and some nuts, seeds, dried fruit (soaked is good), and don’t neglect good fats – like olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, a bit of flax oil, toasted sesame, walnut oil, nut butters, avocado, etc. Try hummus – it’s great! Try other kinds of milks like hemp, almond, etc, not just soy.

Variety is the key to good vegetarian nutrition. For more nutrition info, check out Vesanto Melina’s book,  Becoming Vegetarian, which every vegetarian should know by heart.

I’m glad you enjoyed the White Bean Italian Style Soup – it’s one of our faves.

Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

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