Not all vegetarians are healthy eaters.

March 27, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

“For the last 18 years of being a vegetarian, people have asked me, “If you don’t eat meat, what DO you eat?” My answer has been “I eat everything else.” See everything one vegetarian eats for an entire year. Follow daily from Photo Kitchen’s Instagram (or follow hashtag #whatavegetarianeats365) and come back here for recipes and such.”

Not all vegetarians are healthy eaters. This comes as a surprise to a lot of people. I’m an unhealthy vegetarian. I indulge in fatty, carb-filled, salty foods. Particularly in the winter, I hunker down with all my favorite comfort foods. While unhealthy food doesn’t scare me, having some nutritional value in my food is important to me.

There are many different ways to analyze our eating habits and make better choices, even if it’s not our biggest priority. My favorite tool for analyzing the nutritional value of my food isn’t by reading labels or counting calories. It’s much simpler than that. All I do is pay attention to color.

I’ve eaten many a beige meal. Curly fries and mozzarella sticks. Eggs and toast. Tofu and rice. Beige foods aren’t necessarily nutritionally bad, but they do tend to offer the same two nutrients–carbs and protein. Colorful foods are some of the best foods for us, so I use color to judge how nutritionally diverse my meals are. If I start leaning towards beige, I bring in some color. Instead of fried eggs and toast, I’ll make a veggie omelet, fruit salad and toast.

It’s not that I don’t like the colorful stuff. I LOVE fruits and veggies. My colorless meals are caused by lack of time to go grocery shopping and cook a proper meal. Cheese, bread, fake meat products, potatoes, chocolate, ice cream…it’s fast food, prepared foods, processed foods, which are all quick and available. Beige foods stay good in the pantry and freezer, while the colorful stuff takes time to prepare and has an expiration date.

During my busiest times, I keep a list of go-to colorful foods that are easy to prepare and/or have a long shelf life.  

Grapefruit

Berries

Sugar Snap Peas

Kale/Greens

Red and Green Peppers

Clementines

Cherry Tomatoes

Peaches

Zucchini

Cabbage

Carrots

Radishes

Sweet Potatoes

Broccoli

Grapes

Celery

Butternut Squash

To quote the oh-so-yummy Skittles,  “Taste the rainbow!”


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