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Vegetarian Meal Planning at Farm to Fit

By Halla Byer, MScN, Resident Nutritionist

Making the switch to a vegetarian – or even just a plant-based diet – can be overwhelming. Ordering meals from Farm to Fit is a great way to get ideas and vegetarian nutritional support.

If you’re considering a vegetarian diet, you might be wondering what your protein options are. The answer is a little bit bigger than just protein. There are three key nutrients, iron, folate, and vitamin B12 – all typically found in animal products –which are essential to your health.

The good news? These nutrients are also found in plants. But why do they matter?

Without adequate amounts of iron, folate, and B12, you may become deficient, and potentially anemic. Anemia is a fairly common, but quite serious condition that affects the size and quantity of your blood cells. Most people who show signs of anemia feel fatigued on a regular basis, and the risk increases even more for females.

Our goal at Farm to Fit is to make sure we have a nutritionally sound vegetarian menu so you can continue to feel great. As a nutritionist, my job is to comb through every recipe and analyze each day of the vegetarian menu to make sure our clients are getting the perfect amount of those three key nutrients.

Here are a few plant sources we’ll be including in the vegetarian menu to make sure you’re as healthy and fueled as possible:

• Iron: Beans and lentils, tempeh, tofu, dark leafy greens, quinoa, prunes, potato skins, raisins, apricots, watermelon, almonds, sunflower seeds (some of these make great snacks on their own, too!)

• Folate: Beans and lentils, black beans, romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli.

• Vitamin B12: nutritional yeast, crimini mushrooms, tempeh

***Side note on iron: There are actually two types of iron, heme and non-heme. Heme iron is found in animal products, which will be limited to eggs and dairy in the vegetarian menu. Non-heme iron is found in plants, but in order to be absorbed, non-heme iron requires a little vitamin C, so we’ll make sure to get that in there too!