10.28.2008

The Vegetarian Diet Pyramid

I sometimes have beans and crackers for a protein snack. I'm, ideally, a high-protein vegetarian. Only, today, on the can of my organic pinto beans was a little image of the "Traditional Healthy Vegetarian Diet Pyramid." The pyramid was created by the Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust. They also have information on other culture/preference-based diets that can suit different ethnic groups (like Mediterranean, for me). I consulted their website and different pyramids before selecting to become a vegetarian two years ago.

As I was looking at the little vegetarian pyramid, I thought it would be helpful to review the varieties I should be tapping into, to make sure I'm being as careful as I should. Deficiencies in nutrients for individuals (of any persuasion, meaty or non meaty) can become serious. For me, and other vegetarians, this is particularly so as we're heading into late autumn and winter. The sun won't be shining as much (vitamin D) and activities become a little bit more sedentary (exercise) and indoors-oriented (dry skin).

So as I was observing what this little pyramid looked like, I figured I should save it for reference. It helps to keep things like this that are pocket-sized for healthy living reference sometimes.

This is what the pyramid stated...though the real one was much prettier:

Weekly
eggs and sweets

Daily
nuts and seeds
plant oils
dairy, soymilk, and eggwhites (I'd rather use rice milk than soymilk anymore)

At Every Meal
fruits and vegetables
whole grains
legumes and beans

Plus
Daily Physical Activity
6 glasses of water daily
alcohol in moderation (I'd say rarely! But even I break that rule sometimes ^_^)