Health and Wellness

love your veggies

Choosing a vegetarian lifestyle seems to be a common path for some of our clients.  Whether you decide to avoid meat because of environmental or animal concerns or because you simply don’t like the taste, there are some important things to consider for optimum health.

1. Eat Your Protein

As you are probably aware, meat acts as a major protein source for most Americans.  Once meat is eliminated from your diet it is important to supplement it with other complete proteins.  These include:

-beans and rice/tortillas

-peanut butter and whole wheat bread

-milk and whole grain cereal

-lentils and rice

-hummus and pita

-yogurt with nuts

-edamame and grains

You can also try experimenting with meat substitutes such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, quorn, and soy based sausages or veggie burgers.  Egg whites are a great source of protein too!

2. Be Aware Of Iron

It is important to maintain good iron levels and avoid anemia; this is especially necessary for women.  Meat is very iron-rich but there are other sources too.  Vegetarians should eat plenty of dark, green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach.  Other good sources of iron include soybeans, lentils, seeds, nuts and tofu.

3. Evaluate How You Feel

As a vegetarian it is important to periodically evaluate your energy levels.  Fatigue can be a symptom of anemia or protein deficiency.  Examining and being aware of your well being is an easy way to make sure you’re practicing healthy vegetarianism.  If you do feel like something isn’t right, be sure to consult your doctor or contact our team of nutritionists.  We’d be happy to help!

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Tips from Sehba K. RD, MS

 1. Change The Size Of Your Plate

The size of the typical American plate has changed from being 9 inches in diameter to 11 inches within the last twenty years, a 25% increase!  This change has led to increased consumption and increased weight gain.  One easy way to lose weight is to change the size of your plate.  Choose a salad plate or appetizer plate instead of a typical dinner plate to help you consume fewer calories.  This method will also help you feel emotionally satisfied because you’ll be eating a full plate.

2. Balance Your Plate

A big part of why people gain weight is because their meals are not balanced: the meals are composed of too many grains, too much protein and not enough vegetables or fruit.  The USDA has issued new guidelines about how your plate should appear.  They suggest your plate should be ¼ grains, ¼ protein, and ½ vegetables or fruit.  Take variety into consideration as well.  Choose different grains and protein sources while using cooked and uncooked fruits or vegetables.  If you follow this method and fill up your plate only once you will see a difference in how you feel and how you look.

3. Get Up And Move

If you don’t burn them, extra calories stick on your body as fat.  The average person needs around an hour of physical activity on most days, especially if they have sedentary jobs or lifestyles.  Depending on your time availability you can split up the physical activity throughout the day.  For example, walking for a half hour in the morning and then doing a half hour exercise routine in the afternoon can accomplish the hour of physical activity.  Exercising and having a more active lifestyle is another easy way to lose weight and feel healthier!

Things To Check Out:

-America On The Move, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting healthful eating and active living:

-The Walking Site is a website for those who’re trying to become more active with a goal of 10,000 steps per day:

-Go to the USDA’s MyPlate website for more information regarding portion sizes:



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  • 6″ Whole Wheat Tortilla, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp fresh marinara
  • 1 oz. fresh mozarella, torn into pieces
  • 2 tbsp fresh vegetables of choice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Splash of cold pressed olive oil

Preheat the toaster oven.  Spread marinara on the tortilla.  Place cheese and fresh vegetables on top.  Sprinkle the oregano and drizzle oil.  Cook the pizza for about one minute.  Watch to make sure the cheese doesn’t burn.


Hempseed Orange Apricot Bars


  • 3 cups chopped dried California apricots
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates or raisins
  • 1 cup shelled hempseeds
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (gluten-free)

Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.  Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until mixture forms into a chunky base.  Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and press with a spatula for even thickness.  Cover and chill for 1-2 hours until firm.  Slice bars and enjoy!

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Park Avenue Nutrition Wellness Services