Q: I am vegetarian. Can I still follow your New Hamptons Health Miracle? If so, are there any different guidelines I should follow, foods I should eat, or vitamins I should take to get the maximum benefits?
The answer to your question, in a word, is yes.
This might come as a surprise to some people, since my New Hamptons Health Miracle is a high-protein diet. And because I’ve always been very vocal about the fact that animal protein—from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and cheese—is always your best source of protein.
But vegetarians (and yes, even vegans) can still benefit from a high-protein lifestyle. And, in fact, I do have a specific set of guidelines for people who don’t eat meat for religious and moral reasons—but who still want to get thinner and healthier.
Vegans should look for protein in lower-carbohydrate non-animal sources. My typical recommendations for weight loss and general health are:
- Beans. Up to 16 ounces (around 2 cups) per day of lower-carbohydrate choices like adzuki, mung beans, soybeans, chickpeas, natto, or tofu. (But a word about tofu: Make sure it’s organic and non-GMO. And be aware that it actually offers the lowest amount of protein of this group.) Limit other beans to four ounces (about 1/4 cup) a day.
- Nuts and seeds. One to 2 ounces (10 to 20 nuts) of almonds, pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, or macadamia nuts per day.
- Sea vegetables. Up to 4 ounces of arame, hijiki, kombu, wakame, nori, or dulce per day.
- Whole cereal grains. Up to 1 cup per day of (cooked) buckwheat, oats, or sorghum. (Your highest protein choices.)
- Other whole grains. Up to a 1/2 of cooked brown rice, wheat, rye, or millet, twice per week.
For lacto-ovo vegetarians (those who eat dairy products and eggs), your proteins of choice should still be animal-based. Namely eggs and cheese. These are easily the best meatless sources of protein you can eat. Especially if you get them from pastured sources, which will optimize their fatty-acid profile.
For weight loss, I generally recommend limiting yourself to six eggs and 2 to 3 ounces of cheese per day.
Whey protein is another important addition I recommend to both ominivores and lacto-ovo vegetarians. A well-timed whey protein shake, prepared with plain water, ice, and a tablespoon of macadamia nut oil, can give anyone a quick, easy, and delicious protein boost. Not to mention a good dose of monounsaturated fat. Both of which will help curb hunger and control cravings.
Just be sure to stay away from adding extra ingredients (like fruit or sweeteners). And look for a mix that’s low in carbs with no added sugar. My NuLogic Nutritionals WheyLogic meets both of these criteria. But any whey protein shake that fits the bill will do.
As for supplements, the main concern for vegetarians—aside from protein, of course—is getting enough B12. Low levels can lead to serious problems like anemia and nervous system dysfunction. And your body can’t synthesize this vitamin, so you have to get it from food alone.
But the top food sources of B12 are all animal products. So routine B12 supplementation—1,000 mcg per day—is vitally important for strict vegetarians.
WheyLogic is available here or by calling 877-489-0665 (ask for order code GOV1Q4A).