How To Avoid Being An Unhealthy Vegetarian

Raw foods coach Mona Grayson will give a demo as part of the “Living Vegetarian” sequence of programs at A Weekend of Spiritual Wellness in Lisle on November 27 and 28. Mona is an accomplished raw foods chef and enthusiastic presenter, who credits a raw food diet with transforming her life. When you meet her at the program we’re sure you’ll agree that her warmth, energy, and commitment to a fresh, healthy diet  are contagious.

by Mona Grayson

Vegetarianism advocates a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, and dairy products.  But what often happens is that vegetarians skimp on the fruits and veggies and rely too heavily on pasta, rice, cereal, beans, tofu, potatoes, and dairy products in their meals.

So while it’s true that a vegetarian lifestyle is healthier than one including meat, fish, and chicken, it’s important for vegetarians to realize that just because they’re eating vegetarian food, doesn’t mean they’re automatically going to be healthy.

As long as they continue to make starchy foods, soy products, and cheese the main event, they’re going to find themselves gaining weight, struggling with low energy, and getting sick more often.

If you can relate to being one of these types of vegetarians, the good news is that by remembering the rest of what your lifestyle encourages you to eat, you can start enjoying much better health.  All you need to do is start eating more fruits and vegetables!

Now I’m not talking about ordering extra mushroom and onion on your pizza or having another container of Yoplait yogurt.  I’m not talking about eating more greasy green peppers and onions from your veggie fajitas, or the salsa you dip your chips in.  I’m talking about fresh, raw fruits and vegetables.  Unprocessed.  Uncooked.  Straight out of the ground or off the tree – just the way God provides them.

As a raw food coach, chef, and consultant, I work with a lot of vegetarians and vegans who want to improve their health.  For many of them, when I gently ask, “When was the last time you had a salad?” they sheepishly respond, “Does it count if I had some lettuce and tomato on my veggie burger?”

I smile and assure them of course it counts, because any amount of fresh raw food we eat is better than no fresh, raw veggies.  But I also tell them that it’s definitely a problem if that’s the only amount of fresh raw veggies they’ve been giving their bodies.

It’s like a guy saying he’s a football player and then hardly ever suiting up and getting on the field. Instead, he stays home playing football video games.  Yes, technically he is still playing football.  Just like vegetarians who don’t eat many fruits and vegetables are still vegetarians, but getting by on a technicality is no way to ensure your health.

When it comes to being a healthy vegetarian, you need to consciously make an effort to be the best vegetarian you can be.

That’s why more and more vegetarians are looking toward the raw food diet as a source of inspiration.

In a raw food diet, also knows as a raw vegan diet, only fresh, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are eaten.  While it’s not necessary to eat a completely raw food diet in order to experience higher degrees of health, you need only do a search online for “raw food health benefits” to see why so many people are adopting this way of eating.  The more food is cooked and processed, the less nutrition value it has.  So while eating sautéed mushrooms, onions, broccoli, and bell pepper in your stir-fry is better than not eating any veggies, you’re not getting the maximum benefit from them that your body needs.  Potatoes, rice, pastas, and breads are even further removed from being as nutritious as fresh raw foods. So if your diet consists mostly of these things, your health will be compromised and you’ll be more likely to have weight issues, feel sluggish, and get sick.  If you want to be a healthy vegetarian, make sure you’re eating plenty of fresh, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds as advocated by a raw food diet.

Here are three ways you can give that wonderful body of yours more fresh, raw foods:

  1. Come to the Weekend of Spiritual Wellness in Lisle, IL.  I’ll be doing a live raw food demonstration to show you some surprising (and super delicious) ways to enjoy raw food.  You’ll even get to try some free samples.
  2. Check your grocery store for Honeycrisp apples.  They’re in season right now and I’ve gotta tell you…all apples were not created equal.  Honeycrisps are super sweet, very crisp, and not mealy like some apples can get.  Get organic if you can and crunch away.  They’re especially nice if you slice them very thin.
  3. Stop by my website to read my story of being an unhealthy vegan who weighed almost 200 pounds and had super low energy, to losing 46 pounds, feeling amazing and becoming a raw food coach.  (Before and after pics included!)  You’ll also find raw food tips, advice, and some of my favorite raw food recipes.  Just wait until you try the Raw Omega Level Tacos.

2 Responses to “How To Avoid Being An Unhealthy Vegetarian”

  1. John Says:

    Thanks for the wonderful article, Mona. Such a great topic and so nicely expressed. I’m not interested in a fully raw diet (ah, spaghetti and PB&J), but your point about how one can be an unhealthy vegetarian is an important one. Thanks for the reminder. And all the best with your Wellness Weekend presentation.

    • Mona Says:

      You’re welcome, John! And thank you for the kind words. : )

      It really comes down to making healthy choices within whatever diet we choose to follow because both healthy options and unhealthy options exist.

      It’s easy to forget the main purpose of food which is to grow and repair the body, sustain vital functions in the body, and give us energy. We get in the habit of thinking it’s more for entertainment, convenience and to satisfy our taste buds’ every desire…

      So it helps to remember how Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maraharaj has said that food was made for man…not man for food.

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