Vegetarian Health

More and more people are becoming vegetarian. Whether it be for health reasons or personal beliefs, it’s not a terrible thing. It’s a health trend and people wonder, is eating vegetarian healthy? To answer your question, yes, eating vegetarian can be healthy as long as you are eating a balanced diet and getting the nutrients you need.

To explain this, here are two examples of eating a vegetarian diet: one, which is healthy, and the other, not so healthy.

Example 1: Samantha decided to go vegetarian because she loves animals. Her diet consists of waffles or cereal with soymilk in the morning, snacking on chips during the day, and eating a frozen cheese pizza for some of her meals. She also eats a lot of frozen vegan products.

Example 2: Mikayla decided to go vegetarian for health reasons. She was never fond of the texture of meat, so it’s something she won’t miss. Her diet consists of eggs, avocado, and whole wheat toast in the morning along with soymilk in her coffee; tofu or beans (pinto or black) with vegetables and brown rice, or whole wheat pasta with roasted veggies for lunch/dinner; and snacks on nuts and fruits or fruit/veggie (from the spinach) smoothies with protein powder when she’s hungry.

Which diet is healthier?…… Example 2!

  • Mikayla is eating a variety of foods that are fresh and NOT processed and is getting a lot of nutrients from eating those foods.
  • Samantha is eating a lot of processed foods that may be high in sodium. The frozen vegan products she consumes could be ready to go frozen meals, which include vegetables, but it looks like she is not consuming a variety of foods to get the nutrients she needs.

There are a few concerns when it comes to going vegetarian.

  1. If the diet is not balanced or the person is not eating the right foods, they could become deficient in some nutrients, including: protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, ω-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, and zinc. These nutrients are high in meat products but not in fruits and vegetables.
  2. Some people use a vegetarian diet to mask disordered eating to limit the foods they eat (I was guilty of doing this for a period of time in high school. My diet is 100% different than what it was in high school. I’ll write about that in another post).

So, what can you do to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need if you decide to go vegetarian? Here are a few foods that can help address some of the nutrient concerns:

  • Protein: tofu, soy products such as soy burgers/sausages, beans (pinto, black, garbanzo, etc.), nuts, seeds, and whole grains. You can make black bean burgers or falafels if you want to change it up!
  • Vitamin B12: This is only found in animal products. If you are vegan, you may want to consider consuming fortified products or taking supplements.
  • Vitamin D: egg yolks, cheese, fortified orange juice/soy milk, mushrooms treated with UV light (look for vitamin D on the mushroom packaging), and of course, being out in the SUN!
  • ω-3 fatty acids: eggs, canola oil, soy oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soybeans. You may want to eat foods fortified with the omega-3 fatty acids as plant based ones are not readily available to use in the human body.
  • Calcium: milk and dairy products (if you choose to consume dairy), dark greens (broccoli, spinach), tofu, calcium enriched/fortified food products (cereal, soy milk/yogurt, etc.)
  • Iron: Not easily absorbed from plant sources. Some foods include beans, lentils, iron fortified foods, and darky leafy green vegetables. Eat vitamin C rich foods with these iron sources as vitamin C helps the body absorb the iron. Think strawberries and oranges.
  • Zinc: Not easily absorbed from plant sources. Cheese is a good option if you eat dairy products. Plant sources of zinc include whole grains, soy products, legumes, nuts and wheat germ.

In my next post, I will be posting some meal ideas that you can incorporate into a vegetarian diet. I will also include vegan options! And remember, always consult with your physician or a Registered Dietitian.

What are some of your favorite vegetarian foods? 

2017 – Fitness Friday 37 (on a Saturday)

Happy Saturday everyone. How are you guys doing today? I hope you guys are doing well! Anyway, this week has been crazy busy for me and I didn’t have a chance to write a post not is not about my workouts. I really want to start writing more nutrition posts. My goal is to post one once a week. We’ll see how that goes!

Anyway, my workouts was pretty much the same as last week’s workouts. The only thing different about this week was that I upped the intensity of the elliptical and lifted heavier this week. I’m getting stronger!

Fitness Friday 10-27-17

Lifting weights was something that I thought I would never do when I was younger since I thought it was a “guy” thing. However, that is not that case. It is something that is good for your body! If anything, body weight exercises is the least you can do for weight training. You need to maintain your muscle mass if you want to keep your metabolism running. I used to be the cardio queen but now, I try to balance weight lifting and cardio.

So, that’s it for this post. What type of general nutrition posts would you guys like to read about?

How were your workouts this week? 

Bone Health

So, I mentioned last week that I broke my foot. I actually broke my 5th metatarsal. It is a good thing that my bone didn’t get displaced though. It just cracked. I probably would have needed surgery if it was displaced. I broke it from running in heels and my foot just twisted in. Ladies (and some guys), please be careful when wearing heels!

Anyway, having broken my foot got me thinking about bone health. What caused my bone to be more susceptible to breaking? After all, my foot has turned in like that before and it didn’t break. However, it did this time. Is it because I haven’t been taking care of my bone health? Or is it because that particular bone is easier to break?


To give a brief overview of my diet, I ate whatever I wanted until I was in high school. Once I was in high school, I wanted to lose weight and I severely restricted my eating. I wasn’t even drinking as much milk (which contains calcium and is fortified with Vitamin D) since I didn’t want to gain any weight. I thought milk was fattening. Imagine a growing adolescent body, needing more energy, and only getting about 1,200 calories. Of course I would be deficient in many vitamins and minerals. I did, however, exercise and did a lot of weight bearing exercises.

Anyway, let’s get back to the real nutrition of having healthy bones.

The first thing I want to say is, think of your bone as a savings account for calcium. You reach your peak bone density before age 30. After that, your body tends to break down bone faster than body is building bone. The most optimal time to build your savings account is during the adolescent years, when calcium absorption is at one of the highest, besides during infancy and childhood. After that, the body absorbs calcium less efficiently. I emphasize this because adolescents tend to become more independent during this time and make more of their own food choices.

This is important because adolescents are still growing at this time and are still trying to reach their optimal height. If they don’t consume enough calcium during this time, it may affect their skeletal (bone) health in the future and make bones more prone to fracture. Osteoporosis is a possibility in the future, especially if one is maintaining poor bone health.


What is the most important function of calcium in the body besides maintaining skeletal health? Conducting nerve impulses! If your blood calcium levels are very low, Vitamin D (a hormone/vitamin) senses it and will tell your bones to break down and release calcium into the blood stream. It also tells your small intestine and kidneys to absorb (or reabsorb from the kidneys) more calcium. Your CNS (Central Nervous System) is your top priority when calcium levels are extremely low. Although 99% of calcium’s function is to maintain skeletal health, the 1% (nerve impulses, making sure your heart beats, etc) takes priority.

Adolescents should be consuming 1,300 mg of calcium (the RDA, Recommended Dietary Allowance). Females tend to consume less than the RDA (948 mg) while males tend to be pretty close to the RDA (1260 mg) for calcium. The RDA for Vitamin D (hormone/vitamin) is 15 micrograms (mcg) or 600 International Units (IU). The RDA for calcium for adults is 1,000 mg. The RDA for Vitamin D is the same for adults. Vitamin D is important for blood calcium homeostasis, as mentioned earlier.

There are other vitamins that play a role in bone health, including Vitamin C (for development of bone collagen) and Vitamin K (assists osteoblast cells in building bone). However, Vitamin D and Calcium are very important for bone health. Also, weight bearing exercises are also great for your bone health.

Remember that I am not a medical professional and it is best to speak with a Registered Dietitian or doctor to assess whether or not you are consuming enough calcium and to assess your bone health. I do, however, have a Bachelor’s of Science in Family and Consumer Science with a concentration in Nutrition and Food. I am able to give general nutrition advice. 

That is it for now!

What is your favorite sources of food for calcium? 

Weekly Meals and Workouts 105

Happy Sunday everyone. How are you guys doing today? I’m doing alright, thank you very much. I stayed up very late last night (almost 3am!) and I am extremely tired. I almost never stay up that late. I was hanging out with mi novio and his friends and they decided to watch the new X-Men movie at like 10:30pm. It was a good movie and I enjoyed watching it.

However, since I stayed up so late, I didn’t wake up early enough to run this morning. I didn’t even run yesterday either and did 2 PIIT workouts instead. Today, I just did a pilates workout.

Anyway, before I get into anything else, here is my plan for the week.

Hevil’s Healthy Devil – Meal Plan Template


Breakfasts –  “healthy” poptarts, avocado toast w/ egg, or WW English Muffin Pizzas AND COFFEE (of course)

Lunches- salmon cakes w/ brown rice OR eggplant parmesan w/ WW Pasta OR leftovers from dinner

Dinners- rice, veggies, some sort of protein (whatever my parents cook)


Sunday- pilates

Monday-  6 mile run + abs

Tuesday-  6 mile run + abs

Wednesday- yoga or REST

Thursday-6 mile run + abs

Friday- PIIT

Saturday- rest

I have my 10K run next Sunday and I can’t wait! I have to follow this week’s workout plan since it’s coming up so soon. I’ll be running it with a few friends and it’s going to exciting. And, as I mentioned before, there will be a mimosa garden! What a great way to celebrate graduating!

What’s your plan for the week?

Have you guys tried making salmon cakes before? If so, what’s your recipe and did you like it? 

Fitness Friday 45 + The Change of My Exercise/Eating Habits

Happy Friday everyone. How are you guys doing today? I’m doing alright, thank you very much. It is 9 at night as I am typing this. I’ve been busy all day today! The FAN Club’s Nutrition Information Panel was tonight. FAN stands for Food and Nutrition. Anyway, I’ll talk about that in another post. This post is about Fitness Friday.

Here were my workouts for the week.

Fitness Friday 11-14-14

As you notice, I am still unsure about tomorrow’s workout. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow. I might end up running 10 miles tomorrow. Who knows!

There is something that I want to talk about right now and it is about my workouts and eating habits. Let’s just say, I think my habits now is more “healthy” that when it was two years ago. Here’s the story.

I was so caught up with the scale and looking skinny. I exercised 2 hours everyday. I didn’t take a rest day. On top of that, I ate around 1500-1600 calories (tops). Of course I would be skinny at that point. But, you know what? It wasn’t healthy. It wasn’t something that I can sustain. Exercising two hours a day and eating that little calories can really mess up your metabolism. It really does.

You can say that people majoring in nutrition usually have some sort of body image issue. I know that it’s not always the case but most I’ve encountered had some sort of weight loss/gain story.

Anyway, I know I gained weight. It started when I decided to start lifting weights my first year, second semester in college. Then, for some strange reason, I decided to run a half marathon that summer. It takes a lot of energy to train for a long distance run. It takes energy for muscle to build. So, of course, I gained muscle (and fat). I was eating a lot more to fuel my workouts. I increased my calorie intake by 600 calories! Crazy! I gained 20 pounds. I didn’t increase my calorie intake by eating junk food. I still was health conscious about my food choices.

Do you know what the funny thing is? After my half marathon, I haven’t gained weight. I still consume the same amount of calories as I did while training (the amount I was suppose to be consuming) and I reduced my exercise to 1-1 and a half hours a day, taking one rest day a week. My body was burnt out after my first half marathon (or maybe it was a trigger point).

What I am trying to say is, listen to your body. Don’t restrict your calorie intake to a bare minimum, especially if you’re exercising a lot. I don’t know how I survived for so long doing that. It eventually catches up! I had to take a rest week. Even then, I didn’t fully recover.

I know I am not as skinny as I was before. But, you know what? I still love my body. I am not fat. I have curves. I have muscle. I am fit. I am HEALTHIER. Some people say that I am skinny but I know that I am not as skinny as I was before. But hey. I know I don’t look bad.

Anyway, I just had to say that. Don’t slip into unhealthy habits to achieve a certain look. That’s my lesson for you guys.

How were your workouts this week?