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  1. #1
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    WEEK ONE HUNDRED-FOURTEEN :: What Is The Best Diet For A Vegetarian Bodybuilder?

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    * Note: How can I win? 1. Answer all questions in the order that they are asked. 2. Go over reviews (located at the bottom of each TOTW article) and see what was said about those that did not win. Good Luck!
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    TOPIC: What Is The Best Diet For A Vegetarian Bodybuilder?

    For the week of: March 6th - March 13th
    Tuesday @ Midnight Is The Final Cut (Mountain Time, US & Canada).

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    We are constantly reminded to eat chicken, beef, steak, and basically any animal that was once alive for its nutrition content. Sure meat fuels our muscles with all their protein, but what do vegetarians do?

    What is the best diet for a vegetarian bodybuilder?

    Is a vegetarian at an advantage or disadvantage for maintaining a proper bodybuilders diet?

    What are some good supplement choices for vegetarians?

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    Registered User Vahabi's Avatar
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    vegetarian diet and bodybuilding

    As a vegetarian myself i am constantly wondering "what's for dinner?" and i usually find myself eating A LOT of legumes, and wheat based food like breads. Because as you know legumes are an incomplete protein, and wheat completes this protein. though this protein does not have as high of a BV as meat or milk it does the job. Also eggwhites are a very good source of protein, dairy aswell, but when eating dairy you must be aware of the amount of fat involved, i suggest a skim milk, or a partially skimmed cheese. Also, as with any other diet looking to create mass, a whey protein is always good.
    It would appear that vegetarian bodybuilders are at a disadvantage, because the availibilty of the foods that contain high amounts of protein.
    As for supplementation, an iron supplement would be needed because of the lack of red meat. other than that a creatine and possible anti-aromatase would work well, along with a NO supp and a good multi-vitamin.
    Last edited by Vahabi; 03-09-2007 at 09:41 PM.
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    Some things I always include in my (vegetarian) diet:
    Whey Protein
    Eggs
    Milk (lactose free for me)
    Seitan (textured wheat gluten, very high in protein, pronouced Satan!)
    Soy (although I've downgraded this to a "sometimes food" due to all the conflicting information)
    Beans
    Pumpkin Seeds/Sunflower, etc.
    Nuts/Nut butters
    Hemp Seed Nuts (Inner part of the hemp seed)
    Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat, oats)
    Mycoprotein (Quorn products)
    Fruits/Veggies
    Flax Oil

    Tons of lovely stuff. Never boring. Had an African Stew yesterday with lots of chickpeas and peanut butter, tomatoes, spinach, spices....yum!
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    mmm, that soup sounds good. i make a good tibetan lental soup thats delicious. high in fiber, protein, and in deliciousness. but I agree with you sugapablo lots of nuts and legumes. hemps seeds are key aswell, but i like mine in side the husk, more fiber that way, though you do have to chew them alittle more. but im alright with that.
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    Veggie bodybuilding...

    I have only been vegetarian for about 2 and a half years now and have only recently focusing on bodybuilding so I am no expert. I am, however, constantly reading and trying new things in order to help my body grow and supply it with what it needs.

    Here are the things that I eat to try and replace the protein found in meat.

    Number one thing is the EGG.
    Theres alot of debate on the positives and negatives in eggs. They are good quality protein. Most of the protein is found in the whites but there are
    amino acids and omega 3s found in the yolk so I eat them too.
    Whey protein is another one of my favorites. You all know about whey so I wont go into that. I use Dymatize Elite. They have alot of different flavor
    choices and it mixes really well.
    I throw alot of dairy products into my diet as well. 1 % milk, fat-free cottage cheese and fat free yogurts.
    I usually have milk with my whey either first thing in the mornings or for my morning snack. Water with my whey pre and post workout. Cheese is
    really easy to keep around and just throw onto something for some extra protein.
    Soy products are another biggie.
    Im not really into tofu but there are many options when it comes to soy. Boca and Morningstar Farms make a variety of soy based foods such as
    burgers, sausages, and chicken patties. From what I have found they are all pretty tasty. Another soy product is TVP, textured vegetable protein,
    it comes in many different flavors too.
    Nuts and seeds also provide good protein sources for non meat eaters. Almonds and pistachios are some of my favorites and they both really high in
    protein. I also really enjoy peanut butter but you have to be careful because peanuts are high in fat.
    Another source is beans and legumes.
    Im not a huge fan of beans except for pinto and black beans.
    Another alternative is Quorn. It is actually a fungus that has high, quality protein. The products I have tried look and taste just like chicken.

    This is where I get my sources of protein. Along with this, I try to get in plenty of good carbs and good fats.

    An advantage or disadvantage in maintaining a proper bodybuilding diet?
    As you can see there are plenty of choices for protein sources for a vegetarian and alot of them also provide you with the amino acids that you need too but I think there is a slight disadvantage to being vegetarian. Alot of times the meat alternatives cost about the as say a pack of chicken breasts but when you compare the amount of protein in one patty as to that in one chicken breast they are definately not equal. You get more bang for your buck with the real thing. Another disadvantage I have found is just getting burnt out on certain foods. Oh and the excessive gas. If you think about it... eggs, dairy, soy ( which is made from beans) and beans...

    I take some supplements to make sure that I am getting what my body needs. Like I said I supplement with whey protein. I also recommend taking a good multivitamin and amino acids. Creatine is another great supplement for vegetarians. I have had good results with Creatine mono and I am about to try some CEE.
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    i got a good diet for a vegatarian

    and that is go back to eating meat.

    im just kidding, i think a vegatarian lifestyle is great for you, but i wouldnt be able to go a meal without meat
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    Originally Posted by DEVY View Post
    Hello. I have now written my first article, regarding this. I want to participate in the "article of the week" contest. I just wonder where I am supposed to deliver it, where I should put images I want to include etc. Anybody with experience that want to share their knowledge?
    To participate in TOTW either reply (in the current week thread) as you would to any other post (just copy and paste if you've already written it) or upload/attach your answer. You could put your images inside the attached document or link to them.
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    What is the Best Diet for a Vegetarian Bodybuilder?

    While traveling to a 30km road race two years ago, I spent some time reflecting on my various running performances over the years. One thing that stood out was that I had some of my best race times when I ate very little meat. This got me thinking. Was a plant based diet healthier for me? Would I have more energy and thus better athletic performances if I cut meat from my diet? What about other animal products like milk? I decided to test out a vegetarian diet for a few weeks to see how it would affect my running. It is now two years later, and I haven't looked back. I shifted from being a lacto-ovo vegetarian to becoming a vegan (more on the different types of vegetarians in a moment), and my focus turned more towards strength training, ultramarathon running, and eventually to natural bodybuilding. I would encourage any athlete to give vegetarianism a try, and in this article I'll give you some idea of what the diet looks like.

    First, a word on definitions. Vegetarian is a catch-all phrase used to describe anyone who does not eat meat. Lacto-ovo vegetarians, who consume milk and eggs, are the most common type and represent the diet that most people picture when they think of vegetarianism. A vegan is someone who does not eat any animal products, including meat, eggs, and dairy. Vegans chose this lifestyle for a variety of reasons, including animal rights, health, and environmental issues. Some vegans eat only raw-foods.

    Vegetarianism is appealing to bodybuilders because a plant based diet can provide all the nutrients the body needs, without many of the unhealthy components of animal products. The reality of factory farming in North America means that the meat people eat has been raised in over-crowded unhealthy conditions, and fed a potentially dangerous cocktail of antibiotics and hormones. Regardless of your stand on the ethics of animal farming, modern factory farming techniques should be a cause for concern to any athlete who cares about the quality of the foods going into their body. Also, not eating animal products means that you are not consuming any LDL or ?bad? cholesterol, will greatly reduce your consumption of trans and saturated fats, and will increase your intake of fiber, antioxidants, and other micronutrients. These properties of a vegetarian diet can be a major advantage for a bodybuilder. Several excellent books about the health benefits of vegetarianism and veganism are available, including ?Becoming Vegan? by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, ?The Vegetarian Sports Nutrition Guide?, and ?The Food Revolution? by John Robbins.

    The first and most common objection that I hear to vegetarianism is ?It would be too hard for me to stop eating meat?. Well, changing any habit is hard at first, but if you believe that the pay-offs are greater than the costs, you'll have no problem making the switch. Chances are you have been eating meat for a long time, and making the decision to eat a plant based diet will be a significant change in your life. The most difficult obstacle to overcome is the lack of accommodation of vegetarianism in our society. Restaurants often have only one or two vegetarian options, and many of the items in the grocery store have hidden animal products such as casein or gelatin. This is especially true in the world of bodybuilding where foods and supplements such as whey protein, eggs, and meat are considered staples. However, as more and more people opt for vegetarianism, more and more products catering to this group come onto the market. Even in the two years that I have been vegetarian, I have seen a noticeable increase in the number of animal free products, foods, and supplements. Furthermore, eating unprocessed whole foods provides your body with more nutrients and fewer empty calories. When I became a vegetarian I started eating a significantly GREATER variety of foods, because I had to stop relying on packaged, pre-made foods. This means that I am now getting more vitamins and minerals than I did when I ate meat. Although at first glance a vegetarian diet may seem to be difficult and disadvantageous to bodybuilders, it is in fact becoming easier all the time and can provide significant health benefits.

    When people first learn that I'm vegetarian, I am often asked ?So how do you get enough protein?? When the person asking is someone who know little about health and nutrition, I often reply by asking them how much protein I need. They look surprised and usually are not able to answer the question. Bodybuilders are generally much more knowledgeable about protein requirements, but are still sometimes surprised to find out how easy it is to get more than enough protein on a vegetarian or vegan diet. An unfortunate myth first propagated in the 1970's is that different vegetable proteins must be combined within the same meal in order to be effective, making the vegetarian diet appear to be a delicate and difficult balancing act. More recent research has revealed that virtually all vegetarians eat significantly more protein than their bodies require, and that the cumbersome task of combining proteins is simply not necessary. A wide range of vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts provides all the protein you need, regardless of whether they are consumed at the same meal. Furthermore, several sources of plant protein such as soybeans are complete proteins, meaning that they contain every single amino acid.

    Although a plant based diet that incorporates a variety of whole foods can provide all the nutrients a body needs, supplements can improve your diet and can compensate for any those days when you just don't have the time to eat well rounded meals. A complete daily multivitamin is recommended for anyone, vegetarian or not, to ensure that no vitamin or mineral is neglected. Vitamin B12 and iron are sometimes a concern for vegetarians, but the combination of a healthy diet and a daily multivitamin provides plenty of these vitamin. Many vegetarians also choose a protein supplement such as Vega, or soy protein bars for quick and filling meals.

    A vegetarian diet is an excellent way to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients that your body needs while avoiding many of the less healthy constituents of animal products. Vegetarianism can help you to achieve your athletic goals, regardless of whether you are a runner, a bodybuilder, or any other type of athlete. Although a diet of steak, eggs, and whey protein supplements is more common, this does not mean that they are inherently better for bodybuilders than vegetarian options. Give vegetarianism a try and see if it works for you. I know that it did for me.
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    Registered User Nevel's Avatar
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    Topic of the Week Response

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    Bodybuilding the vegeterian way- is it possible?

    There is no doubt about the importance of proteins in the diet of a bodybuilder or other athletes who are relying on muscles and maximal strength to perform. Muscles consist of protein and intake of proteins contributes to setting the body in an anabolic state, thus starting the hypertrophy. It is also widely known that meat outdoes a big percentage of a bodybuilder's daily intake of proteins. Chicken, beef, turkey, fish, and other animal products are by many believed to be essential to gain lean body mass. Therefore a huge dilemma arises for vegetarian bodybuilders, because yes, they can't consume animal food! To some, being a bodybuilder and at the same time being a vegetarian, may seem hopeless, but in this article I'll help you see why that's not the case at all. Let's first take a look at the different types of vegetarians and what they can eat, and what they cannot eat:

    Vegans: No meat or fish, no eggs, no milk products, in other words; no animal food at all.
    Ovo vegetarians: No meat or fish, no milk products, but they can eat eggs.
    Lacto vegetarians: No meat or fish, eggs, but they can consume milk products.
    Lacto-ovo vegetarians: No meat or fish, but both milk products and eggs.
    (There are also other types of vegetarians, like fruitiarans, pesco-vegetarians etc, but the above-mentioned are the most important.)

    By this, we can easily comprehend that not all vegetarians are supposed to eat the same foods. But one thing is for sure, none of them can eat meat or fish, so let's just totally exclude those type of foods.
    So what should a vegetarian eat to get all nutrients that are required to build a strong and athletic body? We all know that it is important to eat carbohydrates, fat and protein in correct doses. I don't think it would be a problem for a vegetarian to get sufficient amounts of carbohydrates, because meat is not a significant carb source. A vegetarian can eat oat, wheat, pasta, rice, carbohydrate supplements etc., just like everybody else. For fat, I would recommend olive oils, avocado, nuts, some types of butter and for ovo vegetarians, egg plums, as they also offer a bunch of other beneficial and healthy nutrients. In addition, lacto vegetarians can add milk fats to their diet.
    Then we're left with the most difficult part, how to get enough proteins? The first thing that strikes my mind is protein supplements, which of course is a very good protein source, but a tiny complexity arises now as well. A lot of protein supplements are made from whey, which comes from milk, so vegetarians (except from lacto vegetarians) cannot use this. Therefore the alternative is to find a protein powder completely free from milk products, and if you're not a ovo vegetarian, find a protein powder with absence of anything that includes eggs.
    For lacto-ovo vegetarians, a big intake of milk, different types of cheese and eggs are recommended. This will give you sufficient proteins, essential unsaturated fats and high amounts of vitamine B2 (riboflavin) and b12 and calcium. For pure vegans, these may be replaced by legumes and nuts with high amounts of proteins. After hard resistence workouts, carbs are necessary to fill the glycogen stores, and proteins are of course important to start the anabolic procedures.
    To make this more apprehensible and easy, let's put up some meal examples for the different type of vegans:

    Pure vegans: normal meal
    Desired amount of oat or full wheat bread.
    Big portion of different legumes/soy meat
    A hand of nuts
    1 spoon of olive oil

    Post workout meal:
    A shakeof fast absorbed carbohydrates, for example maltodextrin., and protein powder made of soy.
    Carbs may be replaced by 2-3 bananas or 50-100 g of raisins.

    Lacto-vegetarians: normal meal:
    Desired amount of oat/wheat
    70-150 g of cheese (low fat if cutting)
    A glass of milk (whey protein added if more proteins wanted)
    1-2 spoons of olive oil.

    Post workout meal:
    A shake of fast absorbed carbohydrates, for example maltodextrin, and whey protein powder.
    Carbs may be replaced by 2-3 bananas or 50-100 g of raisins.

    Ovo vegetarians:
    Desired amount of oat/wheat
    3-6 eggs (only whites if cutting)
    1 spoon of olive oil
    Protein powder made of soy if more proteins wanted.

    Post workout meal:
    A shake of fast absorbed carbohydrates, for example maltodextrin, and soy protein powder.
    Carbs may be replaced by 2-3 bananas or 50-100 g of rasins. Soy protein powder may be replaced by 4-6 egg whites.

    Lacto-ovo vegetarians can use a combination of those above, since they have a lot of more accessible opportunities.

    There are also many important supplements that vegetarians should have:
    Iron supplement (because the lack of red meat)
    Magnesium
    Calcium (and other important minerals)
    B-vitamins
    D- vitamins (because the lack of fish fat)
    Omega 3 and 6

    Also remember to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to get rich amounts of c-vitamins and important minerals.
    I have now shown that it's possible to succeed as within bodybuilding/strength/resistance training, even if you are a vegan. Just always remember to keep a balanced, nutritious and protein-rich diet. Good luck!
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    I learned a lot in this week's topic, thank you for that if nothing else


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    Cool Totw-114

    Here is my submission. Cheers everyone!
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    (No meat or fish, no eggs, no milk products, in other words; no animal food at all.)
    that would suck
    even if i were i vegetarian i would still need milk, egg and fish
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    OK, love all the replys to this subject, nut I am still searching for answers. I am a vegetarian. I would be a vegan but I do like and eat cheese. I am looking for a diet that is vege. But cuts out all animal products other then cheese and that will help me to get started with a diet I can keep and to help me build muscle. I also eat alot on the go and don't have a ton of time to cook. So besides protein shakes I'd love some good ideas. I would kill for someone to help me come up with a diet plan..... I am 116lbs, female, and 5'4. Looking to thin my thighs and build my arms. Stomach is flat but needs tone. Please I welcome any help! Thanks! If you would like to help please contact me, even an online workout buddy I'd like to have.


    Originally Posted by DEVY View Post
    Bodybuilding the vegeterian way- is it possible?

    There is no doubt about the importance of proteins in the diet of a bodybuilder or other athletes who are relying on muscles and maximal strength to perform. Muscles consist of protein and intake of proteins contributes to setting the body in an anabolic state, thus starting the hypertrophy. It is also widely known that meat outdoes a big percentage of a bodybuilder's daily intake of proteins. Chicken, beef, turkey, fish, and other animal products are by many believed to be essential to gain lean body mass. Therefore a huge dilemma arises for vegetarian bodybuilders, because yes, they can't consume animal food! To some, being a bodybuilder and at the same time being a vegetarian, may seem hopeless, but in this article I'll help you see why that's not the case at all. Let's first take a look at the different types of vegetarians and what they can eat, and what they cannot eat:

    Vegans: No meat or fish, no eggs, no milk products, in other words; no animal food at all.
    Ovo vegetarians: No meat or fish, no milk products, but they can eat eggs.
    Lacto vegetarians: No meat or fish, eggs, but they can consume milk products.
    Lacto-ovo vegetarians: No meat or fish, but both milk products and eggs.
    (There are also other types of vegetarians, like fruitiarans, pesco-vegetarians etc, but the above-mentioned are the most important.)

    By this, we can easily comprehend that not all vegetarians are supposed to eat the same foods. But one thing is for sure, none of them can eat meat or fish, so let's just totally exclude those type of foods.
    So what should a vegetarian eat to get all nutrients that are required to build a strong and athletic body? We all know that it is important to eat carbohydrates, fat and protein in correct doses. I don't think it would be a problem for a vegetarian to get sufficient amounts of carbohydrates, because meat is not a significant carb source. A vegetarian can eat oat, wheat, pasta, rice, carbohydrate supplements etc., just like everybody else. For fat, I would recommend olive oils, avocado, nuts, some types of butter and for ovo vegetarians, egg plums, as they also offer a bunch of other beneficial and healthy nutrients. In addition, lacto vegetarians can add milk fats to their diet.
    Then we're left with the most difficult part, how to get enough proteins? The first thing that strikes my mind is protein supplements, which of course is a very good protein source, but a tiny complexity arises now as well. A lot of protein supplements are made from whey, which comes from milk, so vegetarians (except from lacto vegetarians) cannot use this. Therefore the alternative is to find a protein powder completely free from milk products, and if you're not a ovo vegetarian, find a protein powder with absence of anything that includes eggs.
    For lacto-ovo vegetarians, a big intake of milk, different types of cheese and eggs are recommended. This will give you sufficient proteins, essential unsaturated fats and high amounts of vitamine B2 (riboflavin) and b12 and calcium. For pure vegans, these may be replaced by legumes and nuts with high amounts of proteins. After hard resistence workouts, carbs are necessary to fill the glycogen stores, and proteins are of course important to start the anabolic procedures.
    To make this more apprehensible and easy, let's put up some meal examples for the different type of vegans:

    Pure vegans: normal meal
    Desired amount of oat or full wheat bread.
    Big portion of different legumes/soy meat
    A hand of nuts
    1 spoon of olive oil

    Post workout meal:
    A shakeof fast absorbed carbohydrates, for example maltodextrin., and protein powder made of soy.
    Carbs may be replaced by 2-3 bananas or 50-100 g of raisins.

    Lacto-vegetarians: normal meal:
    Desired amount of oat/wheat
    70-150 g of cheese (low fat if cutting)
    A glass of milk (whey protein added if more proteins wanted)
    1-2 spoons of olive oil.

    Post workout meal:
    A shake of fast absorbed carbohydrates, for example maltodextrin, and whey protein powder.
    Carbs may be replaced by 2-3 bananas or 50-100 g of raisins.

    Ovo vegetarians:
    Desired amount of oat/wheat
    3-6 eggs (only whites if cutting)
    1 spoon of olive oil
    Protein powder made of soy if more proteins wanted.

    Post workout meal:
    A shake of fast absorbed carbohydrates, for example maltodextrin, and soy protein powder.
    Carbs may be replaced by 2-3 bananas or 50-100 g of rasins. Soy protein powder may be replaced by 4-6 egg whites.

    Lacto-ovo vegetarians can use a combination of those above, since they have a lot of more accessible opportunities.

    There are also many important supplements that vegetarians should have:
    Iron supplement (because the lack of red meat)
    Magnesium
    Calcium (and other important minerals)
    B-vitamins
    D- vitamins (because the lack of fish fat)
    Omega 3 and 6

    Also remember to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to get rich amounts of c-vitamins and important minerals.
    I have now shown that it's possible to succeed as within bodybuilding/strength/resistance training, even if you are a vegan. Just always remember to keep a balanced, nutritious and protein-rich diet. Good luck!
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  18. #18
    Registered User buildhealth's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sugapablo View Post
    Some things I always include in my (vegetarian) diet:
    Whey Protein
    Eggs
    Milk (lactose free for me)
    Seitan (textured wheat gluten, very high in protein, pronouced Satan!)
    Soy (although I've downgraded this to a "sometimes food" due to all the conflicting information)
    Beans
    Pumpkin Seeds/Sunflower, etc.
    Nuts/Nut butters
    Hemp Seed Nuts (Inner part of the hemp seed)
    Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat, oats)
    Mycoprotein (Quorn products)
    Fruits/Veggies
    Flax Oil

    Tons of lovely stuff. Never boring. Had an African Stew yesterday with lots of chickpeas and peanut butter, tomatoes, spinach, spices....yum!
    Eggs?
    I think eggs are not counted in vegetarian.
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  19. #19
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    There is no doubt about the importance of proteins in the diet of a bodybuilder or other athletes who are relying on muscles and maximal strength to perform. Muscles consist of protein and intake of proteins contributes to setting the body in an anabolic state, thus starting the hypertrophy. It is also widely known that meat outdoes a big percentage of a bodybuilder's daily intake of proteins.
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  20. #20
    Registered User FfrreakK's Avatar
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    What i don't see here mentioned and should be on the first line of vegetarian diet:
    - Mushrooms, lots and lots of all kind of edible mushrooms
    - Bee products as superfoods :
    - bee pollen (better if you can get it raw, non-dried)
    - honey (forget about sugar)
    - royal jelly
    - beebread
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