With our Vegetarian Meal Plans, you stack the odds in your favour. To take maximum advantage of our meal plans, take the time to read the information below.
Important Advice and Useful Tips
What you SHOULD do
- To increase the amount of omega-3 in your diet, cook with canola oil, eat ground flax seed, walnuts, hemp and chia seeds.
- Move! Physical activity should be part of a healthy lifestyle.
- To find out which calorie level is right for you, compute your estimated energy requirements (EER). To find out what your healthy body weight is, compute your body mass index (BMI).
- Drink enough water throughout the day (1.5 to 2 liters/day).
- Consult your Doctor if you have a medical condition. We also recommend that you consult a Registered Dietitian and tell her/him that you follow the SOSCuisine Meal Plans.
What you should watch out for
- Vitamine B12: Plant foods contain no vitamin B12. To ensure an adequate intake of vitamin B12, it is important to consume 2 servings of dairy products or fortified substitutes or an adequate amount of B12-enriched nutritional yeast everyday. Otherwise, a supplement is recommended.
- Iodine: If you have chosen to eliminate dairy products, you could be at risk of iodine deficiency. Therefore, be sure to include sources of iodine in your diet, such as iodized table or sea salt for seasoning or even a serving of sea vegetables (algae) every week.
- Iron: Our vegetarian meal plans contain nearly two times more iron than meal plans containing meat. However, plant iron is far less better absorbed than iron from meat, which is why it is important to add a source of vitamin C to a meal of beans/legumes and tofu to maximize the absorption of plant iron. This is something that our meal plans have taken into consideration.
- Vitamin D: As there is very little vitamin D in the Canadian and North European diets, vitamin D supplements are recommended in winter due to lack of sunlight.
N.B. Before consuming any supplements, consult your doctor to verify if it suits your condition.
- Trans Fat: At the grocery store, choose products without trans fat. For example, make sure the list of ingredients do not show hydrogenated oil.
- Caffeine: Moderate your consumption of caffeine-containing beverages (coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, etc.)
- Alcohol: If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so with moderation: No more than one drink/day for women and two drinks/day for men.
Why should I TRUST the menus? Are they checked by a DIETITIAN?
All the nutrition content of the website, including the information on this page as well as all meal plans, are checked and approved by our nutrition team, led by Danielle Lamontagne, R.D.
I don’t like PEANUT BUTTER, but it is often a part of breakfast. What can I replace it with?
Peanut butter is a good source of protein that sustains one’s appetite in the morning. It can be replaced by cheese, almond or some other nut-based butter or even by hummus. Unfortunately, jams and sweet spreads are not as nutritionally interesting and won’t be as satiating.
I really like your weekly meal plans but I would like to know what to DRINK?
Water is by far the best choice. Add a slice of lime or a few drops of lemon juice in it to give a little punch. It is also possible to have wine or fruit juice but remember, each glass represents an extra 100 kcal. Also, in order to benefit from the cardioprotective effects of red wine, women can consume, at most, 1 glass per day and maximum 2 for the men. In the morning, tea or coffee can be added to your menu without exceeding 2 to 3 cups of filtered coffee or quarter-cup servings of expresso per day.
Why do my meal plans contain a lot of EDAMAME and SOY BEVERAGE?
One of the main challenges of following a vegetarian diet is to fulfill iron needs. Since vegetable-source iron has a lower absorption rate than animal-source iron, it is crucial to maximize its daily intake. Soybeans are naturally rich in iron which is the reason why edamame beans, soy beverage and tofu are central pillars of a well-balanced and deficiency-free vegetarian diet.
There’s no microwave oven at my workplace. How can I find SUBSTITUTE meals that I won’t need to warm up ?
You can use the “Swap Meal” button (blue double arrow icon) in your menu, or use the Advanced Recipe Search to find exactly the Lunch Box recipes that you want.
What is the difference between CANOLA OIL and OLIVE OIL? Why do certain recipes use one rather than the other?
Differences between olive oil and canola oil lie in their composition, heat resistance levels, taste and cost. Even though both of these oils are rich in monounsaturated fats (excellent for cardiovascular health), canola oil contains about 10 times more omega-3 than olive oil. Also, both of these oils can be used in cooking but olive oil loses its aroma when heated. The neutral taste and lower cost of canola oil make it an excellent choice for everyday cooking as well as for baking. But cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil tastes simply divine!
Why do we find WHITE BREAD in the meal plans? Brown bread is higher in fiber and I thought one had to avoid white bread.
It is true that whole grain brown bread is richer in fiber than white bread. However, as our meal plans are based on the Mediterranean diet, they include plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, so that the daily fiber needs are fully met. Excessive intake of fiber can make bowel movements too fast and prevent adequate absorption of nutrients. In other words, with our meal plans, you are sure to get the right amount of all nutrients – never too little nor too much!
I see ‘CRISPBREAD’ in my menu. What is it and where can I buy it ?
Crispbread is a type of crackerbread from rye, rich in fiber and low in fat, salt and sugar. The most common brands are: Ryvita, Ry-Krip and Wasabröd. You’ll find them in the crackers section at your grocery store.
While consulting the sample meal plan, I noticed that certain recipes RECUR more than once in the same week. Will the meal plan that I’m going to buy also be like this?
Yes! Some recipes (ex. soups, stews, etc) are repeated during the week in order to reduce the time spent in the kitchen. This way, you also get to prioritize certain fresh food items, with minimal waste. In other words, these repetitions are based on practical and economic reasons. They offer a good trade-off between variety and effort. And don’t forget: you can always swap meals to get more – or less – variety.
I don’t like eating my meal in the form of a SANDWICH or BURGER. Is it the same if I eat my meatball, slices of bread, lettuce and tomato separately?
It is OK to break down your burger into separate food items. The nutritional values remain the same and, once they have been consumed, the foods will interact in the same way as if they had been eaten in a same mouthful. Find your preferred technique and enjoy!
Info Nutrition: Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian
The most recent recommendations (references) for vegetarianism consist of some 50 nutritional targets that must be attained day after day, in order to ensure optimal health and a deficiency-free diet, despite the exclusion of meat, fish and seafood.
- Adequate caloric intake, to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. We currently offer 3 caloric levels to best meet your needs: 1,400, 1,800 and 2,200 calories per day.
- Optimal intakes and distribution of carbs, including fiber, fat and protein
- Optimal intakes of ‘good’ fats such as poly- and monounsaturated, and optimal omega-6 / omega-3 ratio
- Optimal intakes of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B12, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and sodium
- No artificial trans fat and limited amounts of saturated fats
- Limited amounts of added sugars
- Appropriate number of servings of the 4 food groups of Canada’s Food Guide:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grain products
- Low-fat milk and alternatives
- Meat alternatives, such as legumes, tofu, soya, nuts and seeds, etc.
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IMPORTANT: The information provided on this website does not replace a medical consultation and is not intended for self diagnosis. We recommend that you seek the advice of your doctor or healthcare professional before undertaking a change to your diet or lifestyle. See Terms & Conditions.