Meatless Diets Aren’t Healthier Unless You Also Eat Healthy: The importance of balance

TDB Fitness Newsletter 9/19/2021

A common misconception about meatless diets is that they’re automatically healthier than diets that include meat. The key to a successful plant-based lifestyle is balance and healthy habit-forming. We discuss what that looks like in your trainer’s tips this week!

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Tip of the week:

Balancing a Plant-Based Diet

Many people assume choosing a meatless diet will make their diet healthier. Depending on your eating patterns, and the choices you make, that could be true! But correlation is not causation; meatless does not inherently mean healthy.

If you choose to go meatless, consider the following:

  • Eat enough. Meat dominates America’s food culture. What little nutritional education that does exist, does not teach about meat alternatives that provide the same nutrition. It is really common therefore, for people who attempt to plant-based to eat too little. Regardless of how you get those calories, fats, proteins, etc you still need them. Especially if you’re working out. You need food to fuel your body. Make sure you eat enough.
  • Opt for nutrient rich whole foods. Whole foods are unprocessed foods; meaning they haven’t been cooked, prepared, or packaged in any way.

Fruits, vegetables, greens, nuts, etc – all of these can be healthy, and can provide the proper nutrients to replace meat in your diet. Just do a little research, and shop intentionally to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need. Then do the preparation yourself!

  • Read labels. Use caution when going for packaged or frozen plant-based meals and other food items. Any time food has been processed, it is automatically unhealthier than the whole foods mentioned before. That frozen meal may not have meat, but it may be low in nutrients and high in sugar or sodium.
  • At Team Di Bella Fitness, we believe in eating a healthy diet, rather than “dieting.” That means putting in work on the front end to ensure we get the nutrients and calories we need to live a healthy life, and then not worrying too much after that. We don’t have “cheat days” – we eat sweets or snacks when we want them, without guilt. The point is; regardless of whether you eat meat or not, balance is always essential. Give your body the fuel it needs to feel its best – and you will have the energy to live the life you want.

    Black Bean Bowls

    If you aren’t interested in going fully meatless, adding meatless meals to your weekly menu can add nutrients to your diet you may be missing. Vinnie and I are huge meat eaters. More than anything, we just really like it. However, adding “meatless Mondays” to our weekly menu has provided a fun challenge.

    That’s the thing, creating balanced, filling, nutrient-rich meatless meals is a challenge. Because, in the U.S., meat dominates our food culture. It makes sense that people struggle to understand how to balance a meatless diet.

    However, embracing this challenge has expanded our diet in unexpected ways. Finding foods to replace the nutrients and fats usually provided by meat, meant introducing new food items into our diet. These new food items also happen to provide many vitamins and minerals we don’t usually eat, because we rely on meat so heavily!

    Below you will find another Vinnie-original recipe. This time, the focus is meatless! Let us know how you like it.

    • Lettuce
    • Corn off the cob (canned or frozen is fine)
    • 1 can black beans
    • 1 half large onion – chopped
    • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
    • 1 can chopped tomatoes
    • 1 fresh avocado, sliced
    • Sliced green olives (to taste)
    • Shredded Colby Jack cheese (to taste)
    • Plain Greek yogurt (to taste)
    • Salsa (to taste)
    • Hot sauce of choice (to taste)
    • Oil for cooking
    Spices for beans
    • Cumin
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Cayenne Pepper
    • Chili Powder
    • Paprika

    Add oil to saute pan and warm over medium heat. Add black beans, onion, garlic and spices. Cook for 8 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

    Prepare the rest of the veggies while your beans are cooking by chopping to taste.

    Add lettuce and veggies to dish, add beans, top with cheese, Greek yogurt, and hot sauce.


    Feeds two adults.

    Team Announcements

    Outdoor Workout

    Thank you everyone who came to our outdoor workout yesterday! We’ve loved these opportunities to see everyone in person.

    Covid Update

    Thank you for your patience as Renea recovered from covid. She was much too sick to write the newsletter last week – we appreciate your understanding! Her lung capacity is still slowly returning to normal, and she has some lingering fatigue. We’re hoping she’ll be joining us for the weekly workouts again soon!


    Interested in supporting the Team and looking good doing it? Click here to fill out the form to buy an official TDBFit T-shirt. Thanks for your support!

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