Fitness diet plans

The Vegetarian Diet focuses on plant foods and other non-meat sources of nutrition. Although many people use “vegetarian” to describe any diet that excludes or highly restricts meat, there are several types of this kind of diet.


The Vegan Diet
On this diet, only plant foods are consumed. Meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, or eggs are expressly off-limits.


The Lacto Vegetarian Diet
Milk and milk products are allowed, along with plant-based foods. However,meat, fish or poultry is not permissible.


The Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Diet
Eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt are allowed in this diet, with plant-based foods. No meat, fish, and poultry, however.


The Semi Vegetarian Diet (aka “Flexitarian Diet”)
Adherents to this diet eat mainly plant based foods, but with limited amounts of poultry and fish. Usually, semi vegetarians abstain completely from red meat. Those semi vegetarians who eat only fish are called “pescatarians.”


Besides these plant-based diets, there are also Raw Foodists and Fruitarians. Raw Foodists eat only raw foods, because they want to preserve the enzymes that are destroyed by cooking. Fruitarians, like the name suggests, consume only fruits, supplemented occasionally by seeds and nuts.

These diets, in varying degrees, derive their nutrition from plant-based foods, which can be very beneficial. Plant-based diets are high in fiber, vitamins, and low in cholesterol and fat. With some planning even pregnant women, growing teenagers and older people can do well on vegetarian diets.

Supplements are important, however. Vitamin B12 is found only in animal-based foods, so vegans need a supplement (found in fortified cereals, soy milk, and other foods) for optimal health. Vitamin D may also be lacking in a strictly vegan diet, so vegans should consider a vitamin supplement or make sure they get enough sunlight. On the upside, vegetarian diets are high in calcium, more so than non-vegetarian diets, studies show.

Things to Consider:

As with any healthy diet, vegetarians need to consume a wide variety of foods. Vegetarianism doesn’t mean just consuming the same vegetables over and over again. Because no one food can provide complete nutrition, eating a diverse range of foods can help ensure that you get the essential nutrients you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Although many people, celebrities included, have had success with this diet, it is important for you to consult with your doctor or health expert before committing to this meal plan. As with all diets, it is essential to find the one that best fits your body and lifestyle.

Treating the patient, not the X-Ray

A dignified man, mentally sharp with clear blue eyes, sat before me. Next to him, his wife of 51 years, and next to her, their three children. His voice – surprisingly soft, and muted – offered the probability that he was nervous. Yet his attention was unwavering. He appeared to be waiting for me to speak. Mr. Meyers (not his real name) was in my office for a fourth opinion regarding his ailing, aching legs – or so his intake paperwork said. The first portion of the paperwork was filled out in a quivering manner, often illegible. The latter part was neat, perfectly written, and precisely poised on the lines provided. Clearly, someone had felt he needed some assistance. His medication list was a mile long.

The X-rays on the computer were awful. Those knees and hips had seen far better days. They hurled him forward as a college ball player, and helped him retreat from trouble during the times he served to protect our nation. Still, you cannot predict who will or won’t have surgery – or who should or shouldn’t have in based on an X-ray alone. “Treat the patient, not the X-ray,” I said, turning to the resident in the room. It wasn’t the first time I’d said this. The resident had heard my “personality of an injury” talk many times before.

Mr. Meyers struggled to get to the examining room table, but he seemed more unstable then uncomfortable. His family reached to assist him; he brushed them away. The exam was brief. But telling.

“How can I help you, Mr. Meyers? What brought you here today?”

He seemed taken aback. He wasn’t sure what to say. He glanced at his wife and his children in the cramped, now humid room.

“Mr. Meyers, there are times when patients come in to my office with a very clear understanding of what they wish to accomplish on that day. And there are other times when they are looking for me to help them reach a conclusion. I sense that you have something to ask.”

“Doc, I’ve lived a long and wonderful life. I’m not well, and I’m not long for this earth. I want to be able to get around without being a trouble or burden to my family. I’m not in terrible pain, and I’m not willing to have the surgery everyone wants me to have.”


Mr Meyers’s issue was not unique. As a matter of fact it is all too common. He’s from a generation that often defers to the physician for advice and often follows that advice, perhaps against personal judgements or desires.

“Sir, you do not need surgery – you might not even survive it,” I began. “Mr. Meyers, we are going to work with a hospice agency and a physical therapist to get you the assistance you desire.”

His eyes, if that were possible, became sharper. I believe he even had a little more determination as he reached out for his wife’s hand, gathered his children, and left the office.

And I was once again reminded of how deeply a patient’s own expectations and desires matter.

How to avoid injuries

We exercise for a myriad of reasons. Many of these reasons are obvious such as  reduction of body fat, weight management, mental health, to feel better, or just for the overall positive health benefits.  However, there are certain injury prevention protocols that should be followed.  The last thing any of us wants is prolonged downtime in the form of a preventable injury.


Here are a few protocols to follow;

Always warm up prior to any exercise activity.  Warming up is important as it prepares the body and the mind for physical exertion.  Warming up the body increases circulation, helps ligaments, tendons and muscles loosen up and slowly connects the mind and body  into unison with the mindset of  “Okay now it’s time to work out”.

I always suggest light stretching immediately after the warm-up with more prolonged or intense stretching at the end of a good workout.  Again it is important to get the body ready for exercise.  Light stretching at the outset does this.  Include stretches for the entire body with more emphasis on injury prone areas such as the hamstrings, groin area and the lower back.  At the end of each workout, when your muscles are warmer and more pliable, you can move into deeper stretching, while focusing on lengthening by holding stretches longer.

It’s important to know the difference between muscles soreness, a minor twinge or strain, and a more serious injury.  Typical muscle soreness is normal and a condition you really want to try to work through.  You do this by warming up, light stretching and participating in your workout with maybe light modifications to sore muscle group areas.

If you feel a minor twinge or strain during your workout or during physical activity know that this is a common occurrence.  Almost everyone strains or pulls a muscle or one time or another. Typically, you will feel a sharp pain followed by a dull ache.  When this happens stop whatever you are doing and end your workout for the day.  Use the PRICE acronym; prevention, rest, ice, compression, elevation are the typical protocol for most minor strains or pulls.


Here is the PRICE protocol;

Prevention: Protect an injury from further damage.  Do not put excess strain on the injured area until the pain is completely gone.

Rest:  Give an injury time to heal.  This is very important as many people try to return to their normal routine before the injury has healed properly and end up re injuring the area, which in turn creates longer downtime.

Ice: Use ice (ice packs) to reduce the pain and inflammation for the first 3 to 5 days after an injury.  A top orthopedist once told me if everyone of his patients would ice an injury he would be out of business.

Compression: Wrap the injured area if need be to reduce swelling.

Elevation: Elevate the injury above the heart to reduce the flow of blood to the injured area and reduce the swelling as well.


A more serious injury such as a sharp, excruciating snap or pop with continued, localized pain requires greater attention.  Injuries like a pulled groin muscle, bad ankle sprain or severe tendinitis need to be addressed immediately by a medical professional.  Stop all exercise that affects an injured area and see a qualified orthopedist or medical doctor immediately.  A qualified medical professional can advise you on the extent of the injury and the proper protocol to follow, and provide  exercise guidelines and restrictions.

Stay away from weekend warrior mania! I know it’s a blast to go out with the buddies on the weekends for that pickup game of hoops, flag football, tennis or mountain biking.  It feels great to go back in time and participate in sporting activities you did in your youth.  You can still imbibe in these activities,  just keep in mind your current age and fitness condition.  Don’t try to turn back the clock in one day!   There is nothing wrong with participating in sports; however, as you get older it becomes even more important to warm-up properly and to do some light stretching before any sport or exercise activity.  Injuries can and do happen so you don’t need to encourage them.

Lastly, make sure you always cool-down after any exercise session or sporting event.  Rehydrate and give your body some recuperation time.  Improper cool down can result in greater lactic acid build up and onset muscle soreness.  Dehydration and insufficient rest saps you of needed energy.

So go out and have fun! Be active, but also be smart about it!