7 Day Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has been massively common for a couple of decades, and a good reason.

It can enhance heart health and shield against certain cancers and neurological conditions. In addition, studies indicate it could benefit your waistline.

However, the Mediterranean is appealing for another reason; it’s vegetarian-friendly.

Unlike many popular diets out there, such as ketogenic, paleogenic, wheat belly, whole 30, etc., the Mediterranean diet doesn’t discourage the consumption of carbs and whole grains.

Keep in mind that these other diets work too, but your cholesterol levels can increase as you lose weight, meaning you can’t really stick to these diets without consuming meat.

However, the vegetarian Mediterranean diet is a much smarter way of dropping weight without limiting protein consumption since cholesterol levels are much lower compared to other diets.

This diet emphasizes preparing meals with olive oil and taking lots of beans, herbs, fresh produce, whole grains, etc.

It’s also recommended that you snack on fruits, nuts, seeds, yogurt, etc. What’s more, the occasional glass of wine won’t hurt as you engage in social activities.

Sounds like a pretty awesome diet, right? It actually is, but you might find yourself becoming a bit lax when it comes to following it.

Fortunately, we have come up with a review that will help you learn more about this diet, including what to eat and when to eat it.

Sample 7-Day Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet – Sample 7-Day Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

Day 1

  • Breakfast: Muesli with fruit and yogurt
  • Lunch: Veggie wraps
  • Snack: One apple
  • Dinner: Quinoa and stir-fried veggies

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with berries and chia seeds
  • Lunch: Whole grain sandwich with hummus and veggies
  • Snack: Mixed berries
  • Dinner: Spicy tomato baked eggs

Day 3

  • Breakfast: Tomato and watermelon salad
  • Lunch: Cannellini bean salad
  • Snack: A handful of nuts
  • Dinner: Chickpea tomato sauce and sweet potatoes

Day 4

  • Breakfast: Whole wheat toast and sautéed veggies
  • Lunch: Mediterranean quinoa salad
  • Snack: Hardboiled egg with pepper and salt
  • Dinner: Crispy white beans with greens

Day 5

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with chopped fruits and nuts
  • Lunch: Tangy couscous salad
  • Snack: Apple slices with almond butter
  • Dinner: Barley and mushroom soup

Day 6

  • Breakfast: Whole wheat toast and sautéed veggies
  • Lunch: Stuffed zucchini boats with bell peppers, pesto, and tomatoes
  • Snack: Chia pudding
  • Dinner: Chickpea tomato pasta

Day 7

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with apple slices, nuts, and raisins
  • Lunch: Mediterranean quinoa salad
  • Snack: Fresh fruit with cottage cheese
  • Dinner: Aubergine lentil bake

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet – Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

It’s always a good idea to visit the perimeter of the store, which is where whole foods are situated.

Once you’re there, pick nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, veggies, and whole grains as much as possible.

Some of the vegetarian Mediterranean diet foods you can add to your purchase list include:

  1. Dairy: Cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, milk, etc.
  2. Eggs: Chicken, duck, and quail.
  3. Frozen veggies: Broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, mixed veggies, etc.
  4. Fruits: Apples, bananas, blueberries, grapes, melon, pears, strawberries, etc.
  5. Healthy Oils: Avocado oil, canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, etc.
  6. Legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, white beans, etc.
  7. Nuts: Almonds, cashew nuts, macadamia, nuts, pistachios, walnuts, etc.
  8. Seeds: Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, pure hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
  9. Spices: Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, sea salt, thyme, turmeric, etc.
  10. Tubers: Cassava, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, etc.
  11. Veggies: Bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, onions, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, etc.

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet Tips

Combine Your Vitamins Strategically

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet – Combine Your Vitamins Strategically

A couple of other nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, vitamin D, and Zinc might require special attention in a vegetarian diet.

A well-executed vegetarian Mediterranean diet that comprises various foods should offer adequate amounts of these vital nutrients.

Keep in mind that a health professional should check your vitamin D levels because these levels tend to be inadequate even for people who consume meat and fish.

Don’t Skimp on Snacks

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet – Don’t Skimp on Snacks

Always remember that the Mediterranean diet is somewhat about lifestyle, meaning sometimes you enjoy means with family and friends. Therefore, you can have a glass of red wine during social gatherings.

Unfortunately, most people in Mediterranean cultures have their meals late, typically after 9 PM, so they don’t eat snacks as often as they should.

Don’t Stress Too Much About Proteins

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet – Don’t Stress Too Much About Proteins

The Mediterranean diet is low in red meat but big on fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna.

So can a vegetarian really reap the benefits of the Mediterranean diet without consuming fish? And how can they have adequate protein without taking fish or meat?

Vegetarians who follow the Mediterranean diet don’t need to worry about protein deficit if their diet has a variety of dairy, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, and whole grains.

Keep in mind if you’d like to get the same amount of protein from plant-based foods as you would with meat or fish, you’ll most likely need to take more calories, carbs, and fat.

Take as Many Omega-3 Fatty Acids as Possible

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet

Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet – Take as Many Omega-3 Fatty Acids as Possible

Getting the required amount of omega-3 fatty acids without taking fish is no walk in the park.

While chia seeds, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, sea moss, and walnuts all have omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), this fatty acid isn’t proficiently converted to the more powerful omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

As a result, you would need to increase your intake of omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) rich foods to reap the same benefits as someone taking fish.

Nutritionists say it’s okay to veer from the norm a bit. Suitable portioned snacks can help occupy any dietary gaps in a person’s day, preserve energy levels between meals and prevent overfeeding during meals.

So you can try and have snacks such as apple slices, baba ghanoush (hummus dip), berries, grapes, Greek yogurt, stuffed dates, etc.

Final Thought

Although there isn’t one defined Mediterranean diet, this regimen typically comprises healthy plant foods and relatively low animal foods with a focus on fish and seafood.

However, for vegetarians, fish is replaced by protein-rich foods such as legumes and whole grains. What’s more, this diet has some benefits such as promoting brain function and heart health.

Printable Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet (PDF)

Day 1
Breakfast: Muesli with fruit and yogurt
Lunch: Veggie wraps
Snack: One apple
Dinner: Quinoa and stir-fried veggies
Day 2
Breakfast: Greek yogurt with berries and chia seeds
Lunch: Whole grain sandwich with hummus and veggies
Snack: Mixed berries
Dinner: Spicy tomato baked eggs
Day 3
Breakfast: Tomato and watermelon salad
Lunch: Cannellini bean salad
Snack: A handful of nuts
Dinner: Chickpea tomato sauce and sweet potatoes
Day 4
Breakfast: Whole wheat toast and sautéed veggies
Lunch: Mediterranean quinoa salad
Snack: Hardboiled egg with pepper and salt
Dinner: Crispy white beans with greens
Day 5
Breakfast: Greek yogurt with chopped fruits and nuts
Lunch: Tangy couscous salad
Snack: Apple slices with almond butter
Dinner: Barley and mushroom soup
Day 6
Breakfast: Whole wheat toast and sautéed veggies
Lunch: Stuffed zucchini boats with bell peppers, pesto, and tomatoes
Snack: Chia pudding
Dinner: Chickpea tomato pasta
Day 7
Breakfast: Oatmeal with apple slices, nuts, and raisins
Lunch: Mediterranean quinoa salad
Snack: Fresh fruit with cottage cheese
Dinner: Aubergine lentil bake

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