Can someone talk to me about constructing a Vegetarian/Vegan diet for an active life style.
Pros and Cons would be appreciated.
You have to give your definition of an active life style - do you mean playing sports, daily activities, aerobic training, weight training or a combination or subset of the above?
If you're of a bodybuilding bent, this link
points to a list of articles about vegetarianism and bodybuilding at BodyBuilder.com, a reputable web site. As for an actual daily vegetarian diet plan, you would do better to get a book on the subject. I've read this one
and found it to be good. Several of the articles at Bodybuilding.com have sample menus - but the common thread is that you should eat 4-6 smaller meals a day rather than 3 large ones, and you should eat a wide variety of foods. If you need additional protein, you should drink smoothies based on soy protein and fruits.
As for the pros and cons of vegetarianism:
lower incidence of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension among vegetarians compared with the general population. (It should be noted that comparisons between groups based on diet alone (or any other single factor) have to be taken with a grain of salt.) Additionally, heavy consumption of fruits and vegetables is positively correlated to reductions in many types of cancer - no doubt due to their phytonutrients and antioxidants
Many vegetarians(particularly vegans) object to eating animals on moral/spiritual grounds. Others consider it be be ecologically wasteful to grow massive amounts of grain to feed animals for food. If either view describes you, it has to be listed in the "pros" column as well.
low protein quality and difficulty meeting caloric requirements. Especially for growing children, getting adequate calories from low calorie, bulky vegetarian fare is an issue. Also, vegetarian diets can cause a lot of bloating and gas among some people. Finally, eating a strict vegan diet will cause a vitamin b12 deficiency, since that vitamin only occurs in animal foodstuffs. A b12 deficiency can lead to pernicious anemia, which is a very serious, often fatal condition.
If you eat either eggs or dairy (or fish, like pesco-vegetarians do), you're covered for protein quality. If not, you have to combine vegetable proteins (1 portion beans/legumes to 2 portions grains, for example) to get a usable protein source. Or you have to eat soy protein, the only biologically complete vegetable protein source.
Disclaimer: I believe in a plant-centered diet, but not a vegetarian one. The best scientific evidence indicates that modern humans are ominvores. Our ancestors were hunter-gatherers who ate practically anything they could catch or pick. The human digestive tract is relatively shorter than that of a herbivore (like a cow) yet longer than that of a carnivore (like a cat).
As for which diet is best for optimum performance, I've seen a lot of anecdotal articles, but little serious scientific study to tackle the issue. The best advice is to keep your own training diary/journal and test out what works best for you.