How nutritionally balanced is my daily diet? - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 04-21-2016, 06:59 PM
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How nutritionally balanced is my daily diet?

I'm fairly new to the vegan lifestyle, (made the change one month ago), and I'm constantly working to learn more about nutrition. The following list is a fair approximation of my daily diet, and I'm curious to hear everyone's thoughts on how balanced my macro/micro nutrients are, as well as any areas in which I may be lacking.

Breakfast:
-2 cups oatmeal
-1 cup blueberries
-1/2 cup almond milk
-Multivitamin

Snack:
-2 cups spinach
-1 cup grapes

Lunch:
-Cheese-free pizza with olives, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and onions.
-1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Snack:
-Salad with 4 cups spinach, 1 carrot, 2 bell peppers, 1/2 cup peas

Dinner:
-2 cans black beans or lentils
-2 cups white rice

Dessert:
-Pita spread with peanut butter

I drink about one gallon of water per day.

Keep in mind that my goal is not to lose weight, but simply to be healthy and have energy throughout my day. Any tips on how to improve my diet are much appreciated!
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#2 Old 04-21-2016, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeganBarBro View Post
I'm fairly new to the vegan lifestyle, (made the change one month ago), and I'm constantly working to learn more about nutrition. The following list is a fair approximation of my daily diet, and I'm curious to hear everyone's thoughts on how balanced my macro/micro nutrients are, as well as any areas in which I may be lacking.

Breakfast:
-2 cups oatmeal
-1 cup blueberries
-1/2 cup almond milk
-Multivitamin

Snack:
-2 cups spinach
-1 cup grapes

Lunch:
-Cheese-free pizza with olives, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and onions.
-1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Snack:
-Salad with 4 cups spinach, 1 carrot, 2 bell peppers, 1/2 cup peas

Dinner:
-2 cans black beans or lentils
-2 cups white rice

Dessert:
-Pita spread with peanut butter

I drink about one gallon of water per day.

Keep in mind that my goal is not to lose weight, but simply to be healthy and have energy throughout my day. Any tips on how to improve my diet are much appreciated!
You might be a little low on protein there, but I'm happy to see you getting in your fruits and veggies! If you're concerned about nutrition, brown rice has more nutrients and fiber than white. Tofu, beans quinoa, tempeh, soy milk, there are a lot of ways to add protein in.

Suggestions: add some garbanzos or edamame to the salad, swap the almond for soy milk, use a whole wheat pita, use brown rice with your beans.

You're getting a decent amount of fruit in your diet, and some varied whole grains if you take the suggestions above. B12 is something to watch for, so make sure your multi has it. You also might want to consider adding leafy greens and cruciferous veggies (like broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, and mustard greens) for calcium. White beans like Great Northerns work for that too.

If you used whole wheat for your crust, good for you! More b-vitamins and fiber. Hope that helps, but good dietary choices are about variety across many days, not one individual one. Just get a wide variety of things in every day and try to shoot for the vegan plate as best you can and you'll be fine.

It's better to burn out than fade away! - Def Leppard


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#3 Old 04-21-2016, 07:34 PM
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Thanks for your reply! Protein has been a bit difficult for me. I love tofu, but I don't always have it on hand. What do you think of protein supplements? I noticed Bob's Red Mill sells hemp protein, and I was thinking of giving it a try.
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#4 Old 04-21-2016, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by VeganBarBro View Post
Thanks for your reply! Protein has been a bit difficult for me. I love tofu, but I don't always have it on hand. What do you think of protein supplements? I noticed Bob's Red Mill sells hemp protein, and I was thinking of giving it a try.
It's better to get your protein from whole foods because they impart additional nutrients. If you really feel the need to supplement, make sure the protein you get is a blend of different proteins if it isn't soy or quinoa based. The one I used to use was an MRM blend of rice, pea, soy, hemp, and two other protein sources. I only used it while dieting (which I no longer do) because it was hard to come in under calories using whole food sources. You need a variety to get all of the essentials if it isn't completely based in one of those two.

As far as tofu is concerned, tempeh, quinoa (which can be used instead of rice or couscous), beans, and nuts/seeds have a fair bit too. Just make sure you include some source with every meal. Whole grains are really good sources of protein as well, you don't need to pair them with anything as long as you eat a variety of foods throughout the day. ^^

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#5 Old 04-21-2016, 07:47 PM
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Thanks! I'll try to start mixing some beans and nuts in with each meal. I'd prefer not to supplement, so I'll stick with whole foods for the time being.
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#6 Old 04-21-2016, 10:23 PM
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I personally don't see much wrong with this. You are eating a lot of beans, plenty of seeds, plus peanut butter each day. Unless you're an athlete I'm not sure why you would need more protein. You could go for soy milk with breakfast instead of almond milk.

You could also add olive oil or vegan cheese to that pizza unless you're afraid of fat.

Oh and eat kale salads sometimes instead of spinach.

Last edited by Thalassa4; 04-21-2016 at 10:39 PM.
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#7 Old 04-21-2016, 11:22 PM
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I do a fairly intense calisthenics workout three times per week, and sometimes do cardio on rest days. I'm not a competitive athlete, but I do stay fairly active. I hear so much mixed info about protein requirements, I really don't know what to think. :/

I was wondering about my daily fat consumption. Would it benefit me to increase it a bit? I certainly wouldn't mind adding some olive oil to the pizza; that sounds pretty delicious.
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#8 Old 04-22-2016, 12:30 AM
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Hey there - imo, your protein intake is completely adequate, unless you want to use soy instead of almond milk on your oatmeal, and like Aliakai suggested, pair your beans at dinner with quinoa or whole grain pasta sometimes (it's OK to like white rice!).

2 cans of beans, 1/2 cup of seeds, 1/2 cup of peas plus a serving of peanut butter actually exceeds the protein requirements in the 2015 vegan pyramid, though only by just a little, so yeah I think you're eating enough protein for someone who is moderately active and not a weight lifter or marathon runner.

I think kale would make a delicious swap for that spinach a few times a week, and something else that occurred to me is that by using hemp milk with your oatmeal, or adding some ground flax to your oatmeal, you'd get necessary Omega 3s. Silk makes a soy milk that is also fortified with DHA/Omega 3 if you want to stick with soy milk instead of hemp. The ground flax is fairly inexpensive though.

I don't see why not add some olive oil or vegan cheese to your pizza, because I don't see you listing salad dressing for your salad, or oils for your beans (of course a generous squeeze of lemon or lime can be delicious on salads instead, and plenty of vegan oil-free sauces exist for your beans, running the gamut from sweet to spicy to in between).
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#9 Old 04-22-2016, 12:39 AM
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Honestly, diet that requires multivitamins is not balanced. By quickly checking your diet, I don't think you need them, anyway.
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#10 Old 04-22-2016, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Thalassa4 View Post
Hey there - imo, your protein intake is completely adequate, unless you want to use soy instead of almond milk on your oatmeal, and like Aliakai suggested, pair your beans at dinner with quinoa or whole grain pasta sometimes (it's OK to like white rice!).

2 cans of beans, 1/2 cup of seeds, 1/2 cup of peas plus a serving of peanut butter actually exceeds the protein requirements in the 2015 vegan pyramid, though only by just a little, so yeah I think you're eating enough protein for someone who is moderately active and not a weight lifter or marathon runner.

I think kale would make a delicious swap for that spinach a few times a week, and something else that occurred to me is that by using hemp milk with your oatmeal, or adding some ground flax to your oatmeal, you'd get necessary Omega 3s. Silk makes a soy milk that is also fortified with DHA/Omega 3 if you want to stick with soy milk instead of hemp. The ground flax is fairly inexpensive though.

I don't see why not add some olive oil or vegan cheese to your pizza, because I don't see you listing salad dressing for your salad, or oils for your beans (of course a generous squeeze of lemon or lime can be delicious on salads instead, and plenty of vegan oil-free sauces exist for your beans, running the gamut from sweet to spicy to in between).
Awesome! I'll definitely pick up some different grains and kale to mix my diet up a little. I don't tend to put any dressing on my salad, but that's just because I really enjoy plain raw veggies. I'll try adding some olive oil to my beans and pizza and see how I like it. Thank you so much for all the info!
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#11 Old 04-22-2016, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Ilikecabbage View Post
Honestly, diet that requires multivitamins is not balanced. By quickly checking your diet, I don't think you need them, anyway.
My multi is more to cover my bases than anything else. As far as I know, there's no harm in taking it, and it helps ensure that I meet my daily vitamin needs. (Not to mention it has my RDA of B12.)
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#12 Old 04-22-2016, 10:28 AM
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There is a free website, www.cronometer.com, where you can type in everything you eat and it will break it down into all the parts. It's not perfect, but I'd recommend checking it out.
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#13 Old 04-22-2016, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by VeganBarBro View Post
Awesome! I'll definitely pick up some different grains and kale to mix my diet up a little. I don't tend to put any dressing on my salad, but that's just because I really enjoy plain raw veggies. I'll try adding some olive oil to my beans and pizza and see how I like it. Thank you so much for all the info!
You're welcome. I understand I eat raw kale sometimes, but other times I make a homemade sesame tahini dressing, and in restaurants I might have a vinegrette. But I have also used lemon or lime juice to keep it nice and fresh.

I mean you don't have to put oil on your beans, but a lot of times I make mine with garlic or onion sautéed in oil, but other good options are things like salsa or other oil free toppings that add some flavor.

I just thought you might want a little more flavor or variety in your diet.
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#14 Old 04-22-2016, 03:19 PM
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Thanks! I'll give that a look.
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#15 Old 04-22-2016, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Thalassa4 View Post
You're welcome. I understand I eat raw kale sometimes, but other times I make a homemade sesame tahini dressing, and in restaurants I might have a vinegrette. But I have also used lemon or lime juice to keep it nice and fresh.

I mean you don't have to put oil on your beans, but a lot of times I make mine with garlic or onion sautéed in oil, but other good options are things like salsa or other oil free toppings that add some flavor.

I just thought you might want a little more flavor or variety in your diet.
Yeah, salsa is usually my go-to seasoning with beans, rice and potatoes. It just makes everything better. :3
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#16 Old 04-23-2016, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by VeganBarBro View Post
Thanks for your reply! Protein has been a bit difficult for me. I love tofu, but I don't always have it on hand. What do you think of protein supplements? I noticed Bob's Red Mill sells hemp protein, and I was thinking of giving it a try.
My adult son adds some hemp powder to his smoothies sometimes.
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#17 Old 04-23-2016, 09:59 AM
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My adult son adds some hemp powder to his smoothies sometimes.
Is he an athlete, or does he just do it to help him meet his recommended protein intake?
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#18 Old 04-23-2016, 11:20 AM
Not such a Beginner ;)
 
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Originally Posted by VeganBarBro View Post
Is he an athlete, or does he just do it to help him meet his recommended protein intake?
He's an athlete, martial arts, etc, and a strong 6' 180lbs, so gets some extra protein this way.

And vegan since age about 11, he's 23 now.
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