Super inexperienced newbie athlete questions - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 04-20-2016, 11:47 PM
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Super inexperienced newbie athlete questions

I'm currently an omni, but I'm really interested in lowering my animal product consumption to help reduce my environmental impact. I've run into some hurdles trying to do this independently, so I was hoping to get some expert input from people with lots of experience!

I did some field work this summer with a few vegans; during that time, we all ate vegan to shorten our shopping lists. Unfortunately, their diets didn't work for me very well. I felt hungry, tired, lost 20 pounds (this brought me down to 110 lbs! Not great for me!), and craved animal products constantly. I think this was just because of my body's individual needs as a very active, athletic woman.

I'm still interested in going veg/mushroom-based, though! I've been reading some stuff on here, but I wanted to ask a couple more questions:

1. How do you manage eating enough/balancing a vegetarian diet if you're super athletic? I know it's very important to get enough calories, but are there any foods you find especially helpful? How do you avoid losing weight?

2. Unfortunately, I really like the taste of meat, especially beef. Do you know of any good substitutes? Is there anything that can be used to mimic the flavor of beef without actually consuming cattle?

3, Where can I find advice on gaining weight on a vegetarian diet? I'm currently underweight and hoping to get a bit more meat on my bones without eating anyone else's.

4. I've had issues with anemia in the past. Besides kale/leafy greens, what vegetarian-friendly foods and dishes would you recommend?

Two things that could make this easier - I'm an avid mushroom hunter, and I get fresh eggs from my friend's pet chickens and ducks. And yeah, I've heard arguments against eating eggs ever, but if we leave them, the eggs attract weasels, ravens, and raccoons. We lost a rooster that way.
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#2 Old 04-21-2016, 02:28 AM
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Hi! Vegan diets means avoiding anything that involves exploiting animals, no dairy, eggs, meat, or things that come from slaughter houses. They can be as varied as any omnivores
Mushrooms have lots of benefits, but very few calories! You need the wide range of beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, seitan, nuts, seeds, and all the produce herbs and spices
It takes time to re learn food. I can tell you it wasn't easy in my early vegan days, but now my food is so much more varied, delicious, digestable and easy to prepare.

Hard to say how much you'll like the products on the market now, I like my seitan better than anything I've bought, but Gardein is a good one at least for chik;ny things (I've never tried any beefy things)

For seasoning I love these no meat boullions-http://www.vitacost.com/better-than-bouillon-vegetarian-no-beef-base-8-oz?q=better+than+boullion&ta=better+than+boull
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#3 Old 04-21-2016, 02:31 AM
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Check out this site-
http://www.nomeatathlete.com/

Gottta go-- you'll get lots of good info, we have lots of athletic people here, with great food tips
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#4 Old 04-22-2016, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeryGoatKid View Post

I'm still interested in going veg/mushroom-based, though! I've been reading some stuff on here, but I wanted to ask a couple more questions:

1. How do you manage eating enough/balancing a vegetarian diet if you're super athletic? I know it's very important to get enough calories, but are there any foods you find especially helpful? How do you avoid losing weight?

2. Unfortunately, I really like the taste of meat, especially beef. Do you know of any good substitutes? Is there anything that can be used to mimic the flavor of beef without actually consuming cattle?

3, Where can I find advice on gaining weight on a vegetarian diet? I'm currently underweight and hoping to get a bit more meat on my bones without eating anyone else's.

4. I've had issues with anemia in the past. Besides kale/leafy greens, what vegetarian-friendly foods and dishes would you recommend?

Two things that could make this easier - I'm an avid mushroom hunter, and I get fresh eggs from my friend's pet chickens and ducks. And yeah, I've heard arguments against eating eggs ever, but if we leave them, the eggs attract weasels, ravens, and raccoons. We lost a rooster that way.

Welcome to the forum! I've tried to address each of your questions below:

1. When starting on a new diet, it is advisable to do some planning. In order to get enough calories, you can use an online calorie-needs calculator (such as this one: http://www.active.com/fitness/calculators/calories ) to estimate your daily calorie requirement. If you are very athletic, you may need more calories than the calculator says you do.

Once you know your calorie needs, you can remember this calorie rule-of-thumb:

One cup of cooked beans / lentils contains about 230 calories

One cup of cooked grains / pasta contains about 180 calories

One cup of fresh fruit contains 40-100 calories

One cup of non-starchy vegetables contains 5-40 calories

One cup of nuts or seeds contains 650-1000 calories

You can also use an online calorie website, like http://www.calorieking.com, to see the calorie content of different foods.

As you can see, beans and grains are the calorie-foundation of a vegan diet. Nuts and seeds are an easy way to boost calories.


2. There are some very good vegan beef substitutes out there. Unfortunately, there are also some not-so-tasty ones. Boca and Gardein are good brands. Even regular supermarkets often carry vegan meat substitutes. More "specialty" meat substitutes can be found at health food stores, Vietnamese markets, and Buddhist food shops.

3. You can gain weight by eating more calorie-rich foods, like nuts, seeds, avocados, and other oily foods.

4. Iron-rich plant foods include beans, certain dark leafy green vegetables, and iron-fortified breakfast cereals. You can increase your body's iron absorption by eating vitamin C rich foods along with your meals. Veganhealth.org has an (exhaustively) informative webpage about iron: http://veganhealth.org/articles/iron


Lastly, here is a nicely-done Vegetarian Starter Guide: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/files/VSG.pdf . Page 13 explains vegan nutrition. Because your calorie needs are higher than those of the average person, you will perhaps need a higher ratio of calorie-rich foods.
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“Under the twinkling trees was a table covered with Guatemalan fabric, roses in juice jars, wax rose candles from Tijuana and plates of food — Weetzie's Vegetable Love-Rice, My Secret Agent Lover Man's guacamole, Dirk's homemade pizza, Duck's fig and berry salad and Surfer Surprise Protein Punch, Brandy-Lynn's pink macaroni, Coyote's cornmeal cakes, Ping's mushu plum crepes and Valentine's Jamaican plantain pie."

from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991

Last edited by David3; 04-22-2016 at 08:00 PM.
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#5 Old 04-22-2016, 10:07 PM
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Some vegans are oil free or low fat, so I don't know how your friends were feeding you, but definitely eating things like peanut butter, nuts, avacado, and putting oils on your food or in your cooking will help. Since you are a big lover of meat flavors, you'll also be happy to know that mock meats - like Tofurky, Smart Dogs, Gardein, Yves - can be more calorie dense than simply eating beans, lentils, and tofu (but you will want to eat those too). I'm not an expert by any means, but there are vegan body builders and hardcore athletes out there, so I suggest you look them up and see what they eat.

Aside from leafy greens, you can get iron from soy, peanut butter, and cereals like Multigrain Cheerios...black strap molasses also is great.
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#6 Old 04-23-2016, 01:21 PM
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I also totally forgot - Loma Linda foods makes surprisingly excellent faux hot dogs (Big Franks) and "meaty" chili that are totally vegan. I made the weenies under a broiler and I am sure they will grill just as well on outdoor occasions (convenient since they are canned, but do not be afraid, they taste better than smart dogs, Loma Linda has been working on it for 80 years, they're Adventist).
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