I am two weeks into my all-vegan experiment and so far am doing great. My scale fluctuates a pound or two a day so I am not sure what it will settle at come Monday weight check
But my stomach is noticeably smaller and people have commented. Neal Barnard talks about the number of fat grams in 100 calories of animal protein, legume protein and carbohydrates, so it is not surprising I would be better off by having even the same calories but less fat grams.
Today I plugged in all my meals into Spark People just to see, and I was surprised at how spot-on I was in all the targets. Spark People suggests an iron range for me of 100-150 (not sure what units they use) and my best best ever was 62 as an omni and junk food vegetarian, but today was at an all-time high of 92, and this was a fairly typical day for me since I started eating vegan only and trying to cut out the more processed stuff. My suggested SP calcium range on Spark People is 100-150 and is at 135 today, which is also an all-time high. I am a little bit shocked that all that time I struggled to meet the minimum levels, and now I cut out the junk and the eggs/cheese and suddenly it is very easy, and I didn't even have to work very hard at the cooking either! My only rule has been that if I have tofu at lunch, I have beans at dinner and that I should try to have extra vegetables in every meal. I am aiming for roughly 400-calorie meals (I used to under-eat due to leftover dieting issues and then be starving later) and 200-calorie snacks.
Here is what I ate today that got me such good numbers:
B- Oatmeal with applesauce, vanilla soy milk. This is my standard breakfast and I seldom deviate from it, but I have been trying to vary it a little more lately. Sometimes I have frozen raspberries, or pumpkin puree instead of the applesauce, and I always prepare it with water and have the soy milk on the side.
L- Salad with lentils, sweet potato, cucumber and peppers, small cookie on the side. I am getting free lunches at camp, but they are awful so I have been asking for no entree only salad, and then adding my salad toppings from home. My 200 calories worth of sweet potato, lentils and vegetables transformed into a massive plate of food once I got the lettuce and stirred it in. The other vegetarian at the table (she is a junk food vegetarian) was so jealous as she sat there with her over-cooked pasta and plain tomato sauce. Several people commented on how beautiful my salad looked. This one meal had 30 of the iron (I don't know what unit SP is using)
S- Rice crackers, grapes. Nothing special, but it's nice to have fruit for a snack.
D- Soba noodles with broccoli, tofu and split pea sauce and strawberries for desert. This one meal was 65 calcium (again, I am not sure what unit they are using, but 100 is my target so 65 is pretty good for one meal).
S- Peach smoothie. I make these with half a frozen banana and then some soy milk and frozen fruits, and they are like ice cream. So good!
It's funny because several people have commented that they could never be vegetarian because they would starve, yet they were all dissatisfied with the portions on the free lunches, and my salad was huge and very satisfying. And my doctor has always worried about my iron and calcium, and I would struggle to meet the targets, and then I change to totally vegan and easily achieve 30 units more than I ever did on my best days an omni or junk food vegetarian---without having to cook a lot and worry or go to much effort.