How do you eat that much food?! - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-05-2014, 09:45 AM
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How do you eat that much food?!

I am moving towards a vegan diet and have been reading Becoming Vegan to make sure I get the nutrition side right. One thing that surprises me is the volume of food I'll need to eat to get the right nutrients - it seems like way more than I eat now!

Of course, it is possible that I don't eat enough at the moment - I went from a pretty unhealthy omni diet & sedentary life to being vegetarian and more active and lost 35lb in the process without any conscious dieting, but I'm comfortable with my weight now (5'8", 135lb).

I've been looking at the suggested meal plans and can't imagine eating that much - the suggested breakfast for my calorie intake is twice what I eat now, as is lunch. One suggested snack is 3 cups of popcorn which seems huge (although I guess I have been known to eat the same volume of crisps so maybe not impossible )

I remember working with a lady years ago who was tiny and vegan - she packed away so much food in order to get the nutrients. How do you fit it all in??
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#2 Old 08-05-2014, 10:57 AM
 
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What nutrients are you specifically concerned about? Carbs, protein, vitamins? Research vegan foods high in the nutrients you're concerned about. I supplement B12 and Iodine but otherwise get plenty of the essentials.

Air popped popcorn is a good choice for somebody trying to lose weight, as 2 tablespoons kernels (4 cups popped) yields just ~100 calories. It seems like a lot of food but isn't.

The more active you are, the more your body will want you to eat...but it's not difficult to reach a well-balanced 2000 calories. A quick google search yielded this daily meal plan as an example, with nutrient breakdown listed below: http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/vegan-diet/menu
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#3 Old 08-05-2014, 10:57 AM
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In the case of popcorn, its mostly air. 3 cups of air popped popcorn has the calories of half a cup of unsweetened oatmeal or half an ounce of almonds. A days worth of calories would be 66 cups of popcorn, lol.
But yeah, a plant centered vegan diet has a much higher volume of food compared to most omni diets, even vegetable rich ones. Its basically because theres so much more water and so much less fat in a healthy whole food vegan diet. It balances out tho, because digestion speeds up. With no meat, dairy, or junk food to clog things up that increased volume goes through faster. Also since much of the volume is water and starch lots of it just vanishes or goes out as urine during digestion.
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#4 Old 08-05-2014, 11:07 AM
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I have not read the book... But... Are you sure they mean for all readers to follow those recommendations exactly and to the letter? Or is it possible they give extra-substantial meal recommendations in the book to combat the popular myth that Vegans don't eat anything besides lettuce??

One thing I will tell you is, do NOT force yourself to eat more than you are comfortable eating, especially high-fiber grains, beans and vegetables. I promise that will backfire. I tried to follow Eat to Live once many years ago, and managed one day to eat a pound of salad, which is what he recommends. It took well over an hour to eat it and I was full and could hardly eat again for 2 whole days. Eat the amount that works for you, but don't over-eat.
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#5 Old 08-05-2014, 11:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket View Post
I have not read the book... But... Are you sure they mean for all readers to follow those recommendations exactly and to the letter? Or is it possible they give extra-substantial meal recommendations in the book to combat the popular myth that Vegans don't eat anything besides lettuce??

One thing I will tell you is, do NOT force yourself to eat more than you are comfortable eating, especially high-fiber grains, beans and vegetables. I promise that will backfire. I tried to follow Eat to Live once many years ago, and managed one day to eat a pound of salad, which is what he recommends. It took well over an hour to eat it and I was full and could hardly eat again for 2 whole days. Eat the amount that works for you, but don't over-eat.

Obviously a pound of just lettuce or spinach leaves would be ridiculous and a monumental task to consume, but I can easily exceed a pound of salad at a salad bar with lots of vegetables mixed in.

From what I've read about ETL, the crux of the diet is to eat a ton of nutrient-rich, calorically-sparse foods. It's a crash course diet geared toward losing weight, so stuffing you to the gills with salad sounds like mission accomplished to me
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#6 Old 08-05-2014, 12:22 PM
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Well, that episode did not accomplish much for me, personally... I spent the next 24 hours wondering if I was going to throw it up, and it's a wonder I didn't. I can see how it would work great for people who need to lose weight and are used to eating really large meals, though.
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#7 Old 08-05-2014, 12:22 PM
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If you are getting a lot of your calories from green salads and popcorn and other low-calorie foods, then yeah, you are probably going to end up eating a ton! For people who are trying to lose weight, and want foods that fill them up without a ton of extra calories, foods like those are great, but there are tons of vegan foods that have lots of calories in them too! So if you don't think you can eat that much, foods like whole grains and beans and nuts and seeds and avocados and on and on have enough calories that you don't have to stuff yourself to bursting to eat enough.

For example, with the way I eat:
I would say that I could reasonably stuff my average meal into a two-cup plastic storage container. My typical meal is 300-500 calories, and leaves me pretty full but wanting to eat again 3 or 4 hours later. I don't eat many green leafy vegetables unless they are cooked or blended (I'm a green smoothie lover), which I guess really reduces their volume. I also don't eat a ton of traditional snack food (although I do like vegan ice cream and hot cookies on occasion). I'd rather have a small portion of rice and beans leftover from dinner or a fruit smoothie than a big bowl of popcorn.
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#8 Old 08-06-2014, 05:37 PM
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I thought it was a pretty good book. However, like every other food book, I take the "Eating Plan" section with a grain of salt.

Eating a vegan diet is not that hard. Eat good, whole foods, (not Twinkies), and you should be fine.

Concentrate on:

Rice, pasta, grains, etc.

Fruits

Vegetables

Beans, legumes, nuts.

For example.....last night, I made pesto out of cilantro (instead of basil), pine nuts, garlic, a generous dose of cayenne pepper & some olive oil. I mixed it with some pasta & added a dash of salt & some frozen green peas. On top, I put a garnish of a cut up organic tomato.

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For desert later, I had some fruit.

Tonight, I'll take the left over pasta & either add a vegan Indian curry sauce, with onions & mushrooms....or a marinara sauce with onions & mushrooms. Plus, corn on the cob & some watermelon for desert.

Make meals that you like & don't stuff yourself. Have some fruit or nuts around for snacks. Have fun with it.
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All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#9 Old 08-08-2014, 07:55 AM
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Thanks for your thoughts everyone. It isn't the weight aspect I'm worried about, just getting the necessary nutrients, specifically B12 & calcium. I can buy some fortified dairy products (love the almond milk, not so keen on the soy) but haven't yet found a vegan fortified cereal. I guess I can supplement those though.

Unfortunately I saw Rocket's advice after it was too late - stuffed myself trying to follow the eating plan and felt miserable that night with stomach cramps. Haven't had that since I was omni. I'll stick to what I like, make sure I get some fortified foods & learn to cook a decent tofu (the stuff I had last night was awful!).
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#10 Old 08-08-2014, 08:43 AM
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Oat meal is a wonderful "vegan" cereal. Practically nothing has been done to it. Nothing added to it. Just buy "real" oatmeal. My favorite breakfast that I have at least 4 times per week is to get steal cut oatmeal (Bob's Red Mill) 1/2 cup with 1 cup of Almond or Almond/Coconut milk and a small handful of raisins, or some fruit (If fresh fruit I put in after cooking). I usually grind and add about 2 tablespoons of flax seed to the oatmeal for additional fiber. Cook it in a rice cooker so you do not have to actually watch it. When the liquid is gone the rice cooker pops us and it is put on a warming cycle. It takes about 15 minutes for the little handle to pop up, I let it cool down for 5 minutes. All this can be done while dressing/showering in the morning.

I usually get out of bed, go straight to the kitchen, get the coffee brewing, put the oatmeal on, go back and dress and do my other morning rituals. By the time I am done, my breakfast is waiting for me. Easy.
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#11 Old 08-08-2014, 09:17 AM
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Just wanted to add that I visit the doctor on a regular basis (some genetic thing), so my levels of pretty much everything get checked around every 3 months. I have no problems getting a sufficient amount of anything. The only supplement I take is B12, and that is because I don't use nutritional yeast all that much. I don't purposefully look for products that are fortified, I just try to eat lots of greens, fruits and a lot of beans, all kinds of beans!
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#12 Old 08-08-2014, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vear View Post
beans, all kinds of beans!
Indeed! Beans! 1.4 to 1.5 cups of beans (that is measuring cups) gives you the daily protein of a 3 Oz slice of meat.

I really do not see that you will be eating a ton of food.

One cup of beans for lunch, with some rice maybe.
Oatmeal for breakfast.
Tabouli salad with roasted vegetables for dinner.
Some nuts and fruit for snack. A glass of soy milk. A few glasses of water.

Sorry, I must be a big person, but that does not seem like a lot of food. Not a huge amount anyway,
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#13 Old 08-13-2014, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHappyBeans View Post
I am moving towards a vegan diet and have been reading Becoming Vegan to make sure I get the nutrition side right. One thing that surprises me is the volume of food I'll need to eat to get the right nutrients - it seems like way more than I eat now!

Of course, it is possible that I don't eat enough at the moment - I went from a pretty unhealthy omni diet & sedentary life to being vegetarian and more active and lost 35lb in the process without any conscious dieting, but I'm comfortable with my weight now (5'8", 135lb).

I've been looking at the suggested meal plans and can't imagine eating that much - the suggested breakfast for my calorie intake is twice what I eat now, as is lunch. One suggested snack is 3 cups of popcorn which seems huge (although I guess I have been known to eat the same volume of crisps so maybe not impossible )

I remember working with a lady years ago who was tiny and vegan - she packed away so much food in order to get the nutrients. How do you fit it all in??
Tbh,i have trouble getting enough calories. Some days i am getting less then 1,000,and other days more like 1,200-1,500.
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#14 Old 08-13-2014, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket View Post
I have not read the book... But... Are you sure they mean for all readers to follow those recommendations exactly and to the letter? Or is it possible they give extra-substantial meal recommendations in the book to combat the popular myth that Vegans don't eat anything besides lettuce??

One thing I will tell you is, do NOT force yourself to eat more than you are comfortable eating, especially high-fiber grains, beans and vegetables. I promise that will backfire. I tried to follow Eat to Live once many years ago, and managed one day to eat a pound of salad, which is what he recommends. It took well over an hour to eat it and I was full and could hardly eat again for 2 whole days. Eat the amount that works for you, but don't over-eat.
This is what I do now. I tried eating more at first when i was getting so many less calories but now i just let it be.
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