Help with getting calories and protein - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-21-2015, 03:42 PM
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Help with getting calories and protein

Hi everyone. I am new to the forum. I have come here out of desperation. I have been a vegetarian since I was 14 years old, which was 13 years ago. 2 years ago, I went vegan.

I have had health problems for a very long time, even before I was ever a vegetarian. My health problems are totally unrelated to my vegetarianism/veganism. However, I do believe my veganism is making my health problems worse, or harder to deal with because I must not be doing something right. So I have come here for help from fellow vegans to give me advice on how I can increase my caloric intake and my protein intake.

I have spontaneous/reactive hypoglycemia, and I also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I have a few other health issues but they are being controlled with medication; the two I have mentioned are the only conditions I am struggling to control. My doctor has told me to increase my protein intake, increase my caloric intake, and I have to eat every couple of hours and can't have a lot of sugar, to treat the hypoglycemia and CFS. I have attempted to do these things; but I feel a bit hopeless. I feel like all I ever do is cook and eat, and even though I am eating all the time, I feel my body still starving for more calories, more protein, more food.

I was hoping there are some vegans on this forum with similar health issues with advice, or just pro-vegans (:smile who have a lot of food knowledge and experience to share with me. Any advice is welcome and please let me know if you need anymore information such as what I eat and stuff.

Thank you :blush::blush::blush:

:heart: Beth.
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#2 Old 11-21-2015, 05:10 PM
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This quick, cheap and nutritious recipe has been the base of many different meals for me lately. Ive been in real rut as far as cooking, and a really low budget. You can make this plain, then season according to how you want it. I love the texture and versitality

1 cup red (or orange?) lentils
cook in 2 cups water on a simmer with a cover on the stovetop
Check for done-ness, there should still be water in pot, and they should be tender.
Add 1/2 cup cracked wheat (bulgar)
Turn off heat, stir and cover and let sit
You can add some olive oil if you'd like

When cold you can form patties for cold sandwiches.
You can add grated veggies and breadcrumbs and sautee patties
You can add to veg broths with frozen mixed veggies for a quick and individual soup

I rolled a log of this and had on a hot dog roll with diced onions, pickles, and mustard and ketchup and I swear it tasted like a hot dog. I hate vegan hot dogs, so I really liked that!
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#3 Old 11-21-2015, 05:24 PM
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Hi Beth

I'm sorry to hear that you have these health issues to deal with. Because your situation is so serious, it may be prudent for you to solve them with the help of a nutrition professional.

A Registered Dietitian can work with you (and with your physician) to find a delicious vegan eating plan that clearly, conveniently, and effectively treats your health issues.

In the United States, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through this website: http://www.eatright.org . Just click on the "Find an Expert" button, located in the upper-right-hand portion of the webpage.

In the U.K., you can find a local Registered Dietitian on the Freelance Dietitians website: http://www.freelancedietitians.org/

In New Zealand, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through the Dietitians New Zealand website: http://dietitians.org.nz/find-a-dietitian/

In Canada, you can find a local Registered Dietitian at the Dietitians of Canada website: http://www.dietitians.ca/Find-a-Dietitian.aspx .

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 11-21-2015 at 05:27 PM.
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#4 Old 11-21-2015, 08:03 PM
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thank you so much for this. i love lentils but have been wanting to do something new with them. i will give it a try.

-Beth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post
This quick, cheap and nutritious recipe has been the base of many different meals for me lately. Ive been in real rut as far as cooking, and a really low budget. You can make this plain, then season according to how you want it. I love the texture and versitality

1 cup red (or orange?) lentils
cook in 2 cups water on a simmer with a cover on the stovetop
Check for done-ness, there should still be water in pot, and they should be tender.
Add 1/2 cup cracked wheat (bulgar)
Turn off heat, stir and cover and let sit
You can add some olive oil if you'd like

When cold you can form patties for cold sandwiches.
You can add grated veggies and breadcrumbs and sautee patties
You can add to veg broths with frozen mixed veggies for a quick and individual soup

I rolled a log of this and had on a hot dog roll with diced onions, pickles, and mustard and ketchup and I swear it tasted like a hot dog. I hate vegan hot dogs, so I really liked that!
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#5 Old 11-21-2015, 08:11 PM
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thank you for your advice. i have actually already seen a dietician at my local hospital but it was before the CFS diagnosis. maybe i should go see her again and ask her for more recommendations since i have struggled to implement her advice to increase calories, and i do struggle getting all the protein i need.

calories are the hardest part of being vegan i think; everyone is always asking, "where do you get your protein?" but i think the more relevant question is, "where do you get your calories?"

anyway thank you for your advice. i will see if my doctor can send me to see the dietician again.

-Beth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David3 View Post
Hi Beth

I'm sorry to hear that you have these health issues to deal with. Because your situation is so serious, it may be prudent for you to solve them with the help of a nutrition professional.

A Registered Dietitian can work with you (and with your physician) to find a delicious vegan eating plan that clearly, conveniently, and effectively treats your health issues.

In the United States, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through this website: http://www.eatright.org . Just click on the "Find an Expert" button, located in the upper-right-hand portion of the webpage.

In the U.K., you can find a local Registered Dietitian on the Freelance Dietitians website: http://www.freelancedietitians.org/

In New Zealand, you can find a local Registered Dietitian through the Dietitians New Zealand website: http://dietitians.org.nz/find-a-dietitian/

In Canada, you can find a local Registered Dietitian at the Dietitians of Canada website: http://www.dietitians.ca/Find-a-Dietitian.aspx .
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#6 Old 11-25-2015, 12:00 AM
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To increase protein, you may want to consider a vegan protein powder. Vega and Sun Warrior are good vegan protein brands. Sources of protein are peas, tofu, quinoa, tempeh, nuts, and beans. You may also want to eat nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocados, healthy fats (olive oil is great), granola, whole grain bread, and dark chocolate to increase calories. You may also want to make sure there is a serving of protein and/or fat with carbohydrates to prevent severe blood sugar spikes.

You should also run these suggestions by your dietitian to be sure. Good luck!
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#7 Old 11-25-2015, 03:18 AM
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Hi Beth and welcome! I found the following information that might be of help in regards to hypoglycemia and diet:

http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-to...cemia-and-diet

It really isn't that hard to increase calories as a vegan. I had to put on over twenty lbs to get healthy as a vegan due to other health conditions. Here are some ideas that helped me:

I would make homemade bread and use whole wheat flour and add ground flaxseed and/or sesame seeds to my dough. I would also slice it thicker than a store bought bread. If you buy bread, there are vegan breads that are more calorific. I like Rudi's organic vegan breads:

https://www.rudisbakery.com/organic/vegan-products/

Now, you can add stuff to your slices of bread, and one way to increase nutrient density, protein, and calories all at once is to puree beans to make a dip you can spread on your bread. This is a great breakfast! Hummus is an easy example of a bean dip that can be spread on slices of bread/toast. I like to make a lemon/white bean dip, or kidney bean salsa type of dip. You can get in a larger serving of beans by pureeing them and adding stuff like tahini, or a little olive oil, or cooked carrot and so on into your bean dip. I have also had just plain whole beans on toast and that is great too but will be more filling with less beans so you don't get as many calories.

Speaking of pureeing beans, have you ever made split pea soup? This is a rich, high protein, calorie dense soup. I simply saute some onion, carrot, lemon juice, veggie broth in a large soup pan, then add a cup or so of dried split peas, and add four cups of water and/or vegetable broth. Simmer for a half hour or so until the beans are soft, then puree the soup in batches in a blender for a thick creamy filling soup. And have some bread on the side.

Avocado is great in salads or sliced in sandwiches, and if you have ever made avocado pesto, try that rubbed in some whole wheat pasta or spaghetti or if you don't eat gluten or pasta, rub it into another whole grain like millet, or quinoa.

Even a garden salad can be made heavier by adding avocado, whole olives, seeds (sunflower for instance), nuts, and nut butter dressings. Almond and peanut butter were my best friends when I needed to put on weight. For a quick and easy snack, especially while out hiking, I would slather a whole wheat tortilla with almond butter or peanut butter and fold it in half. Adding raisins to it was even better.

Another favorite...blend firm tofu with a banana or two, some pure cocoa powder, and a splash of plant milk. I add a pinch of salt and a little stevia (doesn't increase blood sugar) also, and it makes a nice rich pudding and very high protein and high calcium if you use a calcium set tofu.

Energy bars are great too. I make a dozen and freeze them and then just take out one when I need it and they take very little time to thaw. Some are downright awesome right out of the freezer. I like to follow this recipe formula:

http://www.nomeatathlete.com/homemad...gy-bar-recipe/

Often it is really a matter of just experimenting with vegan recipes. I can think of tons of them that are higher calorie and filling. How about these?:
http://tofu-n-sproutz.blogspot.com/2...lack-bean.html
http://www.thefussyfork.com/vegan-sw...to-enchiladas/
http://ohsheglows.com/2014/02/05/my-...de-sour-cream/
http://www.theppk.com/2011/08/chana-masala/

I think a key is to make food in batches and freeze it so you always have stuff on hand and aren't always cooking. If I make bread I make two loaves at a time.

A crockpot is great too, especially for making a large batch of steel cut oats or millet or brown rice (and add ins like coconut or nuts/seeds or plant milk or sliced apples and spices etc). It's as easy as throwing in some grain, add ins, and liquid and turning on the crockpot and going to bed. Seven or eight hours later when you are ready to eat breakfast you have a nice hot batch of food waiting. Stews and chili are great for this too! Make it overnight and then let it cool and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. I do this for a week's worth of lunches and store it in the refrigerator and I have it on hand for a whole week (keeps that long).

Also, drink higher calorie full fat plant milks like almond or soy milk in the 120 calorie per cup range. Or make your own plant milk and make it more dense. I have made homemade flaxseed, sesame seed, almond milk, rice milk, and oat milk. You can leave out the sugar or add just a smaller amount of it too.

If you are pinched for time, there are commercial vegan foods that work, such as cliff or larabars that are more calorific and filling as a snack. Or veggie burgers like Bocca, Gardein etc. Or try an Amy's vegan burrito from the frozen section (they even carry gluten free vegan ones too!).

when I was putting on weight, I had to be more open and flexible with allowing for occasional processed vegan foods and not be so strict with my diet as far as sticking only to "whole foods". the foods I mentioned above were helpful when I didn't feel like cooking or was on the trail or traveling. They can also help with increasing protein. There is no need to rely on expensive protein powders all the time. You can also add stuff like chia seeds, nut butters, chickpeas, and other higher protein and/or fat foods to smoothies.

One more favorite lol. If you soak raw grains like buckwheat groats or steel cut oats or oat groats or even millet for about eight to twelve hours (ie overnight), you can blend them into a puree and add fresh fruit to the blender as well and have a raw porridge for breakfast. Raw soaked grains are more calorific per cup than say cooked oatmeal which is made up of mostly water. The volume is less but the density greater so you get more calories, more protein, more nutrients for the same cup of cereal. And whole grains don't tend to increase blood sugar the way white flour and bread or processed sugared cereals do.

Here are a few examples of raw porridge:
http://ohsheglows.com/2011/07/11/raw...fast-porridge/
http://www.carrieonliving.com/2011/0...-groat-cereal/

I hope this helps.
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#8 Old 11-25-2015, 04:17 AM
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There are a lot of vegan protein powders available (usually make of rice/soy/wheat proteins). Mix them with soy milk and drink. Here are few reviews:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/10-b...n-powders.html
http://www.mensfitness.com/training/...ans-and-vegans
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