VeggieBoards banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, new to the forums but thought I'd jump in.

As part of my self improvement plan for 2007, I decided to make quite a few changes in my lifestyle. The two relevant ones here are diet and exercise. At first the intention was to simply overhaul my omni diet, but as I did my research I realised that I could really overhaul my diet and go vegetarian, maybe vegan, and eliminate a lot of incidental health risks and do something good at the same time.

Being the analytical person I am, I downloaded the USDA national Nutrient Database, threw it into a spreadsheet, created a food log and a few reports. The first thing that I learnt is that I'm pretty good at keeping track of things... and utterly hopeless figuring out what it means! I thought that I could go to a general health/food board... but having gone vegetarian and trying to increasingly go vegan seems to make it a bit of a specialty. That and people aren't always that understanding!

So, my general goal was to create a base framework of meals. That's when the difficulties start.

Ah, personal relevant details. Male, 28, 6", bout 150-160 pounds, normally underweight (but gained about 30 pounds over the last 2 years). Health issues weren't related to weight, but a rather weak constitution. I work an office job, but have started heading to the gym (~45 minutes, ~450 calories... expecting it to rise). After changing my meals, I noticed a large spike in energy - that's no longer true, I seem to have gone back to my omni energy levels (quite low and a chronic problem that has been unresolved). I have performed better at the gym since changing my diet (significantly - from heart rate and endurance), but that has begun slipping as well. Hence the concern!

My current core meal involves;


+2 Cups Cereal (currently Raisin Bran)

+1.5 Cups Fort Soy Milk

+1 cup Veggie Smoothie (Low prot, Med Carb, mostly high across the board otherwise)


+1.5 Cups Rice

+Leafy Green Veg (Bok Chuoy to Spinach, with garlic or similar)


+3 cups green salad (Romaine, Red/Green Leaf)

+0.5 cups Walnuts

+0.25 cups Pine Nuts

On top of that, I normally try to add an apple, and then some other plate of something to my dinner (Yesterday was veggie balls and roasted red peppers, previously pasta salad with nuts/Vegs, or even a sandwich with cheese/avacado/sprouts and the like).

Well... the problem is that I'm taking in about 1100-1500 calories, which from I can tell, is somewhat under what I should be doing. I also find myself vastly under Calcium (~20-35% RDA), as well as all of the fat-soluble vitamins. I also seem to be reaching the upper threshold of iron (200% on average, but since it's all non-heme, I don't worry about it too much) without reaching a sufficient amount of protein (30-40 or so grams/day). So far it has been ok, but my goal was to go 1 month vegetarian, measure the difference as best I could, then go vegan. As it stands, it was working great until recently, and I want to see if my diet has any significant flaws before eliminating dairy/etc.

Hmm, I guess the question is... Is the 'base meal' a mistake? Food selection isn't an issue... I guess the normal solution would be to just eat more, or find less 'nutrient' efficient foods, and cover some of my missing nutrients as best I can (supplement, adding specific foods as needed). But I do I like knowing what I'm going to have/need in advance... creature of habit I guess. And I have to be honest with myself... If I have to think about it, I'm going to get lazy and go back to eating whatever is around.

So, any advice for both a diet newbie and a vegetarian newbie?

I also am tagging on two specific questions below, since they are in my notebook of unresolved issues...


From what I can understand, I should be having 8mg/d (male, 19-29 - sometimes listed at 10mg), at about 1.8x due to nonheme diet? Of that, I should avoid calcium with iron-rich foods, but should have vitamin C? Are those effects sufficient that I should mix iron sources with low calcium sources, or only avoid supplements at that time? (Is it bad enough to avoid tofu+spinach, for example?) Is there a maximum limit on iron? I read some stuff about lower energy from too much Iron.


What are the appropriate options/ways to measure this? I seem to hear that some oils are ok (Canola? Is there a problem cooking with it as a source of N-3?) but not every source agrees. How do you maintain N-6 and N-3 balance (~3:1?) with N-6 being so much more present? Or is that not a practical problem?

Hope that wasn't too much
I can tend to take things a little too seriously and get kinda wrapped up in them. I don't mind being told that I'm going overboard and it should be done differently... I am concerned about overhauling it once correctly, doing the work upfront, as well as my general sensitivity/weak constitution.

(Oh, I'm also trying FitDay that I saw being mentioned here! It reports the same thing as my spreadsheet did... same DB I guess.)
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.