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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am new to a vegan lifestyle. I am a former omnivore who took the plunge straight into veganism. Prior to going vegan, I studied it for a few months and saw a registered dietitian and my family doctor. The dietitian, along with my doctor, provided specific calorie and maco nutrient goals based on my BMR, lifestyle, and health/fitness goals. So for the first three months tracking with my eat to ensure I am eating balanced and meeting those goals. After a few months of tracking, I'll just eat intuitively. Anyway, since I am tracking I know that I am not eating enough calories. I eat until the point that I am uncomfortably full and at the end of the day, I still have 1000 more calories to eat. When will my body adapt to needing to eat a high volume of food. Since I don't cook with oil or eat vegan junk food, this is a struggle. When I was omni, food was definitely more calorie dense and I could easily reach this goal. Any tips?

Dietitian Recommendation:
* 2100 kcals per day, 60% carbs, 20% fat, 20% protein. (Yes protein is kinda high, but I have awesome muscles I'd like to maintain/grow).

* Supplements: Iron ('cause I'm iron anemic), b12 (since I don't eat cream of wheat or fake meats fortified with b12), and a general mutli.
 

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HI Caribbean Vegan, welcome to the forum!

Calorie under-consumption is one of the most common challenges faced by us whole-food vegans. As you've discovered, it's easy to accidentally not eat enough calories.

Some effective solutions to this problem are:

1. Eat several smaller meals each day, rather than trying to squeeze all of your calories into 3 meals.

2. Allow yourself more easier-to-eat carbohydrate-rich foods, such as whole grain bread and pasta. These foods are faster to eat than unprocessed foods, like brown rice or wheat berries.

3. Add healthy condiments (mustard, salsa, low-fat pasta sauce, chili sauce), to increase your appetite and yum-factor.

4. Add more calorie-dense foods (such as nuts, nut butters, and seeds) to your diet. This will, of course, alter your 60/20/20 macronutrient ratio. However, the most important thing is to get enough calories! Not eating enough calories will leave you fatigued and unhealthy, which is never fun!


One more thing: 2100 kcals per day is fine for a semi-active person, but it probably isn't enough for an athletic person like you. Was the dietitian aware of your athletic activity when they specified this 2100 kcals per day?
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Hi Caribbean and welcome :)

It sounds as if you did some good planning for your vegan transition. :)

Totally agree with David3's post above. It can be a struggle to get enough calories on a whole food vegan diet. (I'm vegan for a decade for the record). Whole grains and legumes are a good basis for a vegan diet, with lots of veggies and fruits.

You need to get enough calories to keep your lovely muscles, so try adding some low volume, high calorie foods in your diet. Nuts and avocados are easy, and anything dipped in hummus is good.

Cooking with a bit of oil isn't the worst thing, and it is easy calories. I'm not talking about deep frying, but sauteeing in a few teaspoons of oil.
 

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In addition to what the others said, some other ideas for more calorie dense food:

whole figs or medjool dates (one of each kind is 35 calories so five or six of them can add up, and they are a great source of calcium and iron

puree your beans for bean dips to go in sandwiches, wraps, or salads etc. You can eat more beans in a meal/serving that way without getting too full. For example, puree some pinto beans in your blender or food processer (or mash them good) with tomato paste, onion, basil leaves, taco seasonings etc.

Make smoothies for breakfast with several bananas, chia seeds, plant milk, leafy greens, and other fruits like pineapple or kiwi or melon or even coconut. You could even throw in a nut butter if you don't mind the extra fat. You can pack in a lot of food/nutrition in a blended smoothie

avocado and fresh basil leaves/lemon juice blended or in the food processor for a pesto spread to go on toast (seeded bread...make batches of your own bread and you can control what you put in it or how nutrient dense you want it)

Full fat/calorie plant milks

If you can find raw buckwheat groats or oat groats, you can soak a cup of them overnight in water and have them soft and raw in the morning for breakfast with fruit and seeds. One cup of raw soaked whole grain is far more nutrient dense and calorific than one cup cooked due to less water content in the raw. I think they both fill you up about the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@David3

I definitely agree with the easier to eat carboydrate foods. I went to Whole Foods today and got vegan breads, which definitely allow me to eat more compared to when I make brown rice. I will definitely look into getting some good sauces, marinades and sides.

As for the calories, it because I need to create a deficit. I have lot of lean muscle mass for my height, but I have a body only eating a big mac after an workout could build. I'm fit, but need to drop some bodyfat. My metabolism was tested and 2100 calories was recommended to create the 500 cal per day/ 3500 per week deficit. To maintain what am I is 2600 cals/per day.

@LedBoots

Not cooking with oil is a personal perference. However, I can definitely add some nuts, pb, or almond butter to my am oatmeal. In fact, it sounds yummy.


@Naturebound - I just got a new personal blender. I use it to make breakfast smoothies, but I would love to use it to make other yummy eats.


To veggie boards:

I realized that a lot of it may be the fibre issue. I used to never meet or barely meet the recommended fibre intake, so I do think that extra fibre is defintely causing the fullness.
 

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Hi there!

Are you not considering a vegan protein shake at all? You can get them made of pea protein...This would add carbohydrate and protein +++
 

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Yeah nuts/seeds are usually my go to for increasing calories. I have nuts in the kitchen and whenever I go there for water or whatever I munch a handful.
 

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Hi there!

Are you not considering a vegan protein shake at all? You can get them made of pea protein...This would add carbohydrate and protein +++
Where can you get the shakes from and what do they taste like? Are they a meal replacement of drink to accompany your meal or a snack? Why are they good? ...your chance to sell it to me :)
 

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Where can you get the shakes from and what do they taste like? Are they a meal replacement of drink to accompany your meal or a snack? Why are they good? ...your chance to sell it to me :)
I get them from amazon...They taste ok actually, you can get strawberry flavoured ones :)

I use them in addition to my meals...They contain protein and calories and are useful if you exercise a lot as they can aid recovery...

Just type "vegan protein shake" into amazon and a few will come up :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@Moz - I just bought a harmonized protein powder that contains hemp protien, rice protein, pea protien and a few others.
 

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I'm a rock climber, so I'm an athlete too. I've been adding uncooked rolled oats to my protein shake in the mornings (great for iron!!) by blending them in with my plant-based milk just before I add the protein powder, fruit, and ground flax seeds. I usually add a tablespoon of peanut putter to my shake since I get my fat mostly from nuts. Take a Vitamin D supplement with your shake since it'll help you absorb the calcium from the plant-based milk :) And if you add a Vitamin C rich fruit to your shake then it'll help you absorb the protein and iron from your shake (or any meal).

You can start your day with a shake like that or drink your shake somewhere between 15-20 minutes after your workout. It'll help you keep those muscles! Trust me, I'm all about keeping my girly guns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm a rock climber, so I'm an athlete too. I've been adding uncooked rolled oats to my protein shake in the mornings (great for iron!!) by blending them in with my plant-based milk just before I add the protein powder, fruit, and ground flax seeds. I usually add a tablespoon of peanut putter to my shake since I get my fat mostly from nuts. Take a Vitamin D supplement with your shake since it'll help you absorb the calcium from the plant-based milk :) And if you add a Vitamin C rich fruit to your shake then it'll help you absorb the protein and iron from your shake (or any meal).

You can start your day with a shake like that or drink your shake somewhere between 15-20 minutes after your workout. It'll help you keep those muscles! Trust me, I'm all about keeping my girly guns.
Thanks for the response. I think I posted in your fitness thread.

I actually have no problem meeting my caloric goals anymore. I think I had issues the first 2-ish weeks cause my body was like WTF fiber. My stomach got SO bloated it was painful. Now my body is used to the amount of fiber I get and I can now adjust to eating the volume I need as a vegan.

Do I need a vitamin D supplement? In Canada plant milk (at least the milk I buy) and regular milk is fortified with Vitamin. 1 serving = 50% of daily needs.

I'm really bad at meal planning. I need to get the 5 mini meals and proper post gym nutrition. I think when I first met my dietitian, they really didn't believe that I work out as much as I do. I meet my dietitian first week of Feb and should get a new plan.

I do smoothies in the AM with protein powder in the AM for breakfast. Just ordered a shaker cup off Amazon so will be doing a second shake post workouts (probably just plant milk + powder). I do more elaborate things in the AM. I'm a big fan of chia and flax in smoothies/shakes.

How often do you climb? What other exercises do you do?

I'm more of a runner + lifter and looking for new ideas for workouts.
 

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I climb at least three days per week for about two hours each time. Mostly indoor but I try to get outdoors as the weather permits. Right now I'm training for the spring/late summer, so I limit how many other physical activities I do so I don't overdo anything. I like to hike, do some cardio, box jumps, lat pull downs, but I mostly climb. :)
 

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Saturn, I am from canada as well. I got a blood test and my D was low and I drink stuff with D in it....not a lot though. However I also don't get a lot of sun....which I imagine you don't either at this time of the year.

From the little research I've done you need to take D with some fat as well. Not sure how much and TBH I've forgotten what type is best but I just take a little extra D when I munch on stuff with fat in it. I will get another test in a year or so to see how it's working.

edit---------

Also if calcium is something you worry about be sure to get enough K2 as well. You need all three to do the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Saturn, I am from canada as well. I got a blood test and my D was low and I drink stuff with D in it....not a lot though. However I also don't get a lot of sun....which I imagine you don't either at this time of the year.

From the little research I've done you need to take D with some fat as well. Not sure how much and TBH I've forgotten what type is best but I just take a little extra D when I munch on stuff with fat in it. I will get another test in a year or so to see how it's working.

edit---------

Also if calcium is something you worry about be sure to get enough K2 as well. You need all three to do the job.

I track what I eat in nutrition apps. i get more than 100% of vitamin D, k, and calcium. I am, however, low in zinc.
 

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Aspartame and acesulfame k are carcinogenic :p
 
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