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Although I don't count calories, I have been curious lately how many I've been eating. When I heard about other female vegan bloggers/vloggers and how many calories they consume on a daily basis (mostly in the 2000+ range!) I became intrigued. Wow! Can they really eat that much? Do I eat that much? And we're talking some fine fit ladies here so I was curious to see where I fell on the spectrum.
So on Sunday I tracked everything I ate to see what I was getting. I used Cronometer because they give you a breakdown of both macro and micronutrients.
Here's my overview:
I hit 88% of my targets overall. Iron, calcium, and folate were below target but, had I not been at a calorie deficit, I likely would have been close to or surpassed them. As for B12, I'm not worried about that yet because our bodies can recycle B12 for years and most plant-based milks are fortified with it. However, I do plan to take a B12 supplement in the near future just because even someone on a Standard American Diet can be deficient in it.
So now on to what I actually ate:
This isn't in any particular order, just what I ate as it came to mind. For some clarity, I broke down the meals I ate below.
Oatmeal with fresh fruit
Fresh spring rolls with thai peanut sauce
A banana with peanut butter
A big salad topped with cucumber, black olives, walnuts, and Dorothy Lynch salad dressing
Sweet potato stew with kale, carrots, corn, green beans, and mushrooms
This was a pretty average day, although, it was a weekend when I'm at home and tend to eat healthier. Work has too many tempting snacks (fruit roll ups, wheat thins, peanut butter pretzel bites—oh my!). But, I am working to be better prepared on those days.
The real takeaway in all of this is that I wanted to show how you can get all of the nutrients you need on this plant-based diet and more. Check out that fiber and Vitamin C! And not an orange in sight.
The thing is, although it is important to make sure you're not over or under eating in calories, the main thing is to focus on micronutrients. If you're eating whole plant-based foods, you should be able to hit your micronutrient goals without over eating in calories. Why? Because whole plant foods are nutrient dense, not calorie dense. You typically get full before you can over eat. That's the beauty of this lifestyle. And the foods are so tasty! Just look at this amazing lentil soup I'm enjoying tonight.
So here are my nutrient results from the day:
Just some items of note, I jogged outside for thirty minutes that day so I easily reached my Vitamin D quota just by sunshine alone. And look how easily I hit my Omega-3-6 by adding flaxseed to my oatmeal!
My protein intake wasn't too shabby either. The Recommended Dietary Allowance is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. That's about 46 grams of protein for the average woman. Although I didn't quite make it, I also didn't reach my recommended calorie intake. Had I done that, my protein would have hit it.
I also want to be transparent and keep it real. So speaking of real, on Saturday I ate an entire bag of chips #noshame. I sent Daniel to the store hungry and he came back with a bag of chips for each of us (salt & vinegar are the best!). I wasn't craving chips until they were right there in front of me. I didn't eat them all in one sitting but every time I walked by the kitchen I grabbed a handful (or three) and by the end of the day the bag was empty. Whoops!
It happens. And you know what? It's okay. Sometimes you stray off course but don't let that deter you from getting back on it the next day or even the next meal. Plus, nothing wrong with a little indulgence every now and then.