What's YOUR vegetarian/vegan diet like?
I'm a vegan. I use Cronometer to check my nutrition. At first, I used it every day but after a while, you can see that it's not necessary. but if I change my eating habits I will fire cronometer back up and check. Right now i'm sort of in a rut so my diet won't be too hard to describe. If i have fresh blueberries or strawberries in the house my breakfasts are either oatmeal or a smoothie (both with fresh fruit). If I have hummus in the house I will have a bagel sandwich. I can also make the smoothies without fresh fruit but with frozen bananas. For lunch, I rotate between veggie sandwiches or wraps sometimes with a bowl of split pea or lentil soup. Big salads. or Cuban black beans and rice. Dinner is frequently a tofu/veggie stir fry over rice. Or a lentil stew. Or any of the things i listed for lunch. My only source of B12 is soy milk which i have two glasses a day. It also helps keep my protein, calcium, and D at good levels. When I use Cronometer the only thing that is even a little bit low are protein and potassium. Everything else is up over 100%
Quinoa. Tofu. Nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, cashew, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio, and almonds. Potato's. Rice. Peppers. Onion. Garlic. Carrots. Celery. Apples. Bananas. Pears. That is most of it.
My sister was a vegetarian for 35 years, and taught vegetarian nutrition. Due to thyroid cancer and allergies, she ended up losing some of her protein sources and had to go back to eating meat (she started to become too weak to even function ....). You have to weigh out your protein, and count up how many grams are in the protein foods that you eat. I like to use "calorie king" for nutritional content for foods. Depending on you gender, age, and whether you are a pregnant female or not ... your protein needs will vary. But generally we need 50-55g a day. Western diets have about twice as much protein as we need. The main sources for protein are: - Soy/tofu .. but a diet exclusively of these is said to promote thyroid cancer (and it did for my sister). - Quinoa - Nuts and seeds (while we need their oils, they are very high-calorie, so unless you are too thin, don't eat to much of these) - Cheese (high-fat ...see above) - Seafood (yes, some vegetarians, especially the older ones DO eat fish and other seafood) - Eggs - Legumes with grains are the staple food for vegetarians and vegans. Legumes = beans (black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, lima beans, garbanzo/chickpeas, kidney/red beans, lentils). Grains would be whole wheat breads, corn/cornbread, and rices. Rice and beans/lentils are the most common way that vegetarians get their protein.You need to eat about 5 cups a day. Of course vegetables have protein, but in such SMALL amounts, that they are not going to be your sources for protein. For instance, you would have to eat TEN heads of iceberg lettuce to get one day's protein. or TWENTY cups of broccoli. Understand that the more variety of foods we cut OUT of our diet, the more we have to pay attention to what we eat. A well-balanced diet of healthy foods (including meats) is the MOST likely to give us what we need. But once we start cutting things out, we need to start counting and adding up the nutritional values of what we eat. For vegetarians and vegans, it is mostly protein amounts and vitamin B12 that they need to watch.