Sunday, February 10, 2013

Going Vegan: Day 41

It's hard to believe it's been over a month since I chose to take the plant-based food diet.  I'm still on the course and doing quite well.

What is going well with my plant-based diet?  I'm feeling great, have more energy, eat a lot more and what I eat is always healthy.  I am very creative in the kitchen when I cook.  My pallet is changing, to a simpler easy to please and bigger range of colour and selection.  I am starting to explore ways to combine spices and learn about snack-foods like brownies, muffins, cookies and flavor breads.  With valentines day around the corner, I'm starting to look at chocolate options as well, because my favorite treat is homemade turtle truffles and I am considering the ingredients.  I don't think about food during the day, because I bring my food along, have it prepared a head of time, so I'm always eating before I get hungry.  I am "never" tired like I was before I chose this route.

What are the obstacles with my plant-based diet?  I am a professional and there are times when I meet people for breakfast or lunch and I find myself running into difficult choice situations, especially when we meet at a local pub.  Not much of a plant-based selection there.  I end up eating some bland salad with a side of vinegar red wine dressing that isn't very tasty.  I make it through those situations.  Other places are much more accommodating.  Like we have plans to go to the fireside in the summer, and I mentioned my diet and they are making a special dish for me to enjoy at the meal.  Or the owner at Cranberry Creek, went out of his way to provide ideas around his menu, I had the most tasty portabella panini and a side of broccoli. He even served my dish himself.  I smiled and was very thankful for the extra effort!!  Sometimes I miss my tasty treats, like buttered popcorn and cheese.  But, I am really learning a lot of great things I can substitute as "toppers" on my dishes and they add more texture, are more tasty and more nutritious.  Eating out is something that is an issue.  The second thing that is a problem is traveling, or attending a conference because a lot of times they don't consider plant-based eaters.  They consider vegetarians, but this isn't the same type of eater.

Today, I started to think about the enriched foods that I am eating.  I want to make sure I have a balanced diet, so I looked up the required daily foods for a plan-based diet. 

I found this modified pyramid for vegan


FIGURE 1 Modified food guide pyramid for lactovegetarians and vegans.

Here are the daily requirements:
Vegetarian Food GroupsInclude at Least 8 servings per day of the calcium-rich foods in this column when you make you choices from the Vegetarian Food Groups
WHOLE GRAINS:
6 or more servings per day

A serving is 1/2 cup cooked cereal, pasta, rice or other grain, 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal, 1 slice bread.
Calcium-fortified cereal
LEGUMES, NUTS, & SOYFOODS:
5 or more servings per day.

A serving is 1/2 cup cooked beans, tofu, tempeh, 1/4 cup nuts, 1 ounce mock meat, 2 tbsp nut or seed butter, 1/2 cup fortified soymilk.
Fortified soymilk, tempeh, calcium-set tofu, almonds or almond butter, tahini, soybeans, soynuts.
VEGETABLES:
4 or more servings per day.

A serving is 1/2 cup cooked vegetable, 1 cup raw vegetable, 1/2 cup vegetable juice.
Bok choy, broccoli, collards, Chinese cabbage, kale, mustard greens, okra, calcium-fortified tomato juice.
FRUITS:
2 or more servings per day.

A serving is 1 medium fresh fruit, 1/2 cup cooked or cut-up fruit, 1/2 cup fruit juice, 1/4 cup dried fruit.
Calcium fortified fruit juice, dried figs.
FATS:
2 servings per day.

A serving is 1 tsp vegetable oil or soft margarine
Include one serving of one food from the following list each day to meet needs for essential fats:
1 tsp flax seed oil
1 tbsp ground flax seed
4 tsp canola oil

The food guide does not ensure that you will get enough vitamin B12, iodine, and vitamin D. So..
  • Make sure that your food choices include:
    • 2-3 servings per day or foods fortified with vitamin B12 OR
    • A daily chewable B12 supplement providing at least 10 micrograms OR
    • A weekly chewable supplement providing 2,000 micrograms.
  • Be sure you are also getting 5 micrograms per day of vitamin D through supplements or fortified foods.
  • Use iodized salt on your food (moderately, of course).
All of this is something for me to consider.  Even if I was eating a regular diet, I might consider looking at the food pyramid.  I understand that being deficient in B-12 is not a pretty sight.  Athletes and runners have to watch out for this especially, because we deplete our body by doing so much running, and other aerobic type exercise.  I still consider reaching out to a nutritionist, to baseline my blood.  I have had a blood and body scan several times, and have those results.  The numbers, which, by the way, aren't very nice looking.  I will do this to compare and baseline numbers.  
This is where I'm at, it's all food for thought.  

1 comment:

BillHoernke said...

Congratulations Kim! Way to go. I saw your comment about Cranberry Creek and most likely, your food was served by Jim Norton. We used to work together a long time ago. Jim is a great guy!

Enjoy your plant based way of eating.