Vegan Virgin: Day 1

Well, first Vegan Diet day…you’re only a Vegan Virgin once, and today was Day 1…I was referring back to the Vegan Food Guide noted by Iron Daughter in an earlier post, so saved it here for general guidance…so let’s see how it all turned out…here’s the summary…the balance of this post my thoughts going through the day…PDF format:

click here for the details of vegan_day_1_110221

For Day 1, I decided that I would primarily focus on the protein element, see what it takes to get to at least 100 grams of protein, and let the rest fall where it may…and also see if I can also stay at or under 2,500 calories…maybe ideally closer to  2,000…in that quest…planning for a light 500 calorie exercise burn today, so that plus 2,000 calorie baseline gives me a 2,500 planned calorie ‘budget’.

My standard morning fruit smoothie was easy to adjust…removed the SP Complete since it has whey (dairy) protein in it…although that removed 90 calories, it also removed 10 grams of protein…hmmm…so the remaining 14 ounces of Dole Frozen Fruit, 1 tbsp of Udo’s flax-seed oil and 1 medium banana gave me:

Vegan Fruit Smoothie: 442 calories, and 4 grams of protein.

Next up mid-morning was a 380 calorie / 14 grams protein, sandwich:

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (natural from the health food store machine): 190 calories / 8 g protein
  • 1 tbsp fig and ginger jam: 30 calories / 0 protein
  • 2x Ezekiel 4:9 slices of bread (sprouted whole grains, no flour): 160 calories / 6 g protein

Total so far for the day: 18 grams of protein for the day (8% of calories so far), and a total of 822 calories.  The peanut butter at 190 calories was a pretty big calorie hit for the protein value.  My ‘normal’ egg is 77 calories and 6 g of protein, or egg whites, 25 calories and 5 g of protein, and/or 2 ounces of ham for 60 calories and 9 grams of protein.

…I’ll have to watch that I don’t end up as a fat little vegan in my quest for protein 🙂

Took a spin on the mountain bike for just over an hour, nothing too intense, pushed it a bit a few times, just for fun…probably 5-600 calories…on the recovery path from being sick…hopefully…felt good…nice day 65F…oh and if you’ve even wondered if you can comfortably ride a hard-tail mountain bike down the center of railroad tracks for any distance…it’s really not that comfortable…and those railroad ties looked a little worn out going over the trestle…maybe I just need to pedal faster 🙂

So, after exercise, I usually hit some carbs…small smoothie and a sandwich…with a bit of protein, so today that was 450 calories / 92.3 grams carbs / 20.3 grams protein:

  • 8 ounces Dole Frozen Fruit: 80 calories / 0 protein
  • 1 medium banana: 110 calories / 1 gram protein
  • 2x Ezekiel 4:9 slices of bread (sprouted whole grains, no flour): 160 calories / 6 g protein
  • 1 romaine lettuce leaf: 5 calories / .3 grams protein
  • 1 serving (4 slices/52 grams/ 100 calories/13 grams protein) Smart Deli Roast Turkey style ‘something’…first few ingredients: water, wheat gluten, soybean, soy protein isolate…feels a bit odd compared to 3 oz of ham, but close in the numbers…didn’t really want to go to the soy this early, but thought that I should, since the ‘slices’ would be a typical easy, fast lunch/after exercise thing…is it healthier?…not sure…I’ll look at that in more detail as the week goes on, or as part of the recap

So by 3pm, I’m sitting at 1,272 calories for the day, 38.3 grams of protein (11%), so in pretty good shape for the daily goals today…bit low on the protein than typically where I am non-vegan…still chasing that minimum 100 grams of protein today…on the Paleo approach, 6 more ounces of almost any meat or fish gives me 40-50 grams of protein, so easy to get there…and as well I would have been 10-20 grams further along at this point in the day with SP complete in the morning and recovery shake.

….an apple and some peanuts for a  snack before the main event…dinner

I knew that I was behind on the protein, but wasn’t going to angst about it…didn’t just want to hit the ‘soy’…I’m seeing that as a strong vegan trend in my readings, and I think that it’s a bad plan…so my primary protein was going to come from seitan and chickpeas…and I knew that I’d feel full as I got in the 750-1,000 calorie range for dinner.

Turned out fine…most of the items in the summary at the beginning of this post, were approximations from the www.myfooddiary.com database rather than going through the time of creating an exact specific food for stuff that wasn’t listed…like the chips were actually ‘baked lentil chips’ so probably better ‘numbers’ than the pita chips that I put down…added 2 Tums to get in the calcium 🙂

…ended up at 2,486 calories, and 89.7 grams of protein (14%)…’could’ have got in more protein from chickpeas, but was already running high on calories…and didn’t want to run over on calories, so decided that a nice glass of wine, and a half piece of chocolate cake (Amy’s), would be more fun…so the numbers that I were tracking all looked very good…a few notable things:

  • saturated fats at only 2.8% without even trying,, so excellent
  • excellent carbohydrate and fat sources
  • iron from the spinach and chick peas excellent
  • very low in simple sugars

So what do I think?

Not bad for a first day 🙂 …not sure about that Smart Deli Roast Turkey style soy ‘something’, although it’s easy…the seitan…sauteed dry pan…was surprisingly good…thinking maybe with a stir fry instead of in my spinach salad…chickpeas in the salad, a good add for protein, and texture…although overall calories can climb pretty rapidly, and as I’ve noted, getting in enough protein does take some planning.

I haven’t looked at the more micro levels of lysine and methionine…still need to work on the more macro level of total protein first.

In terms of adjustments, I don’t think that the peanut butter is worth the calories…and the guacamole and hummus are marginal as well…there are better choices…and I still think that the protein focus needs better planning to get it in earlier in the day…and eating more than a slice or 2 of bread feels weird to me…not sure about this _heavy_ grain focus in the Vegan diet.

Sodium also ended up high…predominantly from the seitan, chickpeas, and artichoke hearts…so something to watch.

On an interesting note, on my first day as a Vegan, one of my Tri Buddies sent me an invitation to http://vegansinvegas.com/ …apparently a ‘bachelor party’…guys only…seminars/restaurants/entertainment…pay your hotel (Bally’s) at a special rate…’registration’ is free courtesy of the sponsors…in Las Vegas May 19-22…who knew that being Vegan would ‘instantly’ expand my social network 🙂

So my fundamental question at the end of the week will be: Is a Vegan diet healthier than a Paleo one?…or more properly, what Vegan elements make sense incorporating into my daily diet because they are healthier alternatives to their Paleo counterparts…stay tuned

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2 Responses to Vegan Virgin: Day 1

  1. Anne Boone says:

    On peanut butter: I ate a lot of it last summer when I was into IM training, partly because it was so good, but I think my body craved some fat. This winter, with lighter training, I haven’t eaten much P butter. I haven’t really thought about it. So I think it’s value is higher for fat than protein. I imagine that this summer, as I ramp up the training, I will crave more of it. Will be interesting to see.

    • Dad says:

      Anne, you’re right…on a non-vegan diet, it’s definitely not necessary for protein…my wife prefers almond butter…I’ve rarely eaten either…in a vegan diet though, the peanut butter is preferred for the protein (8g vs 6g in 2 tbsp typically)…although it’s pretty high in calories for the benefit…and in our trivia for today, something I ‘knew’ but never thought about:

      almonds are true nuts, because they grow on trees…peanuts are actually legumes and grow underground 🙂

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