Vegan Virgin: Day 5: Getting into a routine

This post is / was written throughout the day (Friday, Feb. 25). 

…I’ve written a lot about protein this week…and continue today…of course, for some…like my friend in today’s picture…caring about protein, balance of nutrition and all that stuff truly isn’t important…other priorities clearly…however, if you’re an age group triathlete ramping up to 15-20 hours of training a week, it is…and I’d also say that to folks that are awake and walking around it’s actually still important…although I’d have to agree with my friend’s evaluation of my enthusiasm and ‘zeal’…by about any definition I am most likely a whacko 🙂

Getting into the routine nicely…today a bit of a challenge, with a very light recovery day from exercise scheduled…planning to get in yoga and a walk with Iron Wife to get our veggie juice at the local health food store…how romantic…they do a lost leader 12 ounce whatever-you-want for $3.99…can’t buy the stuff off the shelf to make it cheaper in our Breville Juice Fountain.

…so may _just_ get to my 500 calorie exercise mark, but will probably be below this week’s daily 2,500 calorie budget. 

For those just looking for the final numbers, in a PDF format:
click here for the details of vegan day 5 110225

So the plan will be to essentially end up where I’ve been by 3pm each day, and have a lighter dinner to stay under my calorie budget…which may put me behind on protein for the day, but keep the calories in check.

As planned through the day, almost a mirror of yesterday…starting to get into a pattern, which is good…less time, research and thinking involved…Iron Wife didn’t like the wind today, so some of the ‘romance’ leaked out of the walk in the face of my press-on-regardless mentality…we did get our juice though…I’m not really into the vegetable juice thing…tastes rather ugly I find…Iron Wife is a 2x a day juicer though…I may need a new recipe

…so my 3pm checkpoint…actually at 4pm today after yoga…and 393 exercise calorie burn for the day, so definitely light…finally ate that apple that I’ve looked at for 2 days… which I knew would hurt the protein equation…reckless I know, but how about living a little I say 🙂 …so a bit deeper into the day, anticipating a lighter dinner and no other snack…again looking good:

  • 1,456 calories, 55.8 grams of protein (15%) Vegan Day 5
  • 1,412 calories, 58.3 grams of protein (16%) Vegan Day 4
  • 1,290 calories, 54.9 grams of protein (16%) Vegan Day 3
  • 1,168 calories, 42.4 grams of protein (14%) Vegan Day 2
  • 1,272 calories, 38.3 grams of protein (11%) Vegan Day 1

Dinner turned out right on the money:

  • the last of the edamame
  • brown and wild rice combination
  • tempeh strips…first time for the tempeh…unusually delicious…sauteed 6 strips 1 minute a side in 1 tsp olive oil…beautiful
  • puree’d squash
  • nice glass of wine

could have added the spinach salad, but I felt comfortable, so stopped there…entered the numbers and ‘bingo’:

  • dinner was 717 calories, 35.1 grams of protein (20%)…that’s more like it
  • total for the day was 2,173 calories, 90.9 grams of protein (16%)…light on protein grams, but excellent on my calorie goal for today…sodium still on the high-end of the best range, fats on the low end…rest is excellent though…looking at it later, probably a hair more on calories with whatever olive oil was absorbed by the tempeh…maybe 20-30…no protein, but another couple of grams of ‘good’ fats…all this stuff _does_ add up

…could have kept eating to get in the protein, but was happy with the numbers where they were, and didn’t feel stuffed, so stopped

So after 5 days of a strict Vegan Diet:

Again, I don’t want to get ahead of my conclusions at the end of a week, one thing that I’m clearly seeing:

if you think that your protein percentage should be 15% or more of your calories, you’ll need to fight to get there every day on a vegan diet…and if you want to be closer to 20%, it would take a deliberate (and impractical) eating of vegan protein ‘hit’ food like seitan, tofu and tempeh in most meals to get there

  •  the math just doesn’t really allow it…virtually all easily available mainstream non meat and fish foods are 15% protein or less of calories…so eating anything less than the 15% number, means that you’re going to be below 15%…well below if you don’t really watch it…like fruit at almost zero will knock the bottom out of the average in a meal…or olive oil at zero…all good foods, but run up the calories
  • if you go to a restaurant that the protein ‘hit’ foods are not available, it doesn’t matter what else they serve you, you’re going to be closer to 10%…or less if you don’t really watch it…based on veggies and beans and grains and some leafy greens…throw in some wine, olive oil with white bread, rice, pasta, and it’s going to be lower
  • I can see how a vegan diet therefore settles in more naturally around 10-12% protein…which is the average I noted in an earlier post:

So how much protein do you need?…wellll, the lowest number that anyone talks about that I’ve read is 10%…the lowest number…and it goes up from there…and the number of grams of protein is also important…based on ideal body weight and activity level…one of many posts on the topic: 
…others if you enter ‘protein’ into the Search field at the top of the page

I guess what I find a bit irritating in my reading…and you may be able to tell that I’ve done a lot of it…is the defensive posture of the vegan diet proponents when it comes to protein…to say that getting enough protein in a vegan diet is not an issue, is just plain incorrect…and that’s without even discussing the tender balance of amino acids, and shortfalls of lysine and methionine that need to be deliberately ‘watched’ and added in a vegan diet to be healthy long-term.

The position would be a lot more tenable if the ‘argument’ focused on how much protein you actually need…if someone said to me this study and that study said that 10-12% protein satisfies the requirements of high-endurance age group athletes, then that’s something that I’d be interested in hearing…I haven’t seen that yet.

Lots of good stuff coming from my Vegan Diet week, and some adjustments to my daily eating routines as a result…we’ll be telling that tale next week…although not in as much detail as I’ve written this week in the my coming out as a Vegan Virgin

…only a Virgin once…so was deliberate in documenting all the details of the ‘first time’…yeah…I know…you noticed…okay okay…I’ll get back to some fun stuff…soon 🙂

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