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Thread: What is my diet missing?

  1. #1

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    Default What is my diet missing?

    Everyday I eat anything vegan that I'm offered, and I have vegan friends I spend a lot of time with so usually that ends up bringing in some more diversity(typically rice, broccoli, carrots, kombucha, and various fruits). But for the most part, these are the things I eat/drink each day:

    Quinoa
    Kale
    Tofu
    Hummus
    Pita chips
    Apples
    Bananas
    Oranges
    Walnuts
    Chia Seeds
    Almond Milk
    Coconut Milk
    Yerba Mate


    Am I getting all my nutrients? I think I'm missing out on some B vitamins but I'm not sure, and I wouldn't know where else to get them.

    Thanks for the help fellow vegans

  2. #2
    Draíochta Blueberries's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Hi, welcome to the forum!

    It sounds like your diet is quite varied but if you want some further reading here are some vegan nutrition links:

    http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm#nut
    http://www.vegansociety.com/lifestyle/nutrition/
    http://www.veganhealth.org/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegan_nutrition
    http://www.theveganrd.com/

    There are also also a few books such as 'Becoming Vegan', 'Vegan for Life' and I think the Idiot's Guide and the Dummies series have vegan nutrition books too.
    Houmous atá ann!

  3. #3
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Chocolate.
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

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    Draíochta Blueberries's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Quote Risker View Post
    Chocolate.
    Chocolate is pretty great
    Houmous atá ann!

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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Talking of chocolate I love making vegan chocolate! I altered a chocolate recipe to make it vegan. It took me a lot of trial and error to get it just right... oh and a bloated tummy!

    If you want to try it I have put it on my personal training website. So far it has been very popular. Many of my friends and family have tried it and liked it (non-vegans) I posted it on facebook on my vegan recipe page and people have even made my recipe in Switzerland (mulitple times). I was proud!

    here is the recipe: http://www.sculptandshape.com/2013/0...ee-sugar-free/

    If you make it I would love your thoughts. I have tried adding vanilla, but I couldn't taste it.
    Just trying to find my feet.

  6. #6
    Sha Ri A's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    It sounds like you eat pretty well though here are some suggestions of things to look into...B12, though you can get this by eating B12 fortified foods, Marmite has B12, so does nutritional yeast with added B12, plus some soy milks. Maybe Iodine which you can get from seaweeds etc. You only need low levels but certain foods reduce absorbtion of Iodine like all brassica's (cabbages,cauliflower, broccoli) and soy beans. Hope this helps!

  7. #7
    rakin' muck
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    You're kinda short on veggies there, friend! Kale's great but it can't fight the battle alone... I love asparagus, broccoli, red/gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, carrots, and of course salads! That diet is crying out for a salad. My favorite is spinach, Boston lettuce, green onion, chopped cucumber, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and/or flax seeds. Yum!

    Also I second the recommendation of nutritional yeast. IMO you could do without the tofu, soy is all bad, even the certified organic fields are likely contaminated by GMO seeds blown over from neighboring Monsanto fields. Plus if you could learn to like dipping things like cucumber slices, celery, carrots in hummus instead of pita chips you'd be doing yourself a favor! Personally I used to be a Stacy's chip addict but I could eat carrots and hummus all day now. I envy you getting to enjoy adding all these new things to your diet! So much fun!

    What else... strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries... watermelon... cashews... green/herbal tea with lemon... dark chocolate and soaked almonds...

  8. #8
    Sha Ri A's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Quote vegmonkey View Post
    You're kinda short on veggies there, friend! Kale's great but it can't fight the battle alone... I love asparagus, broccoli, red/gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, carrots, and of course salads! That diet is crying out for a salad. My favorite is spinach, Boston lettuce, green onion, chopped cucumber, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and/or flax seeds. Yum!

    Also I second the recommendation of nutritional yeast. IMO you could do without the tofu, soy is all bad, even the certified organic fields are likely contaminated by GMO seeds blown over from neighboring Monsanto fields. Plus if you could learn to like dipping things like cucumber slices, celery, carrots in hummus instead of pita chips you'd be doing yourself a favor! Personally I used to be a Stacy's chip addict but I could eat carrots and hummus all day now. I envy you getting to enjoy adding all these new things to your diet! So much fun!

    What else... strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries... watermelon... cashews... green/herbal tea with lemon... dark chocolate and soaked almonds...
    I agree that variation is really important,and definitely too much soy is a bad thing like anything... Though any Taifun products use soy beans grown in Germany which are rigorously tested for GMO contamination. I share your addiction to houmous and carrots and have been making a whole variety of homemade houmous, my favourites having either blended beetroot or red pepper. Lovely colours and cramming even more veggies in!

  9. #9
    rakin' muck
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Quote Sha Ri A View Post
    I agree that variation is really important,and definitely too much soy is a bad thing like anything... Though any Taifun products use soy beans grown in Germany which are rigorously tested for GMO contamination. I share your addiction to houmous and carrots and have been making a whole variety of homemade houmous, my favourites having either blended beetroot or red pepper. Lovely colours and cramming even more veggies in!
    Good to know about Taifun, although I've never seen that brand around here. It's a shame America can't make an effort to protect its citizens' health like Europe has.

    I actually made my first batch of homemade hummus last week, after swearing off the storebought stuff a year ago... So so good. I'm allergic to bell peppers but I definitely have to keep experimenting! I love making new discoveries... Japanese sweet potatoes were one of my most recent (not for hummus obviously), and oh wow are they delicious.

  10. #10
    Sha Ri A's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Quote vegmonkey View Post
    Good to know about Taifun, although I've never seen that brand around here. It's a shame America can't make an effort to protect its citizens' health like Europe has.

    I actually made my first batch of homemade hummus last week, after swearing off the storebought stuff a year ago... So so good. I'm allergic to bell peppers but I definitely have to keep experimenting! I love making new discoveries... Japanese sweet potatoes were one of my most recent (not for hummus obviously), and oh wow are they delicious.
    Aw, that's a shame. Taifun is definitely my favourite- they do a smoked sesame and almond tofu, and another that is is packed with basil. Soooo good! Maybe have a look online... But yes, it's good that GM products are much less prominent here. The law in the EU statements that products containing GMO have to be labelled and people don't buy them so a lot of shops don't generally stock those products, but GM soya is still present for food designed for many non-human animals and doesn't have to be labelled as such

    Mmmm, I had homemade sweet potato chips (fries to you I guess?) this evening. I love sweet potato. You can make really yum sweet potato and chickpea patties which I love, though made a HUGE batch and then spent days eating them so kinda put off them for a while! Um, what about avocado houmous? This forum should have a recipe swap section where people can post their favourite meals!
    Last edited by Sha Ri A; May 22nd, 2013 at 12:50 AM. Reason: missing words so my post makes no sense...

  11. #11
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Oooh yeah, Taifun's basil one is yum sliced on some water biscuits or seeded ryvitas. I reckon your diet's pretty okay but would agree some nutritional yeast or fortified milk maybe, for the B12 and seaweed for iodine would be good. Also vegetables are always good to have, especially dark green leafy ones for iron and many other things, but if like me you're not keen on salads, yes, humus or veggies added to your main meals, plus potatoes and things like that are great.

    But don't underestimate the value of the fruits you're eating - we're taught that veggies are better than fruit because of the higher amount of sugars in fruits, but those sugars are nowhere near as bad as refined sugars, especially if you keep the skin or the "roughage" part of it (thus making it a better glycemic load which is good for your blood sugar levels as well as dietary fibre for bowel health) and fruit acids will only affect your teeth if you mostly drink juice between meals as if you eat the fruit alongside a meal, your saliva will neutralise the acids.

    The bananas for instance have a lot of the B vits that you mentioned.

    I have one of the vitamin and mineral charts from http://www.greenleafy.org/ - which can be really helpful whenever I'm looking for ideas.

  12. #12
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    What is my diet missing?
    Hi!
    Questions like that usually won't get a lot of definite answers on forums, for a number of reasons:
    What you need to eat depends on a lot of factors (intake of "anti-nutrients", for instance, like coffee/sugar/cigarettes/certain types of medication etc).
    Your nutrient levels are as dependent of the quantities of each if the things you listed as it is on which items you listed
    Few people are willing to take the responsibility of someone else's health based on short info in a forum thread, and that's what they do if they would give you a very specific answer to such a question.

    ...and more.
    Instead of thinking in terms of lists of what you eat, maybe it would be a better idea to imagine a list of nutrients, and look at what your personal sources for each of these nutrients are.
    But - after a brief look at your little list, it seems to me that you may want to look at getting some B12 from somewhere (supplement?), make sure you eat enough leafy green stuff, and maybe have a look at some alternative protein sources. If you eat a tasty and varied diet, and make sure you get enough protein and other nutrients - but not always from the same few sources - you'll probably end up as someone who remains a vegan.

    If you want to try to think of nutrients instead of a list of what you eat, you could start with calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, iodine, vitamin D (in the winter), DHA/EPA and of course B12. Good luck.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  13. #13
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Quote Korn View Post
    If you eat a tasty and varied diet, and make sure you get enough protein and other nutrients - but not always from the same few sources - you'll probably end up as someone who remains a vegan.

    If you want to try to think of nutrients instead of a list of what you eat, you could start with calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, iodine, vitamin D (in the winter), DHA/EPA and of course B12. Good luck.
    Ooooh two excellent points there! Especially about giving yourself the type of diet you will enjoy, and zeroing in on things that are usually not in such plentiful supply like vitamin D etc.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    to check what nutrients you are getting you can set up a free account here http://cronometer.com/ just enter the food you've eaten and it does it all for you
    "when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

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    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Quote tickled onion View Post
    to check what nutrients you are getting you can set up a free account here http://cronometer.com/ just enter the food you've eaten and it does it all for you
    That's way cool!!!

  16. #16
    rakin' muck
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    I'm not disagreeing with the importance of eating a diet with a variety of nutrients, but the discussion reminded me of Michael Pollan's article on the rise of "nutritionism"-- just thought I'd share for anyone who hasn't read it

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/ma...anted=all&_r=0

  17. #17
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Quote Korn View Post
    Few people are willing to take the responsibility of someone else's health based on short info in a forum thread, and that's what they' do if they would give you a very specific answer to such a question.
    What he said.
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    I love killing mushrooms for their abundance of B vitamins.

  19. #19
    Draíochta Blueberries's Avatar
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    Quote vegmonkey View Post
    I'm not disagreeing with the importance of eating a diet with a variety of nutrients, but the discussion reminded me of Michael Pollan's article on the rise of "nutritionism"-- just thought I'd share for anyone who hasn't read it

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/ma...anted=all&_r=0
    I just read this article. It makes a compelling arguement even if there are parts of it I think are a bit over-simplified.
    Houmous atá ann!

  20. #20

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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Your diet sounds pretty complete. However, I would have a doctor check your B12 levels. A few months back, I began feeling week; I had no energy whatsoever. After consulting some vegan friends, I came to the realization that I wasn't getting proper B12 from my B12-fortified foods. Some (maybe most) of us require a B12 supplement, although this is highly debated. I take about 4,000 mcg a week.

    For a good list of vegan foods to give you more options check out this article.

  21. #21
    novice3142's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    As a recent convert to the vegan religion, I think a couple of things are important for all vegans to know in addition to the need for B12. Recent news items have disclosed that rice contains high levels of arsenic. The rice I was eating, (Walmart's brown rice) was tested by Consumer Reports for arsenic, a known carcinogen. They found that product to have 30 times the level of arsenic allowed in most USA drinking water (300 vs 10 ppb). I was eating rice 3 times a day when I learned that. I think all vegans need to be aware of that.

    Recently vitamin k2 was reported to be an essential vitamin which regulates the distribution of calcium so that it either goes into our bones or into our blood vessels as plaque. k2 is not readily available to vegans and care must be taken to include sources of this vitamin.

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    Consistency's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Quote novice3142 View Post
    Recently vitamin k2 was reported to be an essential vitamin which regulates the distribution of calcium so that it either goes into our bones or into our blood vessels as plaque. k2 is not readily available to vegans and care must be taken to include sources of this vitamin.
    Vitamin K is only naturally found in leafy greens and we convert it to K2 just fine. Leafy greens should be eaten fresh, without condiments and chewed properly.

    Omnivores that don't supplement are more deficient in K2. Fact.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    There is some recent data that indicates Vitamin K1 is not well converted to K2. http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2-the-missing-nutrient

  24. #24

    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    I just want to mention that there are many people who have lived successfully as vegans for a long time. It doesn’t take any more special effort to be healthy as a vegan than it does to be healthy as an omnivore. Worrying about miniscule nutrients is not really all that helpful. Eating a wide variety of plant foods (for instance, not just relying on rice but also grains like millet, buckwheat,quinoa, bulgur, barley, oats, etc) that are whole foods based will go a long way in ensuring your nutritional needs are met without the need to track every little nutrient daily to make sure you are getting enough or worrying about exposing yourself to some chemical or other. There are many harmful chemicals being put in our food and our environment, not limited to plant foods either. Some wild fish for instance are full of mercury and other toxins as a result of pollution of our waters (much of it from animal waste from runoff of factory farms). As far as the arsenic in rice, as far as I understand, the source is from contaminated water, not the rice itself. High levels of arsenic seem to be concentrated in the water supply in parts of Asia where rice is grown in abundance. Working towards cleaning up and protecting water supplies as well as fighting to keep our food safe should be more of a priority than simply avoiding particular foods or scaring others away from them altogether and making them out to be “bad”. There are groups doing just this (working to improve food systems), including the World Health Organization. We coulda ll take action to fight for better handling and care of our food and food systems. I met a Vietnam veteran a few years ago who told me about a program where they go over to Vietnam and help the poor people insmall villages build wells and collect well water so they can be self-reliant instead of relying on the government. This also helps the veterans deal with the enormous guilt and scars they bear from the horrors of war and is a win win situation for everyone.

    Here is a list of long term vegans who have thrived just fine as vegans:

    http://thevegantruth.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-compilation-of-long-term-vegans-our.html



    I also know there are many on this board who can also attest to living long term as vegans who are not suffering or dying from lack of K2 or iron or any other vitamin we supposedly lack in our diet. I say this while I just spent eight hours in the hospital with my omnivore husband who is severely anemic and required a blood transfusion because his hemoglobin dropped dramatically low. And there is nothing wrong with supplementing with a good multi or B12 to ensure those needs are met. Almost every omni I have met also supplements with something or other these days, especially vitamin D. I live in a northern climate where it is hard to get enough D most of the year by sun alone. In fact, in most parts of the world, it would be hard to meet all of ones nutritional needs with just the food available in that region without some kind of trading with other regions. But that is for a whole other thread...
    Last edited by Robinwomb; Nov 16th, 2013 at 01:10 PM. Reason: copied from a Word document and the spacing was off

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    novice3142's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    I agree with what Robinwomb wrote above except for the statement "High levels of arsenic seem to be concentrated in the water supply in parts of Asia where rice is grown in abundance. " Testing has shown that rice grown in the USA tobacco belt is highest in arsenic (up to 30 x higher than allowed in drinking water, 300 ppb vs 10 ppb). As a novice vegan, I was eating two cups of rice per day which I no longer do. Perhaps others may want to increase the variety of their grains and eat less rice if they were overdoing it as I was. The complete article is found below:


    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/m...food/index.htm

  26. #26

    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    Quote Robinwomb View Post
    I just want to mention that there are many people who have lived successfully as vegans for a long time.
    23 out of my 49 years. All my bloods are normal or better than normal on a balanced vegan diet. No fuss, no problem.
    ..but what would they do with all the cows?..

  27. #27
    Grim Torath
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    Default Re: What is my diet missing?

    If you are really interested in knowing the details, i suggest going to http://nutritiondata.self.com , creating an account (free), and add your foods (and servings) to tracking. If you enter what you eat in a day it'll add it all up and show you precisely what you're getting and not getting.

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