For well over a month now I have enjoyed a meat and dairy free lifestyle thanks to inspiration from The Kind Diet/Life. I am confident this is the reason my scale has finally moved a bit and why I have the energy to endure extended workouts as well as an abundance of day job and career stress.
Over the last week or so I have noticed a dip in energy so I decided that I should do some calculating to make sure I am getting what I need. I was reluctant to do it at first since I do have indulgences like wine and carob chips (basically vegan chocolate chips) and I really didn't want to know if they were detrimental, because I don't want to stop enjoying them! I also didn't want to know if I was falling short on protein and calcium (thus confirming nay sayers) and if I was taking in too many calories (because who wants to eat less?). However, just because I don't reserach it and avoid the answers, doesn't mean I couldn't be malnourished and/or taking in way too many useless calories. Ignorance isn't always bliss- especially when your health is involved!
So, I've broken down a typical day to see if I am getting the calories, calcium, and protein I need.
Calories: Too high. I would like to stick closer to the 1200 calorie range. This is easily accomplished by cutting out pretzels or eating only half of the bag and bringing more veggie snacks with me to work.
Calcium: A little too low. According to Womenshealth.org a woman between 25-50 should be getting 1000mg of calcium a day. One additional cup of greens a day would easily do this for me, and I have no problems with that-I love 'em!
Protein: Just right. I bet you thought this was where I'd be lacking. I was a little concerned myself, but I am actually getting a little more than I need. Many sites I looked at went with this formula: Weight in pounds divided by 2.2. (This is how many kilograms you weigh). Multiply kilograms by 0.8 and this how much protein you need in one day. See?! I am getting plenty of good healthy protein without animal products!
Things to know:
I do not always eat pretzels.
I do not always eat hummus.
I do not always have a glass of wine.
The past few days I have avoided carob chips and am not buying anymore to make sure I am in control and don't feel like I NEED them. It has definitely been hard not to go on a 9pm run to the grocery store some nights.
I've also started throwing sprinkles of roasted flax seeds into various dishes and even my cereal for extra boosts of Omega 3s since I am not eating salmon.
Seeing my stats has helped me pinpoint my trouble areas, and now I have a better handle of where I am food-wise. Has putting your food intake down on paper helped you strategize?