What 2700 calories a day looks like….

My goal with this post is to further alleviate any unfounded worries that a vegan diet, or more in particular a whole foods vegan diet, is deficient. Any diet, vegan or not, when it is based on refined foods, or as I like to call them, food-like substances, will be deficient. But a diet based on real, whole foods, that’s a different story, as you will see.

I hesitate posting something as mundane and not really all that exciting as what I ate yesterday (seems a bit presumptuous, narcissistic, like you all care what I’m eating), but I feel it’s important to further drive home my main point, which is, you can more that adequately meet ALL of your nutritional needs on a whole foods, plant-based diet.

Not a day goes by that I don’t encounter some sort of dietary myth or misconception, particularly as it relates to a plant-based eating.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve started using the CRON-o-meter as a tool to gauge nutrient intake as well as provide some accountability and awareness for what I am eating. Using the CRON-o-meter has been empowering and enlightening on many levels. I knew that a whole foods diet, based on nutrient dense foods met my nutritional needs. But I had no idea that not only do I ALWAYS (if I’m getting adequate calories, which is no problem for me 🙂 )meet EVERY nutritional requirement (macro & micro nutrients, yes, EVEN calcium) but I usually exceed needs by quite a bit as well.

Case in point:

Here are my stats from yesterday.

2700 calories

This may seem like a lot of calories, but consider this: I did 30 minutes of ashtanga yoga, taught a 45 minute step class, walked 3 miles (while pushing a 3-kid stroller at that), and did several hours of chasing/picking up kids, washing dishes, cleaning up, ect. I don’t think I sat all day except to read my kids books and do some things on the computer. Point is, I move A LOT, which explains why I eat so much :).

81% calories from carbohydrate
13% from protein
7% from fat
99 g of fiber (!)
102 g of protein (!)
Easily met my omega-3 and omega-6 essential fat requirements.

I was talking with a client the other day. She mentioned how her personal trainer recommend she go on a 30% calories from protein diet. If I had consumed 30% calories from protein yesterday, I would have been at 200g+ of protein! I suppose if I was only consuming 1000 calories, which would be 75 grams of protein (30% calories from protein), then it’s more reasonable, but what about carbohydrates, the body’s energy currency? I tell you what, if I was only getting 40% of calories from carbohydrates, I’d be asleep right now. I, and all of mankind, NEED carbohydrates for energy, for living. When we don’t get enough, we crave sugar, we’re tired, burn-out easily, don’t have the energy to perform basic day to day functions.

Most individuals, athletes or not, need somewhere between 45-70 grams of protein a day (any more than that is extra, which your body will need to excrete). The particular amount really depends on your caloric needs (the more calories you need, the more protein you will get, assuming these calories are not coming from sugar or refined foods), which are based on height/weight/gender/activity level. I just can’t imagine why this belief that “more protein is better” myth continues to pervade in our culture, especially in light of the massive amounts of research that suggests otherwise. It baffles me.

Another thing, is the recommendation for fats. This same client was recommended to get 28% calories from fat. Again, if you took my 2700 calorie diet from yesterday, that would put me at 84 grams of fat! I don’t care if it’s “good” fat, no one needs 84 grams of fat daily. Your body needs those fatty acids which it cannot produce on it’s own, hence, essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). All foods, with very few exceptions contain varying levels of fat. Regarding omega-3 (the supposed “fish” fat–it is found in fish, but the fish didn’t just “make” it, they got it from eating plants), the AI (adequate intake) suggested by the National Academy of Sciences is 1.1 g of omega-3 (2 tsp. of ground flax seed provides this). Your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio should not exceed 1:4. And side note, there is no AI set by the National Academy of Sciences for DHA, because the human body can manufacture omega-3’s into DHA.

The only vitamins that I did not get 100% of were vitamin D and b-12. Vitamin D, is the sunshine vitamin (your body manufactures it when you get adequate sun exposure, and also has the ability to store this vitamin for long periods of time), and I spend time outside, even in the winter, and especially when it’s sunny outside. For b-12, I take a sublingual dot daily when I’m nursing, or every few days when I’m not nursing, like right now (although I also get it from the brewer’s/nutritional yeast, soy milk, and JuicePlus complete).

Here’s a more in depth summary of my day:

Energy 2714.7 kcal
Protein 102.2 g
Carbs 567.0 g
Fiber 98.8 g
Fat 20.3 g

Vitamins (97%)
Vitamin A 132385.4 IU 5674%
Folate 866.9 µg 217%
B1 (Thiamine) 3.7 mg 338%
B2 (Riboflavin) 3.5 mg 320%
B3 (Niacin) 38.6 mg 276%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 14.7 mg 293%
B6 (Pyridoxine) 5.7 mg 438%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) 2.3 µg 97%
Vitamin C 387.7 mg 517%
Vitamin D 140.0 IU 70%
Vitamin E 16.2 mg 108%
Vitamin K 126.2 µg 140%

Minerals (100%)
Calcium 1262.1 mg 126%
Copper 5.4 mg 595%
Iron 42.2 mg 235%
Magnesium 895.7 mg 289%
Manganese 11.5 mg 641%
Phosphorus 2149.2 mg 307%
Potassium 7742.0 mg 165%
Selenium 103.0 µg 187%
Sodium 1902.0 mg 127%
Zinc 23.7 mg 296%

Lipids (53%)
Saturated 2.3 g 12%
Omega-3 1.8 g 160%
Omega-6 5.4 g 124%
Cholesterol 0.0 mg 0%

And here’s what I ate (and I really did eat all of this food, I promise!)…

(Food, Number of Servings, Serving Size, Calories)

JuicePlus Complete powder 1 Serving
110.0
Bananas, raw 2 small (6″ to 6-7/8″ long)
179.8
Blueberries, frozen, unsweetened 1 cup, unthawed
79.0
Brewer’s Yeast 1 tbsp
58.0
Seeds, flaxseed 1.5 tsp, whole
27.2
Quinoa, cooked 1.2 cup
266.4
Miso 0.04 cup
24.6
Hummus 0.5 1/2 cup
63.9
Carrots, baby, raw 1 NLEA serving
29.8
Sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, without salt 3 large
486.0
Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked 1 cup
216.4
Corn, sweet, yellow, raw 1.5 cup
198.7
Beans, white, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, with salt 1 cup
248.8
Spring Mix Lettuce Greens 4 Cups
30.0
Vinegar, balsamic 2 tbsp
16.0
Potatoes, baked, skin, without salt 1 skin
114.8
Apples, raw, with skin 1 small (2-3/4″ dia)
77.5
Mung beans, mature seeds, sprouted, raw 1 cup
31.2
CAMPBELL Soup Company, PACE, Thick & Chunky Salsa 1 2 tbsp
8.0
Snacks, popcorn, air-popped 8 cup
247.7
Brewer’s Yeast Lewis Labs 0.5 tbsp
29.0
Oranges, raw, navels 1 fruit (2-7/8″ dia)
68.6
Pears, raw 1 medium
103.2


Comments


  1. the Author
    on January 4, 2011 at 6:10 am said:

    Thank you so much for posting this!!! One of my biggest problems with having a baby and nursing her(we're at 14 months now), was knowing that I wasn't eating enough! It just wasn't part of my family's culture when I was a kid. I also haven't wanted it to be bad junk food. This will hope so much now and in the future. I will know I'm taking good care of myself and my babies.

  2. jess smart smiley
    on February 2, 2010 at 5:22 am said:

    I'm with Justina—it'd be really helpful to follow what you eat for a week. Also, I downloaded the Cron-o-meter and have been tracking my own diet and exercise. I don't have a problem recording my runs/walks/etc, but it's going to take some time for me to regularly put in everything I eat. I just bought a copy of "The China Study" and plan on reading while running on the treadmill 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Meggie Bot
    on January 21, 2010 at 3:39 am said:

    I am so glad I know that I dont have to eat the standard 30% calories from fat. I have so much energy and never have a problem meeting my nutrient needs! Only after did I start consuming more than 2,000 calories a day and drop my fat intake to below 10% did I loose weight.

  4. Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven
    on January 21, 2010 at 12:24 am said:

    Veganmom, thanks again so much for visiting my blog today! Yours is an awesome blog as well, and I have added you to my vegan/vegetarian blog roll. I've done the same thing…evaluating the calories, protein, fat, iron, etc., intake and it was awesome to realize that we can get the same, and much better nutrition living this way! I can't wait to read more of your blog!

  5. Justina Selim
    on January 21, 2010 at 12:12 am said:

    I know you wouldn't want to do this, but I would love to read what you ate for a whole week! We have been SLOWLY trying to eat this way, but I struggle with ideas of what to eat. Lame, I know! :-> I think once I find about 10 dinners that my whole fam can eat we will be good to go Right now, I have about 4 that we all like!

  6. tbsomeday
    on January 20, 2010 at 7:58 pm said:

    thanks for sharing!i found it very intersting..i tracked my food for awhile and it got to be too much work, because i eat almost constantly :)i don't think 2700 calories is too much or what you ate was too muchi was amazed when i tracked mine–it was very similarit's good to know you are getting all you need and then some while feeling good and staying leanthanks for taking the time to share!