Drifting to veganism....

SimSportPlyr

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Hi All -

I find myself cooking and eating vegan most days, as of the past month.

I never consciously set out to become a vegan, although through medical/health considerations and by going out to dinner with a lacto-vegetarian (Sattvic, specifically) friend I have been introduced to excellently prepared vegan food, and I've fallen in love with it.

My initial request for you experts is: What resources are available for meal planning, specifically in terms of nutrition?

For example, are there sample menus that report detailed nutritional data such as the individual amino acid levels in the dishes?

Or, are there meal planning applications (online or PC) that I can enter food items into and get a nutritional report?

Thanks for any recommendations!

Ralph
 
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winter.frost

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Hi Ralph,

As far as tracking macros goes, I think www.cronometer.com is the best.
I also transitioned into veganism through lacto-vegetarianism. :)

You will find many planned menus if you look for 'vegan challenge' in any search engine. Most will turn back plans for any duration between a week and a month. Or if you look at the recipes offer by the Vegan Society these are usually particularly well planned. However I do think you will need to track these plans if you want specific information about amino acids. On the other hand, protein is not something you need to be particularly worried about. Search for the thread 'protein problems' here on the forum if you'd like to learn more.

But, if you're new to veganism, I highly recommend taking a multivitamin - also, watch out for iodine. New vegans tend to be aware of B12 complications, iron, but less-so about iodine.

Good luck!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/need-protein-amino-acids-found-abundantly-in-plants/
 
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SimSportPlyr

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Hi Ralph,

As far as tracking macros goes, I think www.cronometer.com is the best.
I also transitioned into veganism through lacto-vegetarianism. :)

You will find many planned menus if you look for 'vegan challenge' in any search engine. Most will turn back plans for any duration between a week and a month. Or if you look at the recipes offer by the Vegan Society these are usually particularly well planned. However I do think you will need to track these plans if you want specific information about amino acids. On the other hand, protein is not something you need to be particularly worried about. Search for the thread 'protein problems' here on the forum if you'd like to learn more.

But, if you're new to veganism, I highly recommend taking a multivitamin - also, watch out for iodine. New vegans tend to be aware of B12 complications, iron, but less-so about iodine.

Good luck!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/need-protein-amino-acids-found-abundantly-in-plants/
winter.frost -

Thank you so much for the helpful reply!

I will give cronometer a try.

I came here concerned about proteins for a few reasons:
1. I have never tracked my amino acid intake/balance before, so this is a good opportunity for me to educate myself in that area in order to ensure I'm getting the quality of protein that I need;
2. I am in a challenging circumstance wrt protein for these reasons: i. I am losing weight, so I am on a calorie-restricted diet for the time being compared with, I assume, many of you, so getting enough protein is a bit more challenging for me for that reason; ii. I do resistance workouts regularly, which increases my protein need; and iii. I am in an older demographic which, per a 2013 study, means I have higher protein needs than younger people.

But, who knows, maybe I'm concerned unnecessarily about protein amount and quality.

Anyhow, earlier today I spent a couple hours with Excel analyzing my typical meal plan and convinced myself that I have not been getting lysine or tryptophan in sufficient ratios to the other amino acids.

I've been taking a multi-vitamin/-mineral for a long time, so I think I'm ok wrt B12, calcium, etc. but thanks for mentioning that.

That said, I will take your advice and do a 'protein problems' search on this forum. I'm sure I'll learn a lot from that.

Thanks again for your kind help!

Ralph
 
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SimSportPlyr

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winter.frost, I just spent about 10 mins with cron-o-meter and, wow, it's awesome! Thanks again for recommending it.
 
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winter.frost

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Hi again Ralph,

I'm glad you are finding cronometer useful.

I really don't think you need to worry about protein unless you are on a severely calorie restrictive diet. I have never seen a diet for less than 1200 calories that was deemed remotely healthy (unless it was specifically for 'fasting' purposes), so I do hope you are eating at least that much. But please do take a look at my post in that thread ('protein problems') too.

All the best.
 
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SimSportPlyr

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winter.frost, I am losing weight withing the limits set by my MD, so I wouldn't characterize my diet as severely calorie restricted, although I realize you could not have known from my post.

Thank you so much for your help and kind concern!

Ralph
 
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SimSportPlyr

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Hi again Ralph,

I'm glad you are finding cronometer useful.

I really don't think you need to worry about protein unless you are on a severely calorie restrictive diet. I have never seen a diet for less than 1200 calories that was deemed remotely healthy (unless it was specifically for 'fasting' purposes), so I do hope you are eating at least that much. But please do take a look at my post in that thread ('protein problems') too.

All the best.
I read through the 'protein problems' thread and used the Protein Calculator that you recommended.

The calculator results give a very wide range (factor of 2X-3X) of protein.

The upper of the two result ranges, the ADA result, doesn't seem to vary regardless whether I indicate 'Lightly Active' or 'Extra Active', so I assume that is a very crudely computed result. Or, I'm experiencing a bug in the calculator....

I realize that web page says, "The amount of protein needed daily by human body relies on many conditions", and conditions that I am aware of (excluding people with medical problems):
1. amount of muscle mass
2. amount of resistance exercise, if any
3. amount of aerobic exercise, if any
4. age
5. Biological Value [this is a topic I know essentially nothing about]
6. quality of protein source
7. Digestibility [I know little about this]

Am I missing any significant factors?

I assume that it is non-trivial for an individual to apply the wide calculator result to him-/her-self. For example, should I assume the lower or upper number? Or, somewhere in between?

I have been using scientific studies that give narrower ranges (like plus/minus 10%) based on a single factor, such as amount of exercise.

I've yet to find, though, a calculator or math function that takes most of the above 1-7 factors into consideration. Yet it seems that's what I'd need in order to reduce the very wide range down to something reasonably specific.

Here's a calculator that takes level of exercise (and, maybe, digestibility, since this is billed as being a calculator for vegans) into account and produces a (correspondingly) narrower range of results:

http://www.heathernicholds.com/protein-calculator#caloriecalculator

Have you used Heather's calculator, by any chance?
 
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winter.frost

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Can I ask why you are so meticulously concerned with this?

It was @Damo who recommended that calculator. I know nothing about it.
 
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SimSportPlyr

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Can I ask why you are so meticulously concerned with this.
I am fairly typical of several professional and activity demographics that I belong to where the members are highly detail-oriented and/or analytical, although I realize that we are probably considered eccentric by the normal population.

If anyone is uninterested in any of my comments, then I would encourage y'all to feel perfectly comfortable in not replying to my posts; I promised I won't be offended.
 
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winter.frost

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No, no, I'm not uninterested at all. But if you told me why you wanted this information, what the motivation was specifically, it might help me to recall an appropriate resource. If not, no matter.

We like having a diversity of conversation here. :)
 
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SimSportPlyr

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No, no, I'm not uninterested at all. But if you told me why you wanted this information, what the motivation was specifically, it might help me to recall an appropriate resource. If not, no matter.

We like having a diversity of conversation here. :)
winter.frost, by now, you've probably seen the reasons that I listed in my July 2 post, above.

When you say motivation, perhaps you are wondering if I have an unstated problem that I want to solve, for example, a physical symptom. If that's the case...there is no problem; I'm simply trying to educate myself and optimize my diet.

Does that make sense? Or, perhaps I'm being (unintentionally) vague in some way.

Ralph