US Vegetarian to (low carb) Vegan

ZoodlyZen

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Hello! I started my journey around 2016 as a flexitarian, and became vegetarian in summer of 2018. I am looking to continue this journey and transition to veganism.

I jumped pretty blindly into vegetarianism and learned along the way, which I don’t really want to do with veganism. My primary goals are to better my health, lose weight, and eat less carbs, though I do want to make it a lifetime commitment. The way I’m doing vegetarianism right now isn’t healthy and is expensive. (Mostly frozen foods) I want something healthy and affordable

I’ve started by ordering some vegan cookbooks and some shelf sustainable foods. (Mainly chickpeas and various seeds) My plan is to shop for produce and other proteins and such in stores once I have a better idea of what typical vegan meals look like. I am wondering though if it would be difficult to eat 1200-1300 calories on such a diet?

I hope to put more care and planning into this and I really appreciate any advice. I’ve wanted to go vegan for several years so I’m really excited to make the transition!
 

silva

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Dr Michael Greger, author of How Not to Die and nutritionfacts.org has compiled the Daily Dozen list of foods and the servings that comprise a whole days complete nutrition. When followed as written it's between 1200 & 1400 calories, depending on what foods from those categories are chosen.
 

Lou

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Congrats and welcome.
The Daily Dozen is a good resource. But that 1200 & 1400 calories - I think those are minimums. You can eat more. In fact, most of us need more calories than that. Best bet is to go to one of those calorie calculators that they have online and figure it out for real. Those are good places to start and you can fine tune it as you go.

One of the most common errors new vegans commit is not to eat enough calories.

Not sure why you want a low carb diet. most people nowadays equate carbs with being bad. carbs are good. A good vegan diet is mostly carbs. I think some of the confusion comes from highly processed carbs like sugar and refined flour. Those you want to eliminate. But you want to include veggies - even the high carb ones like grains and potatoes.

Here are a couple of things you should find useful.
This is a printable shopping list. Read the directions.

and this is good to know - super comprehensive.



Calorie Caluclator

I got this in the mail today. It made me think of you
 

bEt

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If you can, the best way to prepare legumes is to ferment your own tempeh. It makes the amino acids more bioavailable. The fungus may also help protect the brain similar to mushrooms. Sprouting your grains also increases bioavailability of the amino acids we need, and may also reduce the carbs if that is a concern for you. It is really very easy. Just buy whole wheat berries or oat groats or other grain wash and soak for a a day or more till you can just barely see a small nubb starting to make a small white stub - no more than that is necessary. Then you can rinse and cook like rice or pilaf or put through a food processor to make a dough to ferment with yeast and bake.

You should definitely find a vegan dha supplement, usually made from oil extracted from schizochytrium algae. Some people need more of the b vitamins than others and supplementing with a small dose may be helpful and won't hurt. Personally I use a b complex in a capsule and take only a small sprinkle out of the capsule each day, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. Maybe some extra b12 also. If you wan a !little extra protein, many individual amino acid supplements such as taurine are manufactured by fermenting corn or other grains and so are vegan As someone who is prone to depression, I have also found betaine supplement to be helpful
The original post mentioned expense. One less expensive food I have found is cut wakame seaweed. You can buy it online and just a tablespoon soaked in water for 5 minutes makes a nutritious snack or meal addition if you like, or can learn to like, the sea taste.
 
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