Tuesday, June 22, 2010
After my doctor visit yesterday, I spent some time last night looking up daily food requirements and how to achieve them. Protein requirements are pretty hard to judge from one calculation, but the method I like best is to multiply 0.4 x your weight in lbs to get your recommended daily protein requirement.
I am 130 lbs, so I should need about 52g. Some other important daily requirements are 1000-1200 mg calcium, 15 mg iron, 2 mcg B12, 1.3mg riboflavin, 5-10 mcg vitamin D, and 12 mcg zinc. All of these numbers were taken from The Vegan Sourcebook and apply to women only. Men are slightly higher in all numbers (except iron is lower- 10mg). I figured out that as long as I make sure to eat a cup of nuts and seeds and a cup of beans every day, I will have my iron and protein mostly covered. Almonds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkins seeds and some walnuts thrown in to cover some omega 3, are pretty much the "super seeds" as far as I can gather from the amount and variety of "good stuff" that they carry (especially those sesame seeds with their amazing calcium content).
It looks like I should also make sure that I continue to have my daily cereal with my milk substitute of choice - for me this is Ryza brown rice milk - as that milk just has all sorts of good stuff in it that I might not get much of elsewhere. It also looks like eating Bran Flakes or Raisin Bran as my cereal will give me good doses of B12, vitamin D, zinc and iron, but I have yet to actually look at the nutrition labels for these cereals and confirm this.
One problem that I might have is getting all the calcium I need. My Ryza milk will give me about 300mg per cup, which is very good. I usually have a pretty big bowl of cereal in the morning so it is possible that I might be getting 2 cups of milk, but I need to remember to measure so that I know for sure because the difference between 300 and 600 mg is too big to just let go. My one cup of beans per day should add 70-100 mg to my total. If almonds and sesame seeds are part of my cup of nuts/seeds, I should get about 150mg from that. This still leaves me with a short fall. Blackstrap molasses has 187 mg per tablespoon (and also is a good source of iron). I am going to see about adding this wherever possible to my daily foods (some ideas, but don't know if they will all work/are all appropriate: smoothies, desserts, stirfrys?, beans). Raisins and oranges have a small amount of calcium (56 mg for an orange, 2/3 cup raisins have 53 mg), so we will try adding those in as regular snacks.
I'm off to eat some nuts and an orange.