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Going Vegan....

Going Vegan....

Heather Fink, MS, RD, CSSD, owner of Nutrition and Wellness Solutions LLC in Indianapolis, is an athlete who has followed a vegan diet.  A gold and silver medalist in the long and short course Duathlon World Championships and competitor in the Hawai'i Ironman, she aims to consume a protein source with every meal and snack.  Here is a list of Fink's Top 10 Foods she relies on most:

1.  Tofu

2.  Soy or Almond Milk

3.  Nuts, seeds, and nut butters

4.  Beans-kidney, navy, pinto, etc..

5.  Lentils and Split Peas

6.  All fruits, fresh and dried

7.  All Vegetables

8.  Whole grains such as oatmeal and quinoa

9.  Vegan sports bars-Lara, Clif, and Kind Bars

10.  Dark Chocolate

I am looking for a change...today I didn't have any meat so I have decided try going vegan for a little to see how difficult it is for a meat eater like myself.

As a client warned me of trying this out myself you must be careful of what you are loosing when switching from meat.  Obviously, protein is the big one.  Generally you want about .5-.8g of protein per body lb.  So for me I am about 200lbs.  So for me ideally 100-160 g but vegans should consume 10% more than the typical recommendations, because plant-based protein sources such as soy, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, and vegetables, are more difficult to absorb than animal sources.  

B-12 is often low in vegan diets, a critical vitamin naturally found in animal products.  B-12 is essential for the maintenance of optimal nerve function and healthy cells and prevention of megaloblastic anemia(which results in tired and weak bodies).  2.4 mcg a day is the recommended amount of B-12.  Calcium, Iron, Vitamin D, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids are also problem areas you may run into.  

 

If you are a vegan make sure to monitor you intake and please share your experiences with me I have a feeling I have a lot to learn.  

 

-Brian