What You Should Eat!

I worry a lot about whether I eat the right nutrients in a day - I’ve taken multivitamins for most of my life(!) and I am not sure that these are the best way of gaining nutrition. (Except for B12 supplements, which vegans are supposed to take…)

Recently I read an article about what you could eat to avoid taking vitamin pills - unfortunately, the resulting plan was not vegan :frowning: So, I’m trying to put together a vegan plan for what should be eaten in a day.

If anyone knows of any recommended diet plans, or has any comments or advice, please let me know! I’m not a nutritionist!

Here’s the non-vegan plan, to give an idea of what I’m trying to achieve. It was formulated for a 24 year old female athlete, who runs six miles a day.

1 packet muesli
1 cup low-fat milk (over the muesli)
1 orange
1 large apple
2 string cheeses (?!)

First Lunch
Raw vegetables (e.g. carrots, pepper)
2 slices hearty sandwich bread
1 can tuna
2tbsp lite mayonnaise

Second Lunch
1 ‘Luna Bar’ (fortified sports nutrition bar)
Low fat yoghurt
30 almonds

Large colourful salad
1/2 tsp olive oil dressing
2 beef burgers
Bowl of cooked vegetables
Hot cocoa made with milk

by Nancy Clark for ‘Ultra-Fit’ magazine vol. 18 no. 3

My personal one is in progress. But I’m going to base it on the following daily plan from ‘Vegetarian Cookery’ by Patty Fisher. I want to improve on this plan because, although Ms Fisher is a lecturer in Nutrition, it was published in 1985 and nutritional advice has changed quite a bit since then. It also doesn’t take into account that certain nutrients inhibit the absorbtion of others.

Daily Food Needs for Vegan Adults
85g almonds or brazil nuts or 14g sesame seeds
170g bread
28g plain chocolate (or 7g cocoa)
283ml enriched vegetarian milk
113ml orange juice or a fresh orange
57g soya flour
28g wheatgerm, or 57g oatmeal
1 serving fresh vegetables, raw or cooked
Plus, weekly, enriched margarine, green vegetables, pulses and yeast.

Daily Food Needs for Vegan Children & Teenagers
85g almonds or brazil nuts or 14g sesame seeds
283g mixed bread or 226g brown bread
28g plain chocolate (or 7g cocoa)
569ml enriched vegetarian milk
113ml orange juice or a fresh orange
57g soya flour
28g wheatgerm, or 57g oatmeal
1 serving fresh vegetables, raw or cooked
Plus, weekly, enriched margarine, green vegetables, pulses and yeast.

In addition to the above requirements, the book suggests eating ‘Fuel Foods’ such as cakes, biscuits, pastry, potatoes, etc. as required to maintain your weight.

It’s really very intresting,thanks for it.
She believes that maintaining good health means including certain food groups in your daily diet. Here are her top five:

  1. Whole grains (3 servings) – This includes standards such as whole wheat bread and oatmeal; however, Krieger pointed out that you aren’t limited to just these choices.

“There are whole wheat burger buns out there that I’m really excited about because they’re soft, tender and mild-tasting. They don’t taste like whole wheat. There are also whole wheat tortillas and wraps.”
In addition to breads, Krieger recommends trying whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa or bulgur.

The importance of including whole grains in your diet goes beyond just the need for fiber. When grain is refined, it’s stripped of its antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals. Some of these are put back in the enrichment process, but most aren’t.

  1. Dark-green leafy vegetables (1 serving) – Spinach, kale and collard greens provide calcium and vitamins A, B and C. Krieger said that not only are these veggies powerhouses of vitamins and minerals, they’re also delicious — a more important consideration if you’re going to consistently include these foods in your diet.

She recommends sautéing spinach with garlic or shallots and adding a splash of balsamic vinegar and some pine nuts. Another tasty member of this food group, Swiss chard, is highly underrated, according to Krieger. “It’s easy to cook and very tender.”

  1. Nuts and seeds (1 ounce, which is 1/3 cup) – Almonds are great sources of vitamin E, sesame seeds provide the body with calcium and walnuts contain omega-3 fats. Nuts and seeds also are sources of magnesium and other minerals most of us don’t get enough of on a daily basis.

Krieger said that not only are they chock-full of nutrition, they also are very satisfying. “Eating a small snack of nuts is a good way to get a grip on your appetite and keep hunger at bay until your next meal.”

Want a quick, easy way to incorporate nuts and seeds into your diet? Try putting them on salads.

  1. Low-fat yogurt and milk (2 to 3 8-ounce servings) – Low-fat milk gives you the nutritional punch of whole milk without the calories. This source of vitamin D is a crucial factor in maintaining good bone health.

Not a big fan of drinking milk? Krieger said you don’t’ have to forego its nutritional benefits. Try drinking a small skim latte or adding a little chocolate syrup to a glass of skim milk. Adding a little skim milk to your tomato soup also works, Krieger said.

Yogurt has active cultures that aid the immune and digestive systems. Krieger recommended mixing it with a little mayonnaise and using it as a dressing base. One of her favorite ways to eat yogurt, especially in the warm weather, is with honey and fresh berries.

  1. Tea (Up to 4 cups) – Both black and green teas are potent sources of antioxidants, according to Krieger. Tea also is a rich source of flavonoids, which some believe may prevent cancer and reduce inflammation. Scientists believe that inflammation is the start of many diseases.

Krieger added that there is one more beneficial effect to drinking tea that is not often discussed. “You sit down, relax and have a cup of tea. You take a moment, and that does a lot for the body.”

The Food Guide Pyramid is one way for people to understand how to eat healthy. A rainbow of colored, vertical stripes represents the five food groups plus fats and oils. Here’s what the colors stand for:

orange — grains
green — vegetables
red — fruits
yellow — fats and oils
blue — milk and dairy products
purple — meat, beans, fish, and nuts

Grains are measured out in ounce equivalents. What the heck are they? Ounce equivalents are just another way of showing a serving size.

Here are ounce equivalents for common grain foods. An ounce equivalent equals:

1 slice of bread
½ cup of cooked cereal, like oatmeal
½ cup of rice or pasta
1 cup of cold cereal

  • 4- to 8-year-olds need 4–5 ounce equivalents each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-old girls need 5 ounce equivalents each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-old boys need 6 ounce equivalents each day.

And one last thing about grains: Try make at least half of your grain servings whole grains, such as 100% whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal.

Of course, you need your vegetables, especially those dark green and orange ones. But how much is enough? Vegetable servings are measured in cups.

  • 4- to 8-year-olds need 1½ cups of veggies each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-old girls need 2 cups of veggies each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-old boys need 2½ cups of veggies each day.

Sweet, juicy fruit is definitely part of a healthy diet. Here’s how much you need:

  • 4- to 8-year-olds need 1–1½ cups of fruit each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-olds need 1½ cups of fruit each day.

Milk and Other Calcium-Rich Foods
Calcium builds strong bones to last a lifetime, so you need these foods in your diet.

  • 4- to 8-year-olds need 2 cups of milk (or another calcium-rich food) each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-olds need 3 cups of milk (or another calcium-rich food) each day.

If you want something other than milk, you can substitute yogurt, cheese, or calcium-fortified orange juice — just to name a few.

Meats, Beans, Fish, and Nuts
These foods contain iron and lots of other important nutrients. Like grains, these foods are measured in ounce equivalents.

An ounce equivalent of this group would be:

1 ounce of meat, poultry, or fish
¼ cup cooked dry beans
1 egg
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
½ ounce (about a small handful) of nuts or seeds

  • 4- to 8-year-olds need 3–4 ounce equivalents each day.
  • 9- to 13-year-olds need 5 ounce equivalents each day.

Based on :Mary L. Gavin, MD

I think ‘Plant Based Nutrition and Health’ available from the vegan society is really good. If you are in the US rather than the UK, then a book called ‘Becoming Vegan’ seems really good.

I can never remember what I’m meant to eat, so I eat a really good diet for a week or two after finishing a book about vegan nutrition, then I forget and it gets a bit rubbish again.


I was reading your article and now I understand what a healthy diet is and what we can use in our regular diet. I think everyone should follow a diet chart. Thank you so much.


I think you have a very heavy diet…could easily go low on the cheese and the meat portions.

Hi healthyheart!
I think you misunderstand me! I don’t eat the plan I quoted :slight_smile: I included it as an example.

I would like to compile an equivalent plan that is vegan, because I am worried that I don’t eat the right nutrients.

I have asked nurses on many occasions, and they are no help :cry: they just say “eat a bit of everything in moderation” or “don’t eat too many cream cakes” (as if I eat cream cakes!?!?!?!): they don’t seem to believe I do any exercise, and they refuse to let me see a dietician until I become morbidly obese :imp:

However, I’ve made a bit of progress over the last year by seeing a slimming consultant - watch this space, and I’ll summarise the results! :slight_smile:

Are you training now?In that case you can consult your diet with your trainer.It looks good to me.

The only vitamin that has any value, is the one that reaches the cells. Any herb, mineral, anti-oxidant or other nutrient, must pass thorough your digestive tract and get into the bloodstream.

  1. High-Potency Vitamin-Mineral Complex provides 100% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of many critical vitamins and minerals including naturally derived vitamins A,B,C,D, and E. EDN provides 22 vitamins and minerals.
  2. Full Spectrum of 60 Trace Minerals naturally found in Pacific sea salt vital to the health of every cell in the body.
  3. Natural Energy from green tea, Korean red ginseng and vitamin B complex which helps increase alertness and concentration, supports memory and promotes stamina and endurance.
  4. Age-defying Antioxidants found in nutrient-dense whole foods, vitamins and herbs to fight free radicals that continuously bombard your healthy cells both inside and outside of your body.

Hello Everyone,

I am giving some of tips which are useful for health.

12 ounces 1% milk with 1 level scoop of Slimfast Ultma powder. (Many flavors) ±300 calories
Multivitamin, 1 Omega 3 fatty acid, 1 Linseed, 1 Cod liver oil gel capsuls.
1 large oatmeal cookie ± 100 calories
1 Yogurt drink ± 100 calories
8 Hershey’s Kisses ± 200 calories
1 Healthy Choice Dinner ± 300 calories
1 Slice multi grain bread ± 100 calories
Yogurt cup ± 150 calories

Diet caffine free Coke or Pepsi 0 calories
Iced tea with Splenda sweetener ± 50 calories
Water 0 calories
Total calories around 1250
Total fluids to drink 1 gallon.

Try it out as I am doing…

What about vegans? I haven’t tried for a long time vegan yogurt.

albertsendodd, That does NOT look like a healthy diet! There is a lot of sugar and sweeteners (which will upset your blood sugar levels) and Slimfast did horrible things to my body when I tried it (many years ago). I am really worried about you! Please don’t make yourself ill!

Hey Sergio! I’ve been eating Alpro Soy Yogurts. The natural soy yogurt doesn’t taste nice, but the fruit flavoured ones are lovely :slight_smile:

I’ve been experimenting with food optimising at the moment, and I’ve heard a lot of reports about the kinds of oils you should eat (e.g. omega 6 from nuts may reverse the benefits of omega 3?!) I still don’t clearly understand how the plan works, but I’m feeling a lot healthier these days :slight_smile:

BigBecka, do you mean that you should not eat nuts or nuts oils?

I heard an article on the Radio (BBC Radio 4, which is normally a good, well researched source) about how some researchers had found that there may be a link between omega 6 from nuts and behavioural / mental health problems. I beleive they also said that eating more omega 6 than omega 3 can help cause inflammatory problems.

I don’t think you need to cut out nuts. But the programme cautioned against relying on oil from nuts instead of oil from fish. Unfortunetely, they didn’t think to give any advice for vegetarians :frowning:

At the moment I’m relying on olive and sunflower oils, eating small portions of nuts only occasionally, and I’ve started eating eggs again (I’m not particularly happy about this, but I have to admit there seems to be some nutrient in the eggs that I wasn’t getting before. Now I am interested to find out what it is!)

I haven’t been able to find a link for this report, but there is a little information on the web. The latter link is a little biased.
omega-research.com/researchv … 8&catid=10

Have you tried flax seeds or flaxseed oil?

I’ve tried Linseed oil in the past - I’m not sure if it’s the same thing? It was horribly expensive (considering it is grown locally!) And of course I like the Hemp oil - I think I may get some more of this.

I am wondering if the vitamin supplements I was taking in the past were not good enough. Or maybe I was not absorbing the vitamins for some reason? Not being so stressed probably helps :slight_smile:

thank goodness, anyone who eats dairy has some serious problems.
there are always soy alternatives and other nut-milks.
and do some research about the omega 6 and omega 3 oils and EFAs derived from nuts and seeds. i think you will find that is by far the best source. walnuts have the best omega 6 : omega 3 ratio.
you might find this site of some interest. http://www.thepaleodiet.com/nutritional_tools/index.shtml

Hey, thanks Dragonfly! I’ve never seen a vegetarian food pyramid before! And I didn’t realise that walnuts were a good source of omega oils.

The more I research this, the more confused I become! :laughing: The slimming consultant I saw has put me on a plan which doesn’t seem to be very good :frowning: I shall persevere!

Becka, I would avoid margarine and foods that contain it, it’s not healthy at all.
It consists of hydrogenated fat that is totally useless for our bodies, even though the margarine is vegan it is not healthy.

Regarding omega3, walnuts has a proportion 1/4 of omega 3/omega 6 which is considered ideal for human body.
Another thing is that if you eat lots of sunflower oil that has lots of omega 6 you need something that will counter the effect.
One good way is to eat linen seeds, you can grind them down and add to almost all food.