NUTRITION NOOB INCOMING

Introduction

Confession: over my years, I’ve drank a lot of plant based Kool Aid.

I had two vegan housemates through college—hi Mark and Amar!—and they rubbed off on me. I mostly ignored them the first two years, but our third year, I read How Not to Die, which was a mistake. Now, I’m a freaking herbivore.

I also went to the gym on and off in college, mostly off. I’m more regular now, so I’m combining these two lifestyle choices. In constructing a high protein, vegan diet for the weekdays.

On the weekends, I’ll still eat whatever.

This is projected for when I start work. So, it’s a diet on paper, which is highly suspect, I know. Right now, I’m at home and I eat my mom’s cooking. Yay moms :)

Frameworks

I was going to get into tracking macros, but that turned out to be a pain in the ass. I might be doing it wrong. I hope to choose to get over it. But for now, I’m tracking protein and calories.

Approximate targets for my weight/height: 2900 calories, 130g protein.

For general health, I’m going to try and incorporate a food checklist: specifically, Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen.

This is all variable though, okay. Don’t hold me to it :)

Meals

Breakfast: Tofu scramble with veggies, with almond butter toast

The hearty tofu scramble, which I’ve made three times—it’s my ace in the hole.

Tofu scramble:

  • 140g firm tofu, 20g protein! One of Dr. Greger’s three servings of beans.
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 3g protein!
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  • ⅛ teaspoon turmeric. Half of Dr. Greger’s serving of spices.
  • Hella black pepper, cuz it’s MY tofu scramble.
  • Skip some oil with a nonstick pan and some hacks, but still leave some.

A tofu scramble recipe I like.

Veggies:

  • 50g mushrooms, 3g protein! One serving of Dr. Greger’s nonleafy vegetables.
  • 50g bell pepper. One serving of Dr. Greger’s nonleafy vegetables.

I’d like to swap the carrots out regularly for other vegetables, because variety is the spice of life AKA cures cancer. Carrots, onions, kale, sound great to me.

Almond butter toast:

  • 2 slices Ezekiel bread, 10g protein! Two servings of Dr. Greger’s grains.
  • 2 tbsp almond butter, or maybe, 1 tbsp almond butter and 15g nuts. 7g protein!

Ezekiel bread—omg complete protein—and almond butter, yum! I’m not counting macros, but I hope the fat content of my diet is alright. I LOVE almond butter.

Checked off so far: Checked off so far: 45g of protein, <800 calories, and 6.5 servings checked off the Daily Dozen. All at breakfast!

Lunch: Smoothie

I’m not attached to when I have each meal. That will require further experimentation.

In any case, I’ve made upwards of a hundred smoothies in my life, and the secret is ripe bananas. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana. 1 of Dr. Greger’s servings of fruits.
  • 60g kale, 3g protein! 1 of Dr. Greger’s servings of greens. 3g protein.
  • 30g pea protein isolate, 23g protein! Won’t count as a serving of beans cuz isolate.
  • 250 ml soy milk, 7g protein!
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed.

This meal’s stats: 35g protein, 440 calories, 3 more servings checked off.

Snack: Fruits

Two servings of fruits, which will be what, 210 calories? Rotate fruits often, partly by buying seasonal. Easy place to inject variety.

I go back and forth on whether to add a second banana to the smoothie. I like the thick, creamy texture, but then I have to eat with a spoon. If I add a second banana, then only one serving of fruits for the snack.

2g protein, 200 calories, and two servings fruits.

For this in the back counting, we’re at 82g protein and 1450 calories. Leaving 48g protein and 1450 calories.

Dinner: Bean masala with chappathis, and with veggies

So far, I’ve been confident I can make/eat what I listed. I’ve already eaten all the above for many days, though scrambled eggs instead of tofu scramble. But here, the diet gets aspirational.

Bean gravy

My mom makes some delicious bean masalas. While I haven’t made them myself, they can’t be hard, right? I’ve had her butter beans masala, her black eyed peas masala, and her channa masala. And those are just the masalas I can name, because I swear, there are undiscovered bean varieties in my house.

There are substitutes here: I’ve seen lentil curry recipes online, and simple Instant pot beans with turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, which are indeed 🔥🔥🔥.

But the substitutes don’t have the same appeal for me. I grew up eating my mom’s cooking, and if I can reproduce it, it would inject much needed life and culture into my diet. Let’s be real, my diet is soulless. Just monoculture ingredients (bougie vegan ones, sure) and grams of protein.

inb4 I rant about how contemporary diets (and health) are no longer embedded in mothers and traditional cultures but rather in science and Instagram

But let’s get back to it:

Uncooked beans themselves, 1.5 servings, 200g beans, 30g protein, 450 calories. Plus another 250 calories for the rest of the masala, idk what goodies go in there.

Chappathis

Can substitute with 2 cups rice, or bit less than 2 cups quinoa. I’m feeling homesick though, so preferably, 3 chappathis. All ~400 calories, >8g protein.

Full disclosure, at home rn LOL

Veggies

This is for you, Dr. Greger:

  • 90g cooked spinach
  • 60g broccoli

Total: 50 calories, 5g protein, vegetables are whack.

We out here: 900 calories and 43g protein.

We at 125g protein and 2350 calories, leaving 5g protein and 550 calories.

I’m tired now, so:

Soylent

400 calories, 20g protein, and then idk, eat 100g of dirt fo the last 150 calories.

I know, I know, I have qualms about Soylent too. High in dietary fat, soy as main protein source is suspect, and do parts really sum up to the whole?

But it’s just so convenient.

Criticisms

Bean masalas might be a lot of work. Will I be able to stick to making them? Making vegetables on the side sounds sus, would they match the rest of the meal? Am I getting complete proteins? Need to double check what complements what. Also, not too much dietary fat right? Also I know I can eat a smoothie every day and be happy. But can I eat a tofu scramble every day and be happy? Haven’t tested that yet. Didn’t add up cost… is this expensive?

Conclusion

I feel guilty publishing this, as it’s not what I feel I should write about, but I’m also smiling as I write this. It was a lot of fun.

This post made me think, what’s the point of this blog? Is it to get better at writing, or build an audience?

Or is it to just have some good old fashioned fun?