What do I eat in a day on a whole food plant based diet as a breastfeeding vegan? This post has been requested by many of you, so here it is! I will share what a “normal” day in my life looks like and give you some information on what I like to eat and if I miss on anything with my diet (hint: I do not!).
For this post, I actually thought it could be fun to let you know how many calories I eat, how many macronutrients I get with what I am eating, and which micronutrients I get. Like that you can get a pretty nice overview of all “critical” vitamins and minerals 🙂 !
I used the app cronometer to calcute my numbers. I find this app most helpful for whenver you feel insecure about your nutrient or calorie intake! I’ve put my profile in cronomater on “lactating” so the app is actually calculating my needs as a breastfeeding vegan – with the extra need in nutrients and calories that I have.
For this post here, I just took an average day so the food doesn’t look fancy or anything. I wanted this post to be really honest and transparent. So my bowls do not look that good and I would not claim that a bowl of only rocket, quinoa, and corn is among my favorite foods – but this is what I had in the fridge on that day, so this is what I ate.
Here is what I ate on an average day as a breastfeeding vegan:
Breakfast 8am: Shake made of three bananas and oat milk
Plus my supplements of DHA and EPA fatty acids and Vitamin B12
Snack 10:30am: One apple and three apricots
Lunch 1pm: Soy pasta bowl
Snack 4pm: 10 dates and one apple and a lupine coffee
Dinner 6pm: Quinoa bowl
With all the foods here I had a total of 2426 calories. Of those 367 came from fat, 1701 from carbs, and 358 from protein. Hence, my diet currently is a 70-15-15. 70% of my calories come from carbs, 15 each from fat and protein. I am usually trying to eat a 80-10-10 diet but when breastfeeding I like to incorparate a little more fat and protein.
I do also drink quite a lot of tea with honey and I had a few extra soy spagetti so with the tea and the second take of pasta I think I will actually end up at around 3000 calories for that day (which is totally average for me)!
Am I getting FAT eating that much?
No no and again no. Currently I am actually loosing weight, as I did after my first pregnancy as well – when I also had around 3000 calories per day.
Why? Because my baby is eating it all: while he grows a centimeter per week, I am loosing a kilo per week 😀 No, actually I have no idea how much I loose because I do not have a scale at home, but I can tell from looking at my body that I loose weight.
Now let’s look at a few micronutrients from that day…
Vitamin B12 and DHA and EPA fatty acids have been in the supplements that I take (vitamin b12 as drops and DHA and EPA fatty acids from algae oil – by the way, you get 10% off your order at TESTA with the code ConsciousLife10). So I won’t pay too much attention to those two, but rather focus on all the nutrients I do no supplement – but that some people believe are difficult to get on a vegan diet.
Here is what my app calculated for me for when I entered the foods that I’ve been listing above:
Folate: 127% of what I need
Vitamin A: 707% of what I need
Vitamin C:244% of what I need
Vitamin K: 254% of what I need
Calcium: 132% of what I need
Iron: 305% of what I need
(see: it is NOT difficult to get enough iron on a vegan diet 😉 )
Magnesium: 202% of what I need
I’ve got plenty of ALL amino acids (protein) and of all b vitamins. The only thing I did NOTget enough of is selenium. I usually eat a brazil nut a day because they have plenty selenium. With on brazil nut per day I absolutely get enough. However, we are out of Brazil nuts, so I didn’t have one the day I took these pictures.
Is there anything else I did NOT get enough off?
Well, vitamin D but that’s because you cannot eat this vitamin with foods, but you have to go outside in the sunshine to get it. So since I spend half of my days outside with the kids, I am pretty confident that I got enough vitamin D on that day as well 🙂
I did NOT supplement calcium, iron, or any other micronutrients and yet I got MORE than I need!
However, whenever I realize that I feel exceptional tired or whenever I didn’t eat well in a few days, I take a supplement based on plant extracts to get a little extra iron from curry leafs, a little extra calcium from algaes, or a little extra vitamin c from amla. I cannot recommend taking vitamins that are made artificially in a factory; because they can never give your body what a plant can!
On a different take; the food I eat is neither expensive to buy, nor complicated to prepare. My breakfast takes two minutes to make and costs around 2€ (three bananas a some oat milk), my bowls contain whatever I have in the house and I rotate on a few favorite sauces that I have with them (peanut sauce, basil pesto, mustard-maple-syrup-sauce, tamari-sauce, tahini-lemon-sauce). Snacks are usually fruit and/or dried fruit. Sometimes I also make a smoothie in the afternoon and have it as a snack. And sometimes I make juice in the morning for some extra nutrients.
So what can I conclude from this post?
It IS easy to get all the nutrients you need as a breastfeeding vegan mum – as long as you eat ENOUGH and as long as you eat whole foods. You do NOT have to spend a fortune on foods, you do NOT have to be a cook and prepare super fancy meals that take loads of time, and you do NOT have to worry about gaining weight when you eat a lot 🙂
Sounds good? I think so 😀
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