Macros & My Vegan Diet

May 23, 2017

Vegan Diet
Ok, so I think my 6 month whole-food plant-based, vegan diet experiment was a bust and needs some tweaking.

I freebased as many raw & cooked veggies as possible. Ate a bunch of clean starches. Loaded up on raw fruits like all those god damn pretty youtubers. But I was not getting anywhere. Physically weak and tired all the time.

I added some clean fish like sardines, wild salmon, and tuna to the mix and started feeling better.

Macros
As a result, the most recent thing I researched was macros.
Macronutrients mean protein, fats, and carbs. The big stuff.

Most diets out there as based different ratios of the macros. For example, Atkins Diet was high on fat and protein, low on carbs. The Ornish diet is the reverse, low on fat and protein, high on carbs. Every diet falls somewhere on that spectrum of balancing the macros.

Micronutrients, on the other hand, stand for all the vitamins, minerals, and other important stuff in food. Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a big proponent on the micronutrient quality of food, stressing how plants are the most nutritious things we can put in our body.

On my vegan diet, I was high on carbs, super low on fats, and super low on protein by accident. My stomach couldn’t handle the usual plant protein sources of beans and lentils without explosions afterwards!

The other night, I had a thought to look up macros, specifically how much protein is recommended in general. Vegans usually say not to worry about protein because it does not matter but I was suspecting I’m undernourished in that macro.

For example, one source recommends getting 0.36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight as a minimum requirement. At that rate, I needed something like 100 grams of protein per day, while in actuality I was getting around 32-64 grams.

Blood Type Diet
Separately, I had been researching The Genotype Diet (& Blood Type Diet) by Dr. Peter D’Adamo. According to him, I’m a “Hunter” Blood Type O who performs well on a high protein animal diet, lower on grains, good with select veggies and fruits.

And according to Dr. D’Adamo’s recommendation, my recommended protein for Hunter Blood Type O is around 125 grams.

So I need to be somewhere on that spectrum between 100 – 125 grams.

Results
I made up my mind to dramatically increase my protein intake, while still staying away from animal products, except for fish. A personal preference that I may change in the future by adding red meat if it’s absolutely necessary.

Right away, I started eating larger quantities of fish and also increased my intake of Orgain plant protein powder to reach my thresholds. Eating 4 meals a day, my protein content went up to around 32 grams per meal. That’s a hefty amount for sure that I probably have never eaten in my entire life.

I gotta tell ya, I immediately felt A LOT better! More energy, happier, saner.

Harmony of Micros & Macros
So, I just wanted to stress that there are many factors to this whole thing of eating healthy.

You may have the macros right but might have the micros wrong. A McDonald’s meal has fats, carbs, and protein but very poor quality in terms of micros.

On the other hand, your micros may be right by eating tons of plants, but you may not have the right macros for your body type. It’s a balance and harmony you need to achieve based on your specific body’s requirements.

If I had to start all over, I would recommend that you look into The Blood Type Diet first, which recommends you eat a protein based, mixed, or vegetarian style based on your genetics. It also takes into account for troublesome lectin rich foods and how they interact with your specific blood type.

Also try to figure out your bmr calorie requirements based on your height, weight, and activity. Figure out what percent your macros should be, especially for protein. Fiddle with fat and carb ratios, usually one will be higher while the other is lower. This is automatically taken care of if you follow the blood diet recommendations but it’s good to have the numbers handy.

This is much better than randomly following the latest diet trends like the four hour diet, paleo diet, and the vegan diet that I had been doing.

The more I experiment, the more I realize there’s not one uniform diet that’s good for all humans. Everyone can’t be a raw food vegan. Everyone can’t be a starch based vegan. Everyone can’t be an animal based eater either.

You gotta figure out what works for your body.

Resources:
Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s Diet
It all started with me trying to figure out his macros, because he must know what he’s doing. He eats like a Blood Type O Hunter, a lot of cod and animal protein. Carbs: 44%; Protein: 37%; Fat: 19% –source

Three Types of Macros
The Rock’s ratios are in line with what bodybuilders eat for their macros.
Bodybuilding: Carbs: 40-60%; Protein: 20-35%; Fat: 15-25%
Maintenance: Carbs: 30-50%; Protein: 25-35%; Fat: 25-35%
Weight Loss: Carbs: 10-30%; Protein: 40-50%; Fat: 10-30%

Protein Requirements
“The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) established by the Institute of Medicine (IOM),10 is 0.80 grams of high-quality protein per kilo (kg) of body weight (0.36 grams of protein per pound [lb] of body weight)”

BMR Calculator
Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator – alternative option

Blood Type O Food List (pdf)