UPDATED 8/15/18, added a few minor details.
A lot of people like to complain about how complicated, expensive and just plain impossible “The Vegan Diet” is, as their excuse for never trying, or for quitting and fitting back in with the corpse-eating animal lovers who fund all sorts of unspeakable animal abuse. Well, I decided to prove them to be mistaken in very basic terms, with an actual boilerplate, one-size-fits-most “Vegan Diet.”
Think as if we only had 12 basic foods to consume, including just one fortified processed food item, and a maximum of one supplement in pill form*, with the rest being whole plant foods with only a couple being milled or otherwise minimally processed. So for now, forget about the vast array of delicious foods and treats available to vegans just about everywhere, and think “simplest possible.”
So, just how simple can one’s vegan diet be to have full needed nutrition in a day?
If I had to choose, strictly for nutrition, one group of foods for the rest of my life, here they are in alphabetical order (see underneath Cronometer charts for notes). Keep in mind that this is not for taste or “excitement,” it’s just to show the ample nutrition in basic everyday plant foods:
7. Flaxseed Meal
9. Peanut Butter (natural unsalted)
10. Sesame Seeds
11. Soy Milk – unsweetened, fortified w/calcium, vit. D, B12, etc. (counts as the one fortified item)
12. Whole Wheat Hot Cereal
*The one pill supplement is zinc at 1/2 of a 10 mg tablet or 5 mg.
**Figs are seasonal but dried figs are available year-round, or they can be picked from trees during their season, July–September in CA, or bought fresh, and frozen for out-of-season use such as in smoothies. Fig trees are actual treasures.
The “how” and details of it all from Cronometer.com (click to enlarge, chart is in two parts):
“Special concerns” for vegans (but not only vegans):
The VITAMIN B12 is all from the fortified soy milk.
The CALCIUM is primarily from the fortified soy milk, then from the broccoli, figs, and oranges.
The ZINC is mainly from the 1/2 tablet (or 5 mg) supplement, then the broccoli and chickpeas.
The COPPER is a bit high at 2.8 mg, as the recommended is 2.0 mg, but the high zinc intake levels that out.
The VITAMIN D is all from the soy milk; any additional needed can be gotten from sunshine.
The great PROTEIN profile is mainly from the soy milk, broccoli, chickpeas, peanut butter, asparagus, wheat cereal, avocado, and carrots.
The VITAMIN K is primarily from the broccoli, then the asparagus and avocado. 801% is good because it’s said vit. K2 (as opposed to K1) need is total K multiplied by 15%, so that would equal 120% of needed K2.
The SELENIUM is primarily from the wheat cereal, then the asparagus, broccoli, and chickpeas.
The IRON is primarily from the broccoli, chickpeas and soy milk, then from the asparagus, wheat cereal, avocado, figs, and flaxseed meal.
The great VITAMIN C intake enhances the absorption of non-heme iron from plants.
The OMEGA-3 is primarily from the flaxseed meal, then the broccoli and avocado.
The low OMEGA-6 number is said to be a good thing, that we need far more omega-3 than -6.
The VITAMIN A is where it should be at 1202% because the vit. A need from plants is said to be 12 times more than from animal products.
IODINE isn’t tracked on Cronometer, but the 1/2 tsp. of iodized salt in my list takes care of iodine need for the day, although it does make the sodium a bit high…but still lower than most people get in a day.
For the SOY phobic, the soy milk can be replaced by any similarly fortified plant milk.
Of course, anyone with ALLERGIES or other problems with particular foods should replace them with harmless foods with similar nutrition.
No, you could not live “in the wild” like that…
…not without omitting the few processed items and being in a place where those whole foods are growing. But even without the processed items, one could get by for some time with a few other “wild” foods added. But think, could 7 billion+ people live “in the wild” at all without all sorts of technology and products? No, they could not. Everyone, even “wild man” survivalists, depends on manmade products every day. Vegans are not weird or deficient in that way, as is popularly claimed.
So, any new or struggling vegans out there needing a simple diet plan, the above would be a great basic outline for one. On top of everything else, it’s fairly inexpensive. So there really are no excuses for not being vegan. Please pass this along to any anti-vegan skeptics in your life.
Come on now, let’s get this thing done!
Do realize that as long as there’s even one slaughterhouse (or any other such place of bloody horrors) lurking behind our “civilizations,” there will be continuing violence and bloodshed among humanity.
This article provides information that should not take the place of professional advice. I am not a nutrition or health professional but am sharing what I’ve learned through experience and from what I trust are good sources in regard to my own nutrition. If you have concerns, I encourage you to talk to a (vegan friendly) registered dietitian or other trusted professional about your dietary needs.
Images, aside from charts, are free from Pixabay.com.