I am new to this site. I have been vegan for at least four years and have basically eaten healthy whole foods in whatever portions I wanted up to now. I have been in general good health and at a good weight for my height.
The older I get though (I am almost 30 now), the more I want to build muscle to help strengthen my body and bones. Now I keep track of my daily food intake (through a program on my computer called Cronometer) to see what my macronutrient ratios are like, and how many calories I am actually consuming per day.
As for exercise, I can't do heavy cardio because of my joints, but I do pilates and yoga every day. If I feel like I have a lot of energy I do stationary rowing. Once a week or twice a month I also go to the gym for weight training. I don't want to be massively muscular but just toned, and with minimal fat around my belly. I am almost there, but we can all improve!
My usual food intake for the day looks like this:
-grapefruit (usually 4. Two for breakfast. Two for dinner). I can't have all kinds of fruit because I find my blood sugar spikes too much. I just love grapefruit.
-BIG SALADS are my main meals these days. They have all sorts of raw vegetables in them: carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, parsley, cilantro, avocado. I add seeds and nuts: 1 tbsp sesame seed, 1 brazil nut, 2 cashews, 2 walnuts, 4-6 almonds. I used to eat a lot more nuts but I realize they have a higher fat than protein content, so I am trying to cut back. For dressing I make my own: flax seed, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. I usually top it all with various herbs (thyme, rosemary) and some spices (e.g. cayenne pepper in the dressing, black pepper, coriander and mustard seeds for the taste).
-1 cup of some kind of grain (quinoa, brown rice, millet).
-I used to eat a lot of beans and lentils, but I find I can't digest them so easily nowadays despite using the carminative spices to cook them in. I feel like they are too heavy for me now, and often make me feel bloated and even constipated.
-for the evening I cook up some vegetables. Not over-cooked - still want some nutrients in there! Sometimes I add more water to make it soupy.
-sometimes I make popcorn as a snack.
-I drink a lot of tea!
Anyway, my question has to do with how much protein and carb I am getting relative to fat. I am also trying to lose a bit of fat so I am restricting my calories to around 1500 a day (I am 135 lbs, 5'6", medium build).
When I put all my daily intake of food into the Cronometer program, I keep coming up with massive amounts of fat compared to protein and carb. I am aiming for 10-15% protein, 20% or less fat, and the rest carbs, but the 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and 1 avocado I eat in the day really outweighs all the fresh veggies, fruit, and grain I am eating at the moment.
The thing is, in my mind these oils are healthy, and frankly I feel better and more regular with them. The raw foods just don't taste as good without the oil. But I end up getting most of my daily calories from fat this way! So, how do I balance out my macronutrient ratios a bit more without getting constipated from restricting my fat intake for the day? Do I simply eat more carb and protein? If so, then how do I keep my total calories below 1500? What am I missing here?
Any tips or suggestions are appreciated. Thank you!