I know there's already a discussion about it, but the replies were all about vegetarian and not vegan diets. Currently, I'm a vegetarian but I'm thinking of transitioning some time in the future. I know some sources of iron and protein are amaranth, quinoa, some kinds of beans, etc. and I know that to maximize its absorption you should slip in some vitamin C as well, but I can't eat those things everyday, and I need up to 15 mg of iron per day (because I'm a girl, so I need more than men). Also, B12 vitamin is pretty much scarce in non-animal sources.
So I was wondering about any vegans in here, how do you do it?
This probably won't help much, but I'm a vegan and I really don't pay much attention to my nutrition. xD
The main problem I find is avoiding high fat foods, but it can't be that difficult seeing as I've lost a stone recently! If you join the vegan society I think they send you posters and leaflets etc. on what foods contain what nutrients. The one I have contains lots of imformation, but also says that if you eat a balanced diet, you will get your nutrients naturally. I drink calcium/B12 enriched soya milk which is great for all sorts of things. The best thing to do is try and cook as much of your own food as you can, vegan ready meals are either high in carbs or fat; so read the packaging carefully!
Hope this was mildly useful. :)
Coming to this thread verrrrrrry late, so I have no idea whether you still need this info, but many vegetables are rich in iron (among the highest are beetroot greens, Mint, Parsley, Turnip greens, and broccoli and bok choy are both rich in iron and vitamin C, so you have your absorption-enhancer included in the iron source). Most kinds of pulses (beans, lentils etc.) are high in iron and protein, as are whole grains and many kinds of seeds, especially pumpkin seeds.
I eat almost entirely vegan, and I don't count calories or any other nutrients, but I do try to eat a healthy diet, which means I get a number of these sources every day: I usually have rolled oats for breakfast (with raisins and cinnamon, both iron sources), most of the time I have leftovers from the previous day's dinner for lunch, and dinner is generally wholegrain pasta (kamut is very nice), wholegrain rice, wholegrain couscous, quinoa, barley or other grains with loads of veggies and often pulses of some kind. Yesterday I had a friend visiting so I cooked a little more elaborately than I would just for myself, but dinner was:
- a squash, adzuki bean and miso soup with pumpkin seed/nori sprinkles (from here: http://www.healthyveganrecipes.net/video/azuki-japanese-pumpkin-soup - and check out her other videos and articles for great vegan nutritional advice)
- leeks sauteed in sesame oil with lemon zest and a bit of lemon juice
- bok choy stir-fried with ginger, chili and soy sauce
- wholegrain basmati rice
Loooooooads of sources of iron and many other great nutrients there.
For B12 I take the VEG1 multivitamin from the UK vegan society, and I also eat quite a bit of nutritional yeast because it's tasty, and which also happens to be fortified with B12.
I also take a vegan (algae-based) omega 3 supplement, which everyone - omni, vegetarian and vegan - should probably do given the huge amounts of omega 6 in our diets these days.
Protein isn't really a concern at all, most of the things I listed above are also great protein sources. I haven't ever heard of anyone, omni, veggie or vegan (in the developed world, anyway) with a protein deficiency. The one deficiency you really need to look out for - both because there are no veg sources and because of the serious problems that can be caused by it - is B12. I would supplement that, if I were you.
So, how are you doing on your vegan journey? :)
I'm not a vegan, but as a vegetarian science nerd I may be able to help!
Aside from lab-created B12 (vitamins), it's impossible to get B12 in non-animal sources. If something has B12 in it, then it either has some animal products in it or it has been supplemented. B12 is a very essential nutrient though, so as a vegan you will have to make sure you take your vitamins! Some flavors of Naked juice has added B12, and most breakfast cereals do as well.
Spinach, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), and kidney beans are all really good sources of iron. Hummus is made from chickpeas and is very tasty. Iron deficiency is no more common in vegetarians than meat-eaters.
If you eat a variety of grains and vegetables and eat the daily recommended amount of each, protein shouldn't be a problem. Just pay attention to the amounts of iron and protein you're eating at first, and you might find that you eat enough already. As far as I know, protein deficiency in vegetarians and vegans is a myth.
Good luck and DFTBA!