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Getting enough calories

I am a semi-vegetarian trying to eat at least mostly vegan, and hopefully soon trying an all vegan diet. My main problem is I do NOT want to lose weight, I just recovered from a 2 year battle with digestive problems. I track my calories on Livestrong and on days when I eat vegan or even vegetarian I have a hard time getting enough calories. I am on my feet all day in my job, and I also have for the first time in my life become active (hiking about 3x week for about 3 miles/ 1 1/2 hrs each time). I am a 5'2 110 lb female. I need at least 2,000 calories per day, maybe even 2,200 on days I get an intense hike in.

I know it's entirely possible, I am just curious what especially those of you who are athletic do to get enough calories? I realize where I used to get 2 eggs and 1 piece of toast and get enough calories at breakfast, if I eat cereal or oatmeal I need like 2 pieces of toast and nut butter as well, etc.

I prefer not to eat lots of soy, especially soy isolates and soybean oil. I am fine with tofu, tempeh and soy milk a few times per week. Also, I am not a fan of denatured foods like protein powders (though I do a "protein shake" of just fruit and hemp seeds).

I eat nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, etc I know WHICH foods have more calories. I usually have an AM and afternoon snack.  I guess what would be helpful is if some of you can post your meal plans so I can see exactly how you get all the food in.



fruit... work on increasing your stomach capacity, you don't want to eat those high fat calorie dense foods just to get calories.


Minke's link should be very helpful, I've gotten ideas from that thread!

I'm on my feet all day at work as well, and I'm currently bulking so I thought I would offer some advice. What I consume is way overkill for you, but I modified a day specific to meet your goals of 2,200 calories.

Breakfast :
Oatmeal - 150 calories
Banana + 1 tbsp Peanut Butter - 199
Orange Juice - 110.

Snack :
Clif Bar - 250 calories
Chocolate Soymilk - 120

Lunch :
Boca burger - 70 calories
Ezekiel bread - 80
Rice Cheese - 40
Apple - 65

Snack 2 :
Sunflower Kernals - 250 calories

Dinner :
Spaghetti - 310 calories
Random vegetable side (peas) - 60

Shake :
Hemp Seeds - 160 calories
Peanut Butter - 94
Olive Oil - 120  (quick note: I don't know what hemp seeds are like, but you like them... I usually make a pea/rice protein shake and quick way to add up the calories is to add PB and Olive Oil to it!) calories ++

There is a vegan 2,078 calories. You don't even really need the shake, but if you experimented to taste you could really load up the calories in it very easily on days you need the fuel for hiking.


"fruit... work on increasing your stomach capacity, you don't want to eat those high fat calorie dense foods just to get calories"
I wouldn't work on increasing stomach capacity... then you have a lot harder time feeling full.  At least, that's what happened to me :)
High fat foods aren't bad for you if they're healthy fats, like the monounsaturated and omega-3 fats found in tj's almond-flax butetr (which is, btw, delicious).

One thing I find helpful when I'm training more than usual is drinking calories- instead of drinking water, nondairy milks, fruit juices (especially calcium-fortified oj...  but I know, sugar not good), etcetera.  It doesn't make you feel stuffed/gross/bloated like trying to eat more food always does to me, and depending on what drinks you choose (i.e., coconut milk has a lot of calories, almond milk has a little), you can add 100-500 calories a day pretty easily.


that's because your trying to fill up on the wrong foods. increase your stomach capacity and eat the right amount of calories from fruits and veggies and you'll feel excellent.


(especially calcium-fortified oj...

A lot of calcium fortified orange juices also contain D3 which is not vegan.


(especially calcium-fortified oj...

A lot of calcium fortified orange juices also contain D3 which is not vegan.

i know i just noticed this on my bottle of fortified simply orange juice :/


Thanks, everyone..that is helpful. My stomach capacity is expanding, and I am digesting all this load of fiber just fine (I do eat lots of fruit, though a fruitiarian diet is not for me). But I still  have the opposite problem of most people: my stomach is bigger than my eyes. I look at how much food I should eat and freak out that I can't eat it all and feel at all well. So I have a smaller helping then realize I really can eat the whole thing, and feel fine when I do. Also, I am realizing I can eat 6 times per day, and still be hungry for the next meal/snack because even calorically dense vegan foods like nuts are still lighter and easier to digest than animal foods.


Hummus, bananas and nuts/seeds always push my low cal days way up.

Bananas have a ton of calories, so making smoothies; muffins; oatmeal; pancakes; etc. is always sure fire for me. When I make smoothies I use banana to sweeten and love organic, cold pressed, finely milled hemp protein in them. (If you live somewhere like the US or Australia you likely can't get hemp products so flaxseed, and oil, are great options too.) I haven't tried this yet but from all accounts I've seen freezing bananas then pureeing them makes awesome 'soft serve'.

Hummus: chickpeas; tahini; a good oil like EVOO; lemon and seasoning = natures perfect snack and a vegan looking to add calories' best friend. (Mmmm.... if this post ends up incomplete it's due to an unbearable need to go make hummus.  :P)

Throw a few healthy, organic, raw nuts on salad, cereal, 'yogurt', in baked goods, etc.

Avocados are another fabulous source of healthy calories.

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