Tracking my food intake

I've been monitoring my food intake off and on for the last few months. On average, my caloric intake is 1500, protein about 13%, fat 20%, carbs 67%; this maintains my weight. My vitamin and mineral intake is off the scale, except for selenium. I get plenty of all the amino acids (needed to make protein). I'm a 5'9", 50 year old female who exercises 1-3 hours a day. on average I guess it's 1 hour intense, 1 hour light exercise per day. Otherwise I'm pretty sedentary with a desk job. On the days when I go on a long bike ride or exercise more heavily, I need more calories, maybe 1600-1700, I'm not sure yet.

Monitoring my food has helped me understand Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations better. At first I was surprised that I only need 1500 calories per day. But I can tell it's right because if I eat less, or exercise heavily, I wake up at 5 am (too early!) hungry. If I eat more, I wake up full. Dr. Fuhrman says when you eat nutrient-dense food, you don't need as many calories. My Nutritional Sciences book has a formula for calculating estimated energy requirements (p. 40-41). According to that, I should burn about 1900 calories. I ate 1600 calories yesterday and didn't exercise much, and that was more than I needed (wasn't hungry for breakfast today until later than usual). I heard from others on the Fuhrman forums who are experiencing the same thing--less calorie intake than is typically recommended. Two other women who are in their 50s, physically active but quite a bit shorter than I say they only need about 1200-1300 per day.

Another thing that got reinforced to me is that you really need those beans and nuts & seeds to increase your calories. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes also are good for adding calories. I eat a lot of raw veggies which by far make up the bulk of the volume of my food intake. But the beans and seeds and starchy veggies contribute at least 1/3 of my calories even though they are low volume in comparison. Fruit also contributes a substantial amount of my calories, which is my yummy reward. I hardly eat grains anymore because I like the taste of fruit, veggies and beans and seeds better, and they are more nutritious so why bother. The main advantage to grains are that they are a cheap way to get calories. Right now I can afford the other stuff.

I also understand better why Dr. Fuhrman's supplements have the amount of vitamins they do. Unless you eat brazil nuts on this diet, you will likely be deficient in selenium. Since we don't eat salt, we don't have a good source of iodine (added to most table salt). We also have no source of vitamins B12 and D (most people are deficient in Vitamin D). Our other vitamins and minerals are pretty much off the scale. Typically Vitamin A is 4000%; folate 300%; B vitamins 100-200% except B12 which is 0; vitamin C 1500%; Vitamin D 0; Vitamin E 150%; Vitamin K 2000%. Minerals are all higher than 100% except selenium. All amino acids are present.