As a vegan, do you feel you get enough protein? If so, from where?
This is the biggest and most persistent question every vegan will face at some point in their life. You can be a lean, mean, muscular machine and still get asked this question as a vegan. For those unfamiliar with the diet it is a fair concern because the advertisement for more protein is everywhere. However, the amount of protein that is emphasized in our culture today is overkill. Yes, proteins are the building blocks of the body. Your body needs to break down protein from your diet to utilize individual amino acid to keep your cells functioning at an optimal level so you can keep on, keepin’ on.
So do I get enough protein as a vegan? Absolutely! At minimum, our bodies require .40 g of protein per body weight.
Let’s say you weigh 150 lbs. Now, times that by .40grams. You will need to eat a minimum of 60g of protein per day.
Simple! Check out this list of plant-based protein options:
Broccoli (1 cup) = 3g of protein
Kidney Beans (1 cup) = 8g of protein
Nut butter (2 Tbs.) = 8g of protein
Hemp seeds, perhaps in a salad (3 tbs.) = 10g protein
Tempeh (1/2 cup) = 15.5g of protein
Edamame (1 cup) = 17g protein
Altogether, you get 61.5g of protein from these foods alone and there are always more to add to the list! And vegetables do have protein!
If you are still unsure if you are getting enough protein remember all of us do NOT live the same lifestyle which may require you to eat more or less than others. Nutrition is individualized. The overall message is to eat a well balance whole-foods diet. Please do not get caught up counting every macro nutrient (protein, fat and carb). With a balanced diet, you will receive optimal protein and then some. Want to know what an active vegan nutritionist consumes in a day? Click Next Page to Find out!
Confession #1: my meals are not extravagant and often have less than 7 ingredients. As a person on the run, my lifestyle consists of prepping meals beforehand to keep me energized throughout the day. Many people think, oh she is a Nutritionist, she can afford the time to cook all day. Unfortunately, this is not the case but the times I do cook, I cherish. For this reason, I show how the food was prepared below in (()) to show the heathy vegan foodie I am.
Confession #2: If I want a velvety vegan grilled cheese or a mountain size nacho plate, I will make it or go out and find it if need be! Don’t get it twisted, I am human and have cravings too. Confession #3: The ease of a healthy vegan diet is balance and is simpler than many think.
Acai Bowl to start my day (blended and topped)
Sweet and Spicy Garlic Roasted Trail Mix for Snacking (prepped)
Big veggie salad with toppings on toppings (thrown together)
Snackin’ on veggie packed spring rolls, GF tamari and herbal tea (prepped)
Quinoa, tempeh stirfry with asparagus for dinner (quinoa prepped, and the rest cooked with love)
Feel free to share some of your favorite go-to meals with me.
Stay healthy my friends!
Photo: Katherine Losoya