Monday, 15 September 2014

Vegan & protein

Vegan and protein.
Two words that are almost always found in the same sentence.. usually in this sort of way:
'If you are vegan you might find it difficult to get enough protein.' or
'Vegans are often lacking in essential protein.'
You could pretty much sum it up like this:
 Now, I'm not vegan, but I have been previously (I think that's a cue for another post in the future) and it's the exact same thing for vegetarians too. Why is it that people believe meat is the only source of protein?
I get why people eat meat. It's already got all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot create. It's a high source of protein. It tastes good. (Yes, I'm not going to lie- I did enjoy the taste of meat- and yes, again this is a topic for another day) I don't have a problem with meat eaters.

So why, if I don't have a problem with them choosing to eat meat, do they have a problem with me choosing not to eat meat? I don't have enough fingers or toes to count the number of people who have asked me about my protein and iron sources etc. and yet I can count the number of times I've asked people how they get their five servings of veggies a day, because it's zero. It's not really my business.

So I'm not here to preach veganism/ vegetarianism, or hate on all the meat eaters in the world (that'd be a lot of hating!) I'm just here to educate others, so that when they go to ask that very same question; 'Where do you get your protein.' they can stop themselves and remember this post.

So I'm not just gonna voice my opinion about the matter, because come on, who really cares what a 15-year-old Aussie student thinks (apart from me) no I thought I might instead make my point with cold hard facts :)

 How cool is that? It's also pretty funny. Broccoli is now my new favourite vegetable! (Ok just kidding- I love you sweet potato :)
 A little bit of research here and there presented me with meal plans and tables and protein sources readily available, tasty and easy to include in our diets.. that contain 0 traces of animal.

This website was particularly helpful in straightening out a few questions.
You see the average adult male requires about 63g of protein per day and the average adult female- 52g. Of course those numbers change and shift and jump around considering everyone's demographics but if we just use this as a rough guideline, a typical day of food could look like this:

(this is just the protein sources- it does not include all the extra veggies and fruit etc.)
1 cup oatmeal (6 grams)
1 cup soy milk (7 grams)
2 tablespoons peanut butter (8 grams)

2 slices of whole wheat bread (7 grams)
1 cup baked beans (12 grams)

100g trail mix (13 grams)

1 cup cooked lentils (18 grams)
1 cup cooked bulgur ( 6 grams)

Total: 7 grams of protein
That's right- that's over the amount listed above- without the inclusion of protein pill/ powders.

I strongly recommend clicking on the above link as there are multiple tables with amounts of protein in different foods and other statistics.
For example:
1 cup of tempeh- 31 grams of protein
1 cup of black beans- 15 grams of protein
1 cup of peas- 8 grams f protein

So the take-away message?
Next time someone asks you how you get enough protein simply:
Ok maybe not. Though you can calmly and intelligently inform them of all the foods that give you your bulking muscles!

Until next time- eat your spinach to be as strong as popeye!
Bye for now! :D


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