Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day 12: But What About Protein???

Anytime someone hears about what I'm doing/eating, their first question always seems to be, "But what are you doing for protein?"  The meat industry has done a great job of convincing the American public that you need a nice hunk of animal protein on your plate for every meal.

And I'm not some high on the mountain vegan preaching to end the eating of animals. I've eaten meat. A lot of it. I even went Paleo for a month before I decided I felt like crap.  I'm doing this plant adventure for myself to see if I become a better and healthier person, not to convince anyone else to give meat up. I think ethically, the meat industry as a whole is beyond F'ed up, but there are a lot of grass fed and wild caught game that are probably pretty good for you in moderation.

So where DO I get my protein?

Yes, I know. Your food eats my food. I've heard that one a few times... But we're mammals. There's tons of mammals that eat only plants. Where do they get their protein? Yep, from plants!

Food Matters did a pretty fantastic job of breaking down the different plant proteins:

1. Vegetables 

• 1 avocado - 10 grams
• 1 cup broccoli - 5 grams
• 1 cup spinach - 5 grams
• 2 cups cooked kale - 5 grams
• 1 cup boiled peas - 9 grams
• 1 cup cooked sweet potato - 5 grams

2. Legumes, also vegetables, get their own mention. 

• 1 cup soybeans - 28 grams 
• 1 cup lentils - 18 grams
• 1 cup refried beans - 15.5 grams
• 1 cup garbanzo beans (and hummus) - 14.5 
• 1 cup pinto, kidney, black beans - 13-15 grams
• 1 oz peanuts - 6.5 grams

3. Nuts and seeds 

• 1 oz. cashews - 4.4 grams
• 1 oz. sesame seeds 6.5 grams, 3 tablespoons of tahini - 8 grams
• 1/4 cup (2 oz.) walnuts - 5 grams
• 1 oz. pistachios - 5.8 grams
• 2 tbsp almonds - 4 grams
• Nut butters - peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter - 2 tablespoons has about 8 grams of protein

4. Non-dairy milk

*Soy, almond, ancient grain. 1 cup gets you 7-9 grams of protein.

5. Grains - Ancient grains, sprouted grains, multi-grains - a major part of the diet.

• Quinoa is versatile and delicious. 1 cup - 9 grams.
• Amaranth, bulgur, brown rice, wheat germ, oat bran are other grains with a high protein content.
• Oatmeal - 1 cup = 6 grams.
• Sprouted grain bread products - buns, tortillas, bread. Pack a sandwich or a wrap and you'll get 7-10 grams from the bread alone.

6. Supplements 

*spirulina and chlorella are used often by vegetarians and vegans for their rich nutrient content, and protein content. 
*Hemp - 30 grams of hemp powder in your smoothie gives you 11 grams of protein.

However, I'm a visual guy. This graph is a pretty nice comparison of plant vs. animal protein and what else you're getting with that meat, not including antibiotics and hormones.

And what about athletic performance? You can ask Rich Roll who was named one of the "25 Fittest Men in the World" by Men's Fitness Magazine. Rich Roll was the first athlete to compete in the Ultraman World Championships (which is a double Ironman) on an entirely plant-based diet.

Or ask Scott Jurek (ultra-marathoner), Mac Danzig (UFC Fighter), Carl Lewis (Olympic Athlete of the Century), or check out this site for a list of top level athletes competing while eating only plants:  Apparently, they all get enough protein and they get it from plants.

So now you know, and knowing is half the battle. Time for a run!

Courtesy of G.I. Joe

No comments:

Post a Comment