Here it comes!! The rant you’ve ALL been waiting for since it’s among the most commonly asked questions of vegans:
“Where do you get your protein from?”
Before I answer that question, I’m going to take a step back and talk about things like the concept of a “meal” in this culture and why much of it is the way it is. We are taught that you break up food into “vegetables and fruits, grains, dairy, and protein.” What you aren’t taught is where government dollars are going, and this influences our education:
Enlightening, isn’t it? Naturally as a result, people are taught that meat = protein and dairy = calcium. You don’t hear about how protein is in ALL sources of natural food, that calcium is ADDED to milk to get it to the levels it’s at, that plant sources of dairy are more than adequate, or that it’s actually the acidity of meat and dairy which leech calcium from your bones and cause osteoporosis.
Now returning to the original question. I get my protein from FOOD.
So do these folk:
Robert Cheeke, vegan, bodybuilder.
Scott Jurek, vegan, ultramarathoner.
Brendan Brazier, vegan, former ironman triathlete and ultramarathoner.
You get the idea.
Here are a few other protein myths we can put to bed (or so I can dream!):
1) The “complete protein” myth. Our bodies are very, very smart. They don’t need elaborate “protein combining” in a single meal to get the job done.
2) Plants don’t contain all of the essential amino acids. Oh yes, they do.
So…I don’t think of meals as containing “Protein, dairy, vegetables and fruits, and grains”. I think of my meals as contains fruit, vegetables, and the occasional grain. The bulk of my carbs come from fruit and brown rice. Good sources of calcium include tofu, collard greens, kale, broccoli, and bok choy. I can get my iron from spinach, quinoa, lentils, tofu, swiss chard, and chickpeas. I aim to be high raw. At some point I may be 100%, I’m not sure. If I had a juicer and a small blender I could keep at work it’d make that much easier. 🙂
I honestly only worry about two nutrients: B12 (which thankfully exists in various foods and/or in vegan supplements) and in the winter, vitamin D. B12, contrary to common myth, is bacteria derived. 99% of people who are B12 deficient are meat-eaters! It comes from the soil, but the quality of our soil isn’t what it used to be. It’s good to supplement B12 as an omnivore OR a vegan.
Now see…this “rant” wasn’t so bad, was it. 😉
This blog post was brought to you by:
PS One medium banana contains 1.3 grams of protein!!
PPS Made you look. 😛