Since becoming vegan, I’ve been asked this age-old question so many times I’ve lost count (and it hasn’t even been a month yet). Thankfully I had researched the vegan lifestyle ahead of time and knew all the protein I will ever need can come from plant-based foods. In fact, I am now eating more food, and getting more protein than ever before.
When I tell people this they are unconvinced. Marketing agencies and corporations have convinced us protein is the most important part of our food and the good stuff comes from meat and dairy. We’re bombarded with images and ad campaigns pushing animal protein: ‘Milk, It Does a Body Good’, ‘The Incredible Edible Egg’, ‘Beef, it’s What’s for Dinner’. But think about that for a minute - where do the animals providing us meat and dairy get their protein? They get it from eating plants!
In truth, Americans are not protein deficient, we are fiber deficient, and this is a huge cause of disease. So, if you want to stress about something, stress about your fiber intake, and increase your fruits and vegetables. But I know - I know, you're still not convinced a plant based diet can give you the protein you need to survive.
Here are some fun facts:
The amount of protein the average person needs per day is about 40-50 grams – figure your protein needs this way: 0.8 grams x your ideal body weight in kilos (not lbs) = protein need.
Animal proteins and plant proteins are both complete all on their own.
Plant proteins have a healthier composition and balance of amino acids which protect us from inflammation and tumor growth – in fact, 25% of your average vegetable is made up of protein.
If you eat meat, your protein comes from the plants the animal ate, not the animal.
Most plant based foods have little to no saturated fats and are filled with antioxidants, fiber, minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals.
Animal protein is filled with saturated fat, cholesterol, added hormones and antibiotics.
People who have protein deficiency have a condition called kwashiorkor, so rare you've probably never heard of it.
So eat your vegetables without fear!!
(Ignore the egg - this was made for vegetarians.)
If you're ready to eat, a great place you can find amazing vegan recipes for free is Pinterest. There are so many delicious ideas there, you will be running to the store! Check out my board for some quick ideas of what to make here.