Friday, December 23, 2011

It's All About the Protein!!


When you become a vegan or vegetarian you will inevitably be asked the following question at least 40 millions times (give or take). "Where do you get your protein?" protein, Protein, PROTEIN!!!

Since when did people care so much about protein? Since when did protein become the most important nutrient ever to humans? Most people don't even know how much protein one needs to consume, yet they are so worried that you aren't getting enough. (can you tell this is a touchy subject?)

Well yes my protein obsessed friends, this wonderful nutrient is very important.  Proteins are a part of every part of our body and we need the proteins in our food to replace the ones that are being broken down constantly.

As a vegan I get my protein from many different non-animals sources such as beans, tempeh, seitan, nutritional yeast, fortified non-dairy milks/yogurts, tofu, fruits and veggies, as well as nuts. As a women I only need about 46 grams per day, my son needs about 13 per day, and my husband needs about 56 grams per day. (http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html)

So let's do the math. For breakfast today I ate tofu scramble and toast which has 10g and 7g respectively plus 8g in the nutritional yeast that was on my scramble. For lunch I ate a veggie pattie (12g), fries (4g), and a salad (1g). For dinner I ate veggie spaghetti (10g). Add it up and that comes to 52 g of protein that this vegan ate today without meat, eggs, or dairy--Cue the applause :-)

My husband was also able to get his protein needs meet since he eats a bigger serving size than me and my 21 month old son was able to obtain his protein needs since he eats what I eat , but in smaller portions. Our vegan diet has protein power for the whole family.

So my veggie friends the next time one of your well meaning, but uneducated omnivore friends asks you "So where do you get your protein?" you can turn to them, smile, and say "Food duh!"

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