Vegetarianism and the Protein Myth

vegetarianism and the protein myth


One of the commonly asked questions for vegans and vegetarians is how do they get their protein?

I became vegan for a year as an experiment, and protein deficiency was never a problem. In fact I ran two marathons, swam and pumped iron regularly and worked a full-time job up to 60 hours a week. All it takes is a little work on the front end, and once my systems were in place, food never became a hassle. Some of the benefits of this were:

1) Better sleep quality

2) More energy

3) Clearer thinking

4) A great metabolism

5) Healthier skin, eyes, teeth and nails.

That doesn't mean to say that if you are a vegan/vegetarian you're going to be super healthy. There are plenty of sick-looking junk vegans/veggies. It's a bit of work to source your food and to figure out go-to meals, but every week I'd make my own hummus, tabbouleh, rice and veggie dishes and salads. I'd prepare food to last a few days, and thus spent far less time in the kitchen. Making your own crackers from juiced veggies is another great way to both minimize food waste and enjoy your fiber intake. What do you do with them, you ask? You dip them in the hummus that you made in your food processor.

I liken this to starting a fire. You don't just set a match to a log and expect it to burst into flames, rather you take some kindling and start a small fire and gradually add to it. The log is your meat. The kindling is your veggies. The amount of energy required to start a fire from a log is greater than the amount of energy that the log will produce at first, so imagine that is your digestive system - you're going to feel sluggish after a meat fest, but not so after a feast of greens. We all need as much energy as we can get, so think about the kindling. Eat smart.

Why did I stop with the veganism? It was an experiment, but it became hard to eat out. Not so many restaurants accommodate vegans, and ultimately I'd end up paying a bunch of money for something that I could better make at home. I am still mostly vegetarian, but eat fish and eggs, and occasionally a steak. But after each steak I feel disappointed, so they are few and far between.

High Protein Veggies

Beans, broccoli, mushrooms, succotash, spirulina, sweet corn, collared greens, spinach.

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