Clean Eating 101
Busting Myths About Plant-based Protein
You know what really grinds my gears? When people tell me I’m not getting enough protein because I don’t eat meat. They assume I’m not getting enough vitamins, minerals, or iron. They challenge my diet and look down on me because I’m eating a huge plate of vegetables instead of the sausage and potatoes, pepperoni pizza, or burgers and hot dogs. Little do they know, I’m eating a better protein source that has more vitamins and minerals than their plate!
If you’re debating going vegetarian or vegan this year, keep in mind the following truths:
Plants have plenty of protein. In fact, it’s better to get protein from plants than meat. Why? Thrive Forward explains:
- Low in saturated fat
- Free of the growth hormones and antibiotics found in animal proteins
- Easy to digest
- Better for the environment
Contrary to common belief, there are complete protein sources from plants, such as quinoa, soybeans, and Savi Seeds. Most of the time (but not always) you can eat a variety of plants to get a complete protein. (A complete protein means it contains essential amino acids. This just means your body can’t produce these amino acids on its own.) When you eat an assortment of foods, you don’t only get a variety of amino acids, but a ton of different vitamins and minerals. This helps you stay nourished, energized, and healthy. It is better for your body to get a rainbow of vegetables. Your arteries do not get clogged. Your fat level stays low. And your plasma stays clear.
“But I’m an athlete. I need 7lbs of chicken a day to build muscle.” This is entirely false. The leader of Thrive and Vega, Brendan Brazier, is an Ironman Triathlete AND a vegan. You can build plenty of muscle using plant-based carbs, fats, and proteins. Look up vegan body builders; they are a whole culture of people who go against this belief.
Apply It–>Show Me How You’re Thriving
I’m challenging you to replace your next meal with a plant-based protein source instead of the animal-protein. Try black beans, quinoa, brown rice, mushrooms, kale, spinach, hummus (chickpeas + sesame seeds), or even a Gardein product. Don’t just take out the meat you’re using and consider that a veggie meal. Replace it with something delicious! Get creative! Take a pic and post a link below.
I love to make a sprouted grain bread sandwich, with hummus, sprouts, and grilled/roasted veggies. Use some fresh avocado or Chipotle Veganaise. Have some chopped raw veggies on the side, like baby carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers.