If you haven’t gotten it already, be prepared to hear the phrase, “How do you get your protein on a vegan diet?” a million and one times when you inform someone that you are vegan or mostly vegan.
It’s a very reasonable question, and its helpful to have an “elevator pitch” of sorts prepared in response.
So check this out… I‘m in the line at Whole Foods, and the lady behind me asks, “Wow, I want to know what you do to have legs like that!” (yes, this type of scenario happens quite frequently!) I reply, “Well thank you! Besides kickboxing & the variety of workouts I do, I am vegan and eat a plant-based diet which keeps me in the best possible shape!”
The lady immediately asks, “But you have great muscle definition… how do you get your protein?” To which I answer, “Its simple! I get plenty of the top quality protein found in vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, peas, beans, quinoa, and other whole grains. By cutting out animal products that are so harmful to our health (not to mention animals, and environment), I am full of energy and look and feel better than ever!”
“No, what’s that?”
“A must-see documentary with all the health facts on the subject from a scientific standpoint. Its fascinating… Forks Over Knives, definitely check it out!” And then I hand her my card so she can find the information on my website, but unless you are coaching people on nutrition, you probably will skip that part 😉
Anyway, its really important to help spread the word about the benefits of a plant-based diet and let people know how you get protein on a vegan diet. Its a good deed to say the least, and necessary to spread awareness and actually ultimately saving people’s lives! Depending on where you live, you may find that using the term, “plant-based diet,” engages people more than “vegan.” In many areas of the country, many people don’t even know what vegan means, and if they do, they may attribute it to weirdo, hippie, liberal, granola-head-type people whom turn them off.
If you don’t feel like you are eating a wide enough variety of plant foods to meet your needs, you can always supplement with a vegan protein powder. I recommend pea & rice protein as opposed to soy. The research is somewhat mixed, but I think its best to keep your soy intake moderate, especially for men, I like to save it for dishes with tofu, meat substitutes, and edamame (I go to sushi restaurants often and always get the edamame appetizer.)
My most recent vegan protein powder discovery is from the brand BalanceDiet and is called Lean Protein 07. Learn all about it here (I liked it so much I wrote an entire post about it and feature it on my “Favorite Products” page!
I discovered Sun Warrior brand protein many years ago and have always found it to be one of my top picks. I think it has the a decent texture (not gritty at all) and neutral taste. They have their Classic Protein, which is made from brown rice, and a Blended Protein. I much prefer the regular over the blended, but everyone has different options about these things.
Vega, is another company that makes a great vegan protein. Vegan Sport Performance Blend has a mix of plant protein (soy free), and also tastes good. This protein powder also contains a branched chain amino acid complex, L-Glutamine, and a digestive enzyme blend which are great additions to a shake! This probably accounts for the higher price. Vega, like Sun Warrior, is also a trusted, quality company.
Both of these powders can be blended or shaken with water or a milk substitute (almond, coconut, rice, hemp, etc.) and can be used alone as a quick protein blast, or added to a shake or smoothie.
Here’s one more “Sexy Fit Vegan™ Approved” proteins to give you more options!
RAW Protein (it’s certified organic and raw!)