Ahhh, we made it through another week! I am so excited for spring. I think it’s actually here. We had a stretch of nice weather and I took full advantage of it with getting outside for walks in the evenings. Now I just need to remember to get my walking shoes to work so I can get out at lunch. It feels so much better to stretch a bit during lunch rather than staying in and working. Maybe next week it will happen.
How Vegans Get Their Protein:
I have heard the question many times when I tell people I eat a plant-based diet, “How do you get your protein?” I usually tell them beans, nuts and seeds. I also go on to explain how 100 calories of broccoli actually has more protein than 100 calories of beef. Of course, I assure them that you get to eat a lot more broccoli than beef to get 100 calories. It’s about three cups of raw, chopped broccoli compared to 1 ounce of beef. And you’re going to have a feeling of being full much longer with the broccoli. There’s 11 grams of protein in 100 calories of broccoli compared to beef at just 6 to 8 grams. Plus with beef you get all the fat and cholesterol. Kale (my favorite) and Romaine lettuces are also great sources of protein and, like broccoli, they are loaded with many other important vitamins and nutrients. These are not the only vegetables that contain protein. My point is to use them as an example.
Another great way to get protein is by consuming raw nuts and seeds. If you like a stronger flavor, it is suggested that you eat them lightly toasted rather than roasted. I find it very easy to put the needed amount of nuts or seeds in a skillet and toast them in the pan on the stovetop just until they become fragrant. Nuts should be eaten with fruit or vegetables rather than as a snack to avoid over-consumption. Though they are a healthy, clean source of fat, you don’t want to have more than one to two ounces a day. I use nuts — usually cashews — in my salad dressings to make them creamy. Nuts are a wonderful addition to my morning fruit or oatmeal too! Sometimes when I’m having a really sweet craving I’ll stuff an almond in each end of a pitted date and pop it in my mouth. Of course, see a few lines above where I talk about over-consumption. It’s easy to line up about five of those and consume way too many calories. But at least they’re healthy calories. 🙂
This salad is loaded with all kinds of nutrients. Full of leafy greens, legumes, nuts & fruit, I served it recently at a party at my house and also took it to a gathering with a friend. It has no salad dressing on it so it stores well made up in the refrigerator for a few days. Enjoy!
More Plant Proteins:
Beans and legumes are very high in protein. They also pack a few more calories than green vegetables, but do not despair. A lot of the calories in beans and other legumes like lentils are dietary fiber. That means that after we suck the nutrients from the beans, the calories are not absorbed by our bodies and pass right on through. So eat up! Enjoy at least a cup of beans a day and get your needed protein & dietary fiber. You’ll be happy you did. If you have a problem with beans causing discomfort and you’re new to eating them, try just a couple of tablespoons at a time. After a week or so of doing it this way, gradually add more to your meal, remembering to chew them very well. You might just be surprised. Some people have less problems with lentil as opposed to the “big beans” like kidney or pinto. One of my favorite recipes using lentils is Chef AJ’s lentil tacos. Oh, yum! Another one I tried this past weekend was a terrific stew that friend and fellow blogger Carrie posted on her blog. It was absolutely fantastic. I forgot, though, to open the vent on my pressure / slow cooker, so it cooked much quicker. It was still very good. And I will definitely make her Indian Stew again. Here’s what mine looked like when it was finished. Hers looked much less mushy, but I think it was due to my mistake with the cooker.
Well, it’s been a good week. It was Administrative Professional’s Day this week and my boss decided to celebrate the entire week with a gift each day. She knows what a nut I am about my food so she gifted both me and my co-worker with mostly non-food gifts. I will share my entire week’s bounty on Monday! Enjoy your healthy, happy weekend!