I’m now at runningvegan.com

Here is my blog and website address going forward – hope you enjoy! Please subscribe if you wish. Looking forward to helping people with nutrition, fitness, running, health and gaining some friends along the way.
http://www.runningvegan.com

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Where Do I Get My Protein?

The question I am asked most often when people find out that I am vegan is “where do you get your protein?”

So I thought it might be helpful to talk about where vegans get their protein.

It is a myth that only animal foods contain protein. There is plenty of protein in plant-based foods. For example, spinach has 51% protein, beans have 26% and whole wheat pasta has 16%.

Furthermore, protein is not needed in the amounts that most people think. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average male requires only 4.5% of calories to come from protein. So for an average 150 lb male, he would need only 22.5 grams of protein daily based on a 2000 calorie a day diet. The WHO also recommends a pregnant woman get 6 percent of calories from protein. Most Americans are consuming 20 percent or more.

According to many doctors including Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Neal Barnard, getting enough protein should be of little concern to most people.

How many people do you know who have been diagnosed with a protein deficiency? Additionally, the largest and strongest animals on the planet, such as hippos, bison and elephants are all plant eaters.

The type of protein consumed is equally important as the quantity of protein one consumes.  Animal protein is acid-producing in your body and excess can lead to many issues such as stress on your kidneys and osteoporosis.  The reason is that excess proteins cause an acid load in the blood and in order to neutralize this load, calcium is leached from the bones.

In summary, someone who consumes a well structured plant-based diet will take in plenty of protein and never have to worry about consuming too much.  And plant proteins are complete proteins.  They do supply all the essential and nonessential amino acids.  So it is a myth that vegans must combine certain plant proteins to reach all of their essential and non-essential amino acids.  This fact is even stated by the American Dietetic Association.  So keep enjoying your plant-based or vegan diet and know you will not have to worry about getting too much or too little protein.

Starting Your Day Right

Hello and thank you for reading my first blog post. Because this is the start of my blog, I think it’s relevant to start with a post about starting your day off right.

Have you ever heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well it is true. After fasting all night during sleep, your body is ready for fuel. If you don’t eat, the body will be forced to access stored glycogen in the muscles and liver, which is stressful for your body. Our bodies function best with a continuous source of high-quality fuel.

I often hear the excuse that a client is not hungry in the mornings as a reason for skipping breakfast. However, once you start eating in the mornings, the hunger signal will quickly start to return. Other clients tell me they skip breakfast because they want to loose weight. Studies show that people who eat breakfast burn more calories throughout the day than those who do not.

Physical and mental performance is also shown to be dependent on consuming breakfast as well. For example, The University of Iowa did a long-term study that showed a direct relationship between eating a nutritious breakfast and mental and physical performance in both children and adults.

Notice I said nutritious breakfast and not just breakfast. Pop tarts and coffee do not qualify as a nutritious breakfast. I used to eat plenty of junk food before I learned what to eat. I drank soda’s for breakfast with a bowl of fruit loops or doughnut holes and chocolate milk. Needless to say, I was not following any plan for putting nutritious foods into my body.

However, after many nutrition lectures and numerous books, I decided something had to change. I started consuming a daily smoothie for breakfast.

Smoothie Recipe
8 ounces plant milk (rice, almond or organic soy)
1 scoop Juice Plus Complete
1 tablespoon brewer’s yeast
1 tablespoon golden organic flax seeds (ground)
1/3 cup raw green tea leaves (food-grade)
1 banana
1 1/2 cups frozen fruit
4 to 6 ounces of water
crushed ice

This shake is a very filling and densely nutritious breakfast. It is approximately 450 calories and around 14 grams of fiber. It will help you stay full for 3 to 4 hours along with giving you energy to start your day.

Juice Plus Complete is the main component of this breakfast smoothie. It is a meal replacement drink mix that is recommended for use for breakfast. Although it can be used as a snack or for pre or post workout recovery, it is not really meant to replace more than one meal per day because I recommend that a variety of foods be consumed each day.

Juice Plus Complete contains no negative ingredients such as dairy, refined sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, eggs, preservatives or coloring agents. It is made from whole foods.

A very important benefit of Complete is that is contains foods that should be consumed daily but that most people do not eat such as:

– Sea Vegetables – One of the best natural sources of trace minerals, especially iodine
– Jerusalem Artichokes
– Contain fructooligosaccharides, which help to repopulate and maintain the flora and fauna in the intestinal tract (the good bacteria)
– Wheat grass
– Excellent source of chlorophyll, densely nutritious
– Soy Protein and Tofu Powder
– One serving of Complete constitutes a serving of soy. The soy in Complete is non-genetically modified (organic).

The benefit of using Juice Plus Complete only comes from regular use and this is why I recommend it every day for breakfast.

Although Juice Plus Complete is the main component of this breakfast smoothie, the other components of the smoothie are equally as important. Stay tuned as I will explain the benefits of each of the breakfast smoothie ingredients as it relates to your health in further postings.