I don't like to define myself as vegetarian or vegan, I'm somewhere between the two and I get asked so many questions about my diet. Some of them weird and wacky, some judgemental, but most are genuine. I'm always happy to answer, because I'm so passionate about this topic.
One of the biggest questions I get asked, is ' If you don't eat meat, how do you get protein?'
And this is how I answer...
For starters animal protien isn't the best protein for our bodies, it's hard to digest because it has saturated fat and cholesterol that come along with it. It actually takes a FEW DAYS for our bodies to digest a steak! Keep this in mind if you're having meat everyday (you probably have a sluggish bowel too!)
I'm not judgemental to people who eat meat, I just think we all need to make informed descisions about what is right for our bodies. The only person who knows whats best for you, is you! But you have to be willing to listen to what your body is saying. If you do eat meat, I strongly suggest only eating organic free range, and choose 'clean' cuts with minimal fat.
Right back to the vege-protien, here are my favourite sources of vegetarian and vegan proteins and what work best for me...
- Spirulina - This is my absolute number one favourite protein source! It is the highest known natural source of protein (70% complete protein), compared to steak at 25%. I use organic spirulina powder
- Spinach and Broccoli
- Hemp - I add hemp seeds to smoothies, homemade granola and salads
- Nuts (soak for 8+ hours before eating)
- Almond Butter (YUM!)
- Almond Milk - homemade is my favourite (recipe coming soon)
- Quinoa - the perfect addition to almost any meal! Just make sure you rinse it well before cooking
- Lentils and Beans - wash and soak before use
- Chia Seeds
- Bee Pollen ( non-vegan, avoid if you're allergic to honey or bee's) - Bee Pollen is also great for fertility! It has been shown to increase fertility for both males and females. I add mine to my smoothies
- Organic Vegan Protein Powder - Which I have with homemade almond milk. I've only started having this recently while I am making some changes too my diet. It's really important to me to not loose weight while I eliminate and reduce a few things from my diet, and protein is helping me to make sure that happens! I don't plan to have it forever, but it works for now.
In what I like to call the ' uninformed vego days', you know, the vegetarians that fit the stereotype. Tall, skinny, hairy underarms, eating loads of tofu and meat replacers, soy was a staple. (Yes these vegetarians still exist, but there are less and less) I like to think of myself as a 'good vegetarian' with perfect blood levels (except those pesky hormones!) and soy is not for me. Heres why... 91% of soy is genetically modified, it's heavily sprayed with pesticides and is super high in hormones. So high that babies who are on soy based formulas are said to consume up to as many hormones as in five contraceptive pills, in just one day! Anything that has been modified that much is basically processed food and something I try to avoid. You might also like to consider this, especially if you have reproductive issues or want to prevent them for the future.
I'd also like to note that I used to drink a fair bit of soy milk. A small to medium coffee a day on soy, was totally normal, and I do wonder whether that has contributed to my unstable hormone levels. It's something I'll never know for sure, but I'm certain it is part of the tightly woven puzzle of my fertility that we are slowly unwinding!
Are you a meat eater or a vegetarian/vegan? Where do you get protein from?