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Mindful Eating Challenge Day 10: Protein!

22 day virtual mindful eating challenge with Spe

Day 10: Protein! 

Years ago, when I transitioned to a whole food plant based lifestyle, the greatest concern I had was if I was going be able to get enough protein.  I was stuck on this idea that protein is primary and I needed a ton of it.  The word protein comes from the Greek word proteios, which means primary, and it is indeed one of the first building blocks of cells and muscle growth. Protein, I believed was only available through animal based foods. Even as I ate more and more plant foods, I still ate fish because I feared that without some animal protein I would wither away.

Enter Rich Roll, ultra marathoner and author of Finding Ultra. Roll has been named one of the fittest men alive by several popular magazines. He has broken records in ultra-triathalons which involve swimming 2.5 miles, cycling 112 miles, and then running a full marathon. Rich, and a growing number ultra-athletes, were leading the pack while being fueled completely on plants. Here’s an article by Roll on protein in your diet from a Vegan perspective.

I learned that plant-based athletes were not just competing but excelling in other strength based sports as well.  Patrik Baboumian, a vegan, recently broke the world record for weight lifting and “Mr. Universe” is also 100% vegan. Arnold Schwarzenegger is now touting the benefits of a plant-based diet – not just for health but for environmental reasons.

Hearing their personal stories gave me the confidence to fully embrace a plant-based lifestyle. Of course, many schools of yoga also consider eating plant-based to be an important aspect of their practice. Here’s an article on the subject that appeared in Yoga Journal. While it took me a long time to let go of my fears before I could embrace myself as a plant-based yogi, I can say that going plant-based has been the most positive and  transformative decision I have made in my life.  Hopefully, sharing my story will help inspire others too. 

Practice of the Day: Explore what works best for you as you try delicious plant foods!  

All plants contain protein, some more than others. Key is getting enough calories from plants to satisfy your protein requirements.  Look at the table below and try adding new plant protein sources to your plate today.  Beans and legumes are a staple of my plate, but there are many other wonderful sources of protein.

Food Serving Calories Protein (g) 
Legumes    
Lentils ½ cup 101 9 Black Beans ½ cup 114 8 Pinto Beans ½ cup 123 8 Red Kidney Beans ½ cup 112 8 Black-eyed Peas ½ cup 100 7 Chickpeas ½ cup 134 7  ½ cup 101 9 
Black Beans ½ cup 112 8 
Black-eyed peas ½ cup 100 7 
Chickpeas ½ cup 134 7 
Pinto Beans ½ cup  123 8 
Kidney Beans ½ cup 112 8 
Soy Foods    
Tempeh ½ cup 160 16 
Tofu ½ cup 94 10 
Soymilk 1 cup 132 8 
Vegetables    
Peas (cooked) ½ cup 67 5 
Artichoke (cooked) 1 medium 100 4 
Spinach (cooked) ½ cup 41 3 
Grains    
Wheat Berries ½ cup 151 6 
Quinoa ½ cup 111 4 
Oatmeal ½ cup 79 3 
Nuts    
Peanut Butter 2 tbsp 188 7 
Almonds 1 ounce 163 6 
Walnuts 1 ounce 185 4 
Seeds    
Pumpkin Seeds 1 ounce 159 9 
Flax Seeds 1 ounce 140 6 
Sunflower Seeds 1 ounce 140 6 
Chia Seeds 1 ounce 138 5 

 Food Serving Calories Protein (g) Legumes (cooked) Lentils ½ cup 101 9 Black Beans ½ cup 114 8 Pinto Beans ½ cup 123 8 Red Kidney Beans ½ cup 112 8 Black-eyed Peas ½ cup 100 7 Chickpeas ½ cup 134 7 Soy Foods Tempeh ½ cup 160 16 Veggie burger (average)* 1- 70 gram 124 11 Tofu* ½ cup 94 10 Soymilk* 1 cup 132 8 Vegetables Peas, cooked ½ cup 67 5 Artichoke, cooked 1 medium 100 4 Spinach, cooked ½ cup 41 3 Grains Kamut ½ cup 126 6 Wheat Berries ½ cup 151 6 Quinoa ½ cup 111 4 Oatmeal ½ cup 79 3 Seeds Pumpkin Seeds 1 ounce 159 9 Flax Seeds 1 ounce 140 6 Sunflower Seeds 1 ounce 140 6 Chia Seeds 1 ounce 138 5 Nuts Peanut Butter 2 tablespoon 188 7 Almonds 1 ounce 163 6 Pistachios 1 ounce 160 6 Hazelnuts 1 ounce 181 4 Walnuts 1 ounce 185 4 

 

 

Dave
irmiter2@gmail.com
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