Colorado Springs Vegan & Vegetarian Group Message Board › Can you be a vegetarian, vegan or raw food athlete and what about the PROTEI

Can you be a vegetarian, vegan or raw food athlete and what about the PROTEIN MYTH!

Kaiserslautern, DE
Post #: 94
Bob Harper, celebrity trainer on Biggest Loser, goes from vegetarian to vegan...­
Kaiserslautern, DE
Post #: 124
Giving this a bump to talk more about protein.

If you are new to the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle then this might be a concern for you. If you aren't new to this lifestyle then you know far too well that this is the #1 question you get - "How do you get your protein?". B12 might be a close second. It makes me realize how little most people know about nutrition....we go by what the media feeds us. I was never really interested in learning until embracing this lifestyle because it takes time, effort and interest to sit down and study the body, how it works, learn what nutrients our food is packed full of (or not packed full of), and learn exactly how much you need when it comes to protein, fiber, B12, etc. It gets overwhelming quickly! I often start by asking people if they know of many protein deficient people and bite my tongue before I say "how do you get your fiber"? There are a lot of vegetarians and vegans out there and somehow we are doing just fine.....athlete's too!!!

So how much protein do you really need. Next time you are asked the question, you can come armed with exact numbers :-)

Here's the simple equation -
An average person needs approximately 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.
1 pound = .45 kg

So if I weigh 123 then I'd take 123 x .45. I'd need approx. 55 g of protein. Now, if I breakdown what I've eaten today (and it's only Noon)....

Breakfast Smoothie
1 cup Blackberries 2g
1 Banana 1g
handful of Spinach 5g
2 Tbsp. Hemp Protein Powder 5g
1 Tbsp. Chia Seed 3g

2 cups Homemade Granola loaded with nuts and seeds = approx. 10g (if not more)

1 Sprouted WW Tortilla 6g
1 Avocado 4 g
1 Veggie Burger 4g

1 Apple 0.47
4 Tbsp Peanut Butter 16g

Chai Tea
1 cup Almond Milk 1g

I'm already at 57.47 g and I haven't even had dinner yet. By the end of the day I'll be well over 55g. Bottom line being we don't need that much protein. If anything, we get too much protein and from my reading, excess protein, after being broken down into amino acids, are converted and stored as fats and sugars. Now, on the days I workout, I'll increase my intake, usually through the form of a smoothie - adding additional protein powder, maca powder, a handful of nuts and maybe some sprouts.

Here's a nice breakdown of just how much protein is in many staples of the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. People will be amazed to learn how much protein is in those leafy greens/veggies-­­

Perhaps a more serious conversation is B12. Here's what The Vegan Coach has to say:
How much Vitamin B12 do you need?

"The recommended amount of Vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms per day, although to be on the safe side and for optimum nutrition aim for 10 micrograms per day.

It's such a teeny, tiny amount, isn't it? Yet so very important to your good health.

If you're the type of person who would prefer to take your Vitamin B12 supplement once per week instead of once per day, then you'll need to take 2,000 micrograms per week.

As you can see, by giving your body a constant supply of Vitamin B12 (every day) you need far less than if you supplement once per week."

So why the concern this day in age for vegetarians and vegans?
According to Dr. McDougall:
"Most people lived in close contact with their farm animals, and all people consumed B12 left as residues by bacteria living on their un-sanitized vegetable foods.
We now live in unnatural conditions—our surroundings have been sanitized by fanatical washing, powerful cleansers, antiseptics, and antibiotics. Since the germ theory of disease was developed by Louis Pasteur in 1877 our society has waged an all-out war on these tiny creatures—most of them extremely beneficial with only a very few acting as pathogens. The rare case of B12 deficiency may be one important consequence of too much cleanliness."

I think it helps to tell people actual numbers and again show, if anything, how many people probably get too much protein...... and the only reason vegetarians and vegans need to be concerned about B12 is because we live in such sanitized times. B12 should be found in our veggies but times have changed!

Betsy K.
user 11269426
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 16
Thank for all the info Shannon. I noticed you only put water in your smoothie. I drink a lot of the commercial soymilks and I think it was in The Kind Diet that Alicia discouraged that. Do you make your own nut milks or are you careful to not drink too much of the commercial products? Also I recently noticed the veggie burgers I've been eating aren't vegan - Boca, Morningstar and Quorn brands. Do you make your own?
Kaiserslautern, DE
Post #: 125
Hi Betsy!
I find I'd rather have water (or coconut water) in my smoothies, it seems to go better with fruit and veggies. Usually the only time I use almond milk is when I'm making a banana or chocolate smoothie because it adds a nice richness and compliments the flavor. The thing I try to watch when buying soy milk is the amount of sugar added and making sure it's organic/Non-GMO. I've cut back a lot on the soy products I buy sticking to miso, tempeh, and the occasional organic tofu. I'm not sure how much truth there is to soy "being bad" for you. I have a hard time believing that a soybean that hasn't been genetically modified or treated with pesticides can be bad for you. I guess the question is - Can you process it enough to make it bad for you? Probably. We have actually grown to prefer the taste of almond milk over soymilk and I like the enriched rice milks for my girls. We don't drink a lot of the nut milks except for in the occasional smoothie and when making a hot chai tea. I have not tried making my own nut milks yet but it's on my "to do/try" list. I've read where it's extremely easy and an added plus to be in control of the sugar. If you aren't wanting extra/added calories then water in your smoothies is the way to go.

I do enjoy making my own veggie burgers, beet burgers, nut burgers, etc. Although a little expensive, I try to keep our freezer stocked with a box of sunshine burgers (found at WF, Vitamin Cottage, Sunflower Market) to have on hand if in need of a quick meal or having to eat on the other words "emergency food". Making your own requires a little bit of prep/time but the results are tasty (I've used Brendan Brazier's recipes in his books Thrive and Thrive Fitness or do searches online to find a recipe that looks good - it's fun to experiment on your own too). I dehydrate mine but you can bake them in the oven or lightly cook on a skillet. They are really good served over a blend of spinach and arugula and topped with avocado, tomato, onion, sprouts and mustard. Isn't that amazing how many veggie burgers contain egg. I guess they use it as their "binder".

Here's the recipe for Brendan's Almond Flaxseed Burger

2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of almonds (I would soak a couple hours)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, hemp oil, or EFA oil blend
Sea salt to taste

Put all ingredients into a food processor. Process until well blended. Process less if you prefer a coarser texture. Form into 2 patties and serve raw or bake them at 300 degrees for 35 minutes or pan fry until golden brown.

Now, I might be apt to add a little shredded carrot, chopped onion, shredded beet, etc.

Let me know if you ever run a across a good recipe.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. I'm currently reading Crazy, Sexy, Diet too! I'm not to far into it but am finding the topic of pH very fascinating. She definitely has me hooked on juicing. Have you looked at Colleen's new book Vegan's Daily Companion yet? It's beautiful and offers wonderful information! Hopefully we'll be in CO to see her speak at Veg Fest :-)

A former member
Post #: 8
I had just come across this, it's a raw fruitarian reporting her blood test results.


Another site about a fruitarian who competes and wins marathons and ultra-marathons

Betsy K.
user 11269426
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 17
Thanks for the tips Shannon. You must be so energetic to do all you do with the diet of your family. It's wonderful. Wow, I didn't know Colleen was going to be in Colorado! Would love to see her. She did a podcast once on soy and said something to the effect, re the controversy surrounding it, folks, it's just a bean. Of course as you brought out, we can probably process it enough to have negative effects. As for ph Ive seen a lot of controversy surrounding it. I heard Andrew Weil, who is along the alternative lines, say that the body will correct for it and that it has to stay in a very narrow range. He wasn't of the belief anything we did to control it was necessary or helpful. Who knows- there are so many different opinions out there. I haven't seen Colleen's Daily Companion book, will have to check it out. I just saw on Dr. Oz about a middle eastern grain called Freeka. For any of you who haven't heard of it, it's supposed to have a higher protein count than quinoa.
Kaiserslautern, DE
Post #: 128
We just came back from a road trip to San Francisco. We listened to the the book "Born to Run" on the way out there and on the way back. I was anticipating learning more about barefoot running but was pleasantly surprised to hear him talk about "diet".
Here is an excerpt from one book review which sums it up nicely:
"The book discusses some of the evolutionary theories about running (primitive men running down their prey), but the diet of the modern runner doesn’t include much meat. The Tarahumara consume little animal protein (mouse meat), and fuel their runs on high grain beer. A veg coworker of mine started taking pinol and chia seeds before his runs after reading this book. The book also features two vegan runners. Ruth Heidrich, a vegan triathlete, who gave up animal products when diagnosed with cancer, and demonstrated that a vegan diet was key to her survival. Scott Jurek, the vegan ultramarathoner extraordinaire, is also one of the main characters in the book. (See him prepare a meal for Mark Bittman here)"

I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it's funny at times, intriguing, has elements of suspense, and is inspiring. For those CO trail running enthusiasts, you won't be disappointed as the Leadville 100 is featured and the local Matt Carpenter, 17 time winner on Pikes Peak and course record holder for both the ascent and marathon plus winner/record holder of the Leadville 100 with the list going on, is also highlighted.

CHIA, CHIA, and more CHIA smile
Here's a website I found with recipes to the food (Pinole)/drink (iskiate) featured in the book - what the Tarahumara fuel their runs with. Hearing him describe the Chia Fresca (iskiate) in the book made my mouth water and thirsty for it! I'm excited to find the recipe and give it a try!­

Thanks for the links Sharon. Pretty fascinating! Blood work is another thing on my "to do" list, as I'm curious to know what all my levels are and realize the importance of knowing.

I will look at Freeka Betsy. Thanks for the info!
Kaiserslautern, DE
Post #: 142
user 7165713
Colorado Springs, CO
Post #: 189
Here is another ultrarunner that is vegan. He wrote a book called "Eat and Run" that looks like a good one to read.

Kaiserslautern, DE
Post #: 176
Thanks Lisa! Looks like it's gotten good reviews. I want to buy the audio version on iTunes to listen to on my long runs but it appears you miss out on all the recipes the book has to offer. The paperback version can be found for $10 so may just purchase it as well (if the recipes look good).

Rich Roll posted this article on protein. Again, more fuel for the fire when it comes to defending protein intake when embracing a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle.­

We just subscribed to his Jai Lifestyle Newsletter. Along with it came a few sample recipes from his new cookbook Jai Seed. I made his Banana Gluten Free Scones last night. They are tasty. He's caught my curiosity for the rest of the book (put out by he and his wife). When you subscribe, he also includes recipes for a Vibration Drink, Kale Wraps, Chia Seed Pudding, Warm Swiss Chard Salad, Veggie Burgers, Quinoa Breakfast Cereal.

If you like podcasts, you may find his new podcast series interesting and helpful when training and fueling your body. Some are very long and I occasionally got lost in some of the specifics, but overall, good to listen to on a run or while cooking in the kitchen. Not only does he have an inspirational story but his wife does as well. Listen to his podcast with her to hear how changing her diet changed her life.

Last, Rip Esselstyn recently did a TEDx Talk. It's very informative/entertaining. He breaks down food and shows how certain foods (meat, milk, fish, eggs, cheese, oil, yogurt etc.) are contributing to heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes. His Engine 2 product line is now found all over Whole Foods.­

Rip mentions Running Back Arian Foster going Vegan. I recently heard a radio interview with him and Dr. Oz. He's not 100% vegan anymore but the majority of his lifestyle is plant based. His teammates give him grief but are taking note on what he's eating. His performance sure isn't lacking either. I found it interesting that these players are fed such horrible food. I'm trying to track down the interview. I'm not finding it so easily this time. sad

Here's a good video though. He's "a thinker" trying to change the mold and make the world a better place.­
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