Where do you get your protein?
Ah yes, the ever so popular questions I get when I tell people that I eat a plant-based diet; “what do you eat in a day?”,”how do you get your protein?”,”don’t you miss eating chicken?”.
The short answer is no, I don’t miss eating animals at all. The long answer is a bit more complicated. People’s curiosity is warranted and understood. We grow up having beliefs around food and eating a certain type of meals prepared by our families. They are comforting and what we know best. It’s hard to fathom not eating that special dish my grandmother used to prepare around every holiday, or my mom’s specialities. However, opening ourselves up to change and the possibility that what we grew up with may not be the best diet for our needs or even the planet’s, may be key to making a healthy change. That’s one of the reason’s why I have made the switch and have happily stayed on a plant-based diet for nearly 3 years now. Knowing that my body is healthier as I’ve resolved many health issues (including eye floaties which were driving me crazy for years!), am contributing less to the global warming disaster and live in harmony with the animals on this planet, are exactly the reasons why I don’t miss eating chicken.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining or discrediting people’s genuine curiosity. I’ve been there. Before I made my switch to a plant-based diet, I myself could not imagine that lifestyle. In fact, I was so clueless, that when I first gave it a try in graduate school I lived off of frozen vegan meals, chips and french fries. I failed so miserably at my dietary change and felt so weak that I was back to eating meat within 3 weeks. At that time, I believed that I was a born carnivore, and would rarely be able to consume a satisfying meatless meal.
Thankfully, I never rested in trying to resolve my health issues. I’ve been battling Psoriasis for over 20 years now. The itchy scalp, red and flaky skin are my constant reminders that I still have a long healing road ahead. It was the main reason why I made the switch and stayed with it for many years. It was actually completely innocent and organic. I stumbled upon the Medical Medium and many people in his community who have claimed to have healed from their own autoimmune diseases. I was determined to give it a try. I never in a million years thought I’d stick with the diet beyond his 28 day cleanse, but here I am. The cleanse was very difficult as it comprised of raw vegetables and fruits and very limited carbs and healthy hats, therefore afterwards making a switch to a regular vegan diet seemed extremely easy and the natural next step for me. I never looked back since.
What do I eat in a day? Lets not forget the amazing assortments of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds that we have available to us from the beautiful mother nature. I mean I can make any meal I used to eat before, and make a vegan version of it. Nowadays, you can also get meat like burgers, chicken products and cheeses which taste just like the real thing or better, in case you are craving these types of products. Being vegan has never been easier.
Eating plant-based, although easy and convenient now, it’s important to know which foods are full of vitamins, minerals, good fats, protein, micronutrients etc. The good news is that if the majority of your diet comes from whole-food sources, your food will be packed with them. Our vegetables alone are the marvel of nature, designed to deliver most of the nutrients our bodies need. They all come loaded with them, so if you include a good variety in your diet, the chances of you being deficient in anything are slim to none.
I’d still like to explain how do I get my protein, since most people tend to ask this question. Well, from plants. Many plants are a richer protein source than meat products. Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and kale offer a very large protein amount per serving. Tofu, quinoa, chickpeas and other legumes easily satisfy our protein needs, which are not as high as we are often lead to believe.
Let’s not forget about the vitamin B-12 . The myth out there is that you can only get B-12 from eating animals. That is actually incorrect. In fact, most people are deficient in B-12. That’s because B-12 is produced from bacteria found in water and in soil and due to the heavy use of chlorine, pesticides and chemicals in the environment, the B-12 producing bacteria is now mostly killed. That is why farms now use B-12 supplements for animals and you are not getting enough B-12 from animal products. Wouldn’t you rather get the supplement directly rather than a small amount from an animal meal? B-12 should be supplemented no matter what diet you are on, and the best way to do it is from taking the supplements directly.
I hope that this blog post answered some of your basic questions about switching to the plant-based diet. It may not be the answer for you, and that’s fine. Only you know, how your body thrives and how to best take care of it. I just wanted to share some of my experiences and the most common questions I get asked. Let me know if you have any more questions in the comment section. I’d love to chat more about this, as it’s quickly become one of my favorite topics of discussion.