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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:06 am 
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Aubade wrote:
mollyjade wrote:
http://veganhealth.org/articles/protein.php


That link is really helpful! I just put my weight into the calculator and it says I need ~55 g protein a day. If I put in my ideal weight, I'd need 47. I calculated an average day of what I eat and realized I'm only getting about 48.

1 serving peanut butter + 2 rice cakes + banana = 11 g
1/2 cup chickpeas + 1 cup quinoa + AFR balsamic tahini dressing (and veggies like lettuce, cukes, carrots etc) = 16.4 g
1 cup whole wheat spagetti + tomato sauce + 1/2 cup lentils + 1 cup broccoli = 21 g
TOTAL: 48.4

So I'm 6g short with only 2 pts left. I could add in a cup of oat milk for 4g, but that's 4pts so I'm now dipping into my weekly points and still 2g short. This also means if I use my weekly points just to up my protein intake, I will never get to have any desserts or treats EVER.

I hate dieting.

In any case, this shows that unless you're careful about things it really isn't that hard to mess up and not get enough protein.



I really don't think you should worry about not getting exactly the right amount of protein daily. Getting the right amount of nutrients is more about what you eat on average. Your body doesn't use that exactly amount of nutrients each and everyday. And also, the amount of protein that the calculator says you need is just an estimate based on averages that most people need. If you're 6 grams short today, you may go three grams over another day later in the week and then another three grams over another day and that's totally fine.
Eat some dessert!

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:16 am 
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This thread has been really helpful, and made me realize I don't always get enough protein. I do wonder if it's true that people only need to consume enough protein for their ideal body weight. I'm currently about 50-60 lbs overweight. When I lost a bunch of weight many years ago, focusing on protein and veggies worked better for me than trying to cut calories.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:24 am 
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Aubade wrote:
So I'm 6g short with only 2 pts left. I could add in a cup of oat milk for 4g, but that's 4pts so I'm now dipping into my weekly points and still 2g short. This also means if I use my weekly points just to up my protein intake, I will never get to have any desserts or treats EVER.
Let the shake BE your desert. Make them as awesome as your points will allow. I do iced coffee protein shakes, fruit protein shakes, chocolate protein shakes...

Keep some fruit in the freezer to add to it, like blueberries or something. Half a banana adds a lot of sweetness and a creaminess that I enjoy. Just adding ice can turn something "meh" into a treat!

Pea protein is the cheapest around, I think, but it is not brilliantly balanced (but if your diet is well balanced then that won't matter). Soy is soy is soy. Hemp has good amino-acid balance but has lower protein overall than others (nearer 50% than the 80% found in other protein powders) and is grey, which is not the most delicious of the colours. Rice protein is pretty good, but there seems to be a European rice protein drought at the moment, annoyingly. Spirulina is expensive but is like a nutritional rabbit punch - effective and powerful but pretty unforgivable in flavour. It also is the greenest thing you have ever seen. If you mix hemp and spirulina, you get a nutrient-rich greeny grey smoothie that is about the veganest thing ever and will make people think you are insane.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:01 am 
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JimXVX wrote:
I get 200g protein daily as a minmum (at 96kg bodyweight). Any less & I'd be freaking out about getting injured in the gym due to lack of recovery.


For me and my husband, I can tell you it is possible to gain muscle mass while eating less than 100g protein/day. My husband is in his late 30s and has always been very slight. He has also always been interested in some physical fitness and despite going to the gym/eat plenty of protein when he wasn't a vegan, he actually started to put on quite a bit of muscle mass (for him) when he started doing TRX/other body weight stuff as a vegan than when he was lifting weights as a non-vegan at the gym. For myself, I was doing Crossfit and put on a good deal of muscle (for a woman). My husband eats a bit more protein than I do but we are both in the 50-70g range/day.

I'd also have to find it but I did do some looking into what old school body builders used to eat and it is quite surprising, they didn't eat a lot of protein in terms of what we see today. It seemed like the old school mentality was to eat low fat and often the higher fat foods were coupled with protein so they ate a lot of low protein sources of food.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:40 am 
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If I recall correctly (which is not a given), old-school bodybuilding was built around grains and lots of 'em. High carbohydrate load for energy and a decent amount of protein.

There's substantial forensic evidence that Roman gladiators were vegetarian or near-vegan. Then again, it was in their interests to be more than a little fat as well as muscular, to provide "padding" for all those spears and lions and junk to stab at.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:01 am 
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linanil wrote:
I'd also have to find it but I did do some looking into what old school body builders used to eat and it is quite surprising, they didn't eat a lot of protein in terms of what we see today. It seemed like the old school mentality was to eat low fat and often the higher fat foods were coupled with protein so they ate a lot of low protein sources of food.


Gulliver wrote:
If I recall correctly (which is not a given), old-school bodybuilding was built around grains and lots of 'em. High carbohydrate load for energy and a decent amount of protein.


These are my impressions too, but I'd have to find the sources as well. I don't think it's necessary at all for everyone to eat more than 50-70g of protein a day in order to put on muscle mass or to aid recovery.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:49 am 
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I wasn't going as far back as ancient Rome. Prior to the protein supplement boom in the 80s, it seems that body builders didn't eat mass amounts of protein. This would include people like Arnold in his prime.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:11 am 
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linanil wrote:
I wasn't going as far back as ancient Rome. Prior to the protein supplement boom in the 80s, it seems that body builders didn't eat mass amounts of protein. This would include people like Arnold in his prime.
The "you need to mainline whey" thing is definitely a relatively recent occurrence. Let's blame advertising!

A lot of the non-supplementy things are basically common sense and a good diet. Supplements are shortcuts (I used pea and rice protein in shocking amounts when I was serious about bulking up and was constipated all the time as a consequence), and I think are symptomatic of the too-much-choice-not-enough-sense attitude that prevails.

Non-vegan alert: ethical implications aside, lean chicken breast and oily fish can fairly healthy as part of ones diet. Obviously one should eat all things in moderation (except champagne, which should be drunk to excess or not at all), which I think is where the whole supplement thing falls down. Lots of silly sausages out there think that if some is good, more must be better.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:29 am 
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linanil wrote:
JimXVX wrote:
I get 200g protein daily as a minmum (at 96kg bodyweight). Any less & I'd be freaking out about getting injured in the gym due to lack of recovery.


For me and my husband, I can tell you it is possible to gain muscle mass while eating less than 100g protein/day. My husband is in his late 30s and has always been very slight. He has also always been interested in some physical fitness and despite going to the gym/eat plenty of protein when he wasn't a vegan, he actually started to put on quite a bit of muscle mass (for him) when he started doing TRX/other body weight stuff as a vegan than when he was lifting weights as a non-vegan at the gym. For myself, I was doing Crossfit and put on a good deal of muscle (for a woman). My husband eats a bit more protein than I do but we are both in the 50-70g range/day.

I'd also have to find it but I did do some looking into what old school body builders used to eat and it is quite surprising, they didn't eat a lot of protein in terms of what we see today. It seemed like the old school mentality was to eat low fat and often the higher fat foods were coupled with protein so they ate a lot of low protein sources of food.


Each to their own, but 50-70g per day is not going to maximise gains. For me personally over the years I've figured I do best on a high protein & relatively low-ish carbs/calories diet. Old-school bodybuilders may not have eaten as much protein as the current guys, but then it's not uncommon for bodybuilders thesedays to consume 300-400g per day so it's all relative. Not to mention that the old school guys (60s/70s onwards) were still using massive amounts of steroids.


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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:32 am 
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quark wrote:
For anyone trying to get enough protein without consuming too many calories, you might try eating more dark green veggies. Things like broccoli and spinach have a surprisingly high amount of protein for the calories. Per the nutritiondata website, 1 cup of frozen chopped spinach has 6 g of protein and only 45 calories (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/veg ... cts/2630/2). I think stats for broccoli and dark leafy greens are similar.


^ With respect this is exactly the kind of thing the OP was referring to. If you think consuming a few extra greens is going to significantly boost your protein intake then you're mistaken.


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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:33 am 
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JimXVX wrote:
quark wrote:
For anyone trying to get enough protein without consuming too many calories, you might try eating more dark green veggies. Things like broccoli and spinach have a surprisingly high amount of protein for the calories. Per the nutritiondata website, 1 cup of frozen chopped spinach has 6 g of protein and only 45 calories (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/veg ... cts/2630/2). I think stats for broccoli and dark leafy greens are similar.


^ With respect this is exactly the kind of thing the OP was referring to. If you think consuming a few extra greens is going to significantly boost your protein intake then you're mistaken.
Exacly. You'd need to eat nearly half a kilo of it to get a really significant amount. I'm *ahem* currently working on a zine for higher-protein vegan things. Stay tuned.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:42 am 
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Hey guys, I'm gonna mod a bit here. The OP was concerned about having trouble getting 50-60g of protein per day. I think if you want to start a thread about how to get massive amounts of protein, you should start another one. Getting 100g or 200g of protein is pretty irrelevant to this discussion. Plus, the people who are saying they get this much protein are being a bit dismissive of the OP by talking about how easy it is to get a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:07 am 
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Gulliver wrote:
JimXVX wrote:
quark wrote:
For anyone trying to get enough protein without consuming too many calories, you might try eating more dark green veggies. Things like broccoli and spinach have a surprisingly high amount of protein for the calories. Per the nutritiondata website, 1 cup of frozen chopped spinach has 6 g of protein and only 45 calories (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/veg ... cts/2630/2). I think stats for broccoli and dark leafy greens are similar.


^ With respect this is exactly the kind of thing the OP was referring to. If you think consuming a few extra greens is going to significantly boost your protein intake then you're mistaken.
Exacly. You'd need to eat nearly half a kilo of it to get a really significant amount. I'm *ahem* currently working on a zine for higher-protein vegan things. Stay tuned.


But (also with lots of respect and love!) a cup of cooked spinach has 6 g of protein and only 45 calories, and that is a significant amount if you're trying to get 40-60 g of protein a day while staying under a certain number of calories. For comparison, 2 Tbsp of peanut butter have 7 g of protein but 190 calories.

Yeah, this may not help you get 100 g of protein, but I don't think everyone is shooting for that.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:11 am 
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hey. please see my post above and let's try to bring it back to the OPs concern or drop it.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:56 am 
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Ack! Sorry. I thought the info was relevant for the OP, but I guess I was furthering tangential debate. My bad. I'm done. :)

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:05 pm 
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zoebrasi wrote:
thanks for all the responses and recommendations!
for those of you who say you get 75+ grams of protein in more or less than 1500 calories a day - would you mind posting a sample day of food? i'd love to know how you do that!

I track on Fitnesspal, a free app, and I do pretty well meeting my protein goal. I don't obsess about it, but throughout the day I check out my nutrient profile and maybe switch up dinner plans or add a snack if I'm behind. Plus, its easy to look back over the previous week and see, oh I went over by 9g this day and was behind 3g this day and so forth. Lets you know if things are evening out over time.

Anyways, I aim for 1,200 calories, more if I'm having a hungry day or exercised a bunch. The app tells me to aim for 45g as a minimum, and more if I exceed my calorie goal (to keep the percentage in place). That works out to 15% but like I said, some days more. Here's a sample day from earlier this week:

Breakfast: Smoothie of 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup unsweetened sunflower milk, 1 tb cocoa, 1 scoop (half serving) of Trader Joe's soy protein powder.
Lunch: 1 serving of Trader Joe's panang curry, 1/2 cup chickpeas
Dinner: (out) 2 cups lettuce, approx 1/4 cup avocado, approx 1/4 cup black beans, approx 1/4 cup bell peppers, about 1 serving baked tofu
Snacks: organic celery/2 tb almond butter/4 chopped dates, low sugar lemonade with 1 tb chia seeds.

This came out to 1200 calories and 58 grams of protein (19.3%).


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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:08 pm 
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For those who are wanting to enjoy pasta without overloading on carbs:
You might want to invest in a spiral slicer. You can make zucchini "noodles" and mix them with your smaller portion of pasta and larger portion of beans to help make it feel like your ratio of pasta to beans is more the way you want it. You might also be able to find konjac noodles (yam) or tofu noodles, both of which are almost calorie free. I like mixing those with rice stick or mung been noodles.
In non-noodly eating your beens:
Roasted chick peas make a great snack. You can flavor the cooked beans with whatever herbs, spices, or sauces you like before baking, then pack them in a baggie or plastic container and keep in your bag, glove box, desk, for away from home protein snacking.
I think Indian is a great cuisine for eating your legumes. I don't mind at all a smaller portion of rice with a big huge scoop of dahl or sambar.
I like to make a cheesy sauce with white beans as a base. I blend up cannelini, great northern, or navy beans in the blender with enough liquid (veg broth, water, plant milk, etc.) to reach the consistency I want and whatever other components I want to add the salty, tangy, bitter, savory flavors associated with cheese: miso, lemon juice, vinegar, nut or seed butter, nooch, garlic and/or onion powder, mustard, and for smoked cheesy sauce add smoked paprika, chipotle powder, liquid smoke, or smoked salt.

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:24 pm 
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Are those tofu noodles any good? I bought them once, eyed them suspiciously in my fridge until they passed their good-by date and then tossed them. I'm scared! But yes, zucchini noodles are very nice, thanks for the reminder!


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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:21 pm 
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Abelskiver wrote:
low sugar lemonade with 1 tb chia seeds.




Wait, doesn't that turn into lemonade snot?


And thanks too for the zucchini ribbons idea. I used to make a pesto dish where I tossed the pasta with shredded zucchini and carrots to bulk it out, I should do that again. I also want to get one of those new food processors where you can adjust the thickness of the slicing blade, I bet that would work for the zucchini too.


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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:33 pm 
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I make that stuff! I love lemonade snot. I use a tsp. of Chia, a quarter of a juicy lemon (1/2 if it's a bullshiitake lemon), and half a tb of agave. mmmmsnot!

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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:43 pm 
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I prefer the name 'chia fresca' but ya, pretty much. :)


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 Post subject: Re: feeling betrayed about the protein issue - long
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:36 am 
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I think leafy greens are important if you're falling just a bit short on protein. Almost all foods have protein in them and every little bit counts. Leafy greens in particular are good because they cook down very small and are therefore a lot easier to eat than bulkier veggies like broccoli.

I'm in the low cal camp myself and I have read lots of places that a) even non-veg women who diet a lot have a hard time meeting protein requirements and b) that upping protein a little bit when you're dieting is a pretty good thing for your metabolism. So I strongly emphasize protein-rich foods in my diet. Although I don't follow the Eat to Live diet, I think it's a good model for a vegan diet that's higher in protein. That plan calls for two pounds of non-starchy veggies a day (one pound raw, one pound cooked), at least a cup of beans, and 4+ servings of fruits. It de-emphasizes grains in favor of veggies and beans which have a higher protein-to-calorie ratio.

I eat beans or soy at least two meals a day and often I eat them without a grain (the easiest way to do this is bean soups, I think). I also hide beans in stuff - like I make a version of chhole saag (chickpeas and greens Indian style) and I puree a can of chickpeas in with the spinach/kale/chard and then add another can of whole chickpeas on top of that. That way it feels like I have a nicer bean to rice ratio, but I'm actually eating a ton of beans. I make mujadarah a lot and although my cherished recipe calls for 1 cup lentils and 2 cups rice, I use 2 cups of each and it's still super tasty. And although I love rice, I try to choose higher protein grains over it most of the time. Even white pasta has a lot of protein in it compared to rice. I also put nutritional yeast on top of everything - that stuff is like miracle food - it's all fiber and protein and nothing else.

When I was pregnant I did the Bradley method classes which call for 80-100g/protein. I always got at least 90g/day (but I also gained 70 pounds, it might have been harder if I was eating less!). The day in class that we tallied up what we had eaten that day and calculated how much protein was in it I was the only one who had made the goal and all the non-veg women were asking ME how to get more protein in their diets!

Today I ate:
breakfast - Amy's breakfast burrito with salsa (has tofu in it)
lunch - half a large sweet potato baked, half a pound of kale sauteed with a teaspoon of olive oil and garlic, and 4 oz. of tempeh marinated and baked
snacks - clementines, apples, bell pepper strips
dinner - tomato soup with "meat"balls, less than a serving of pasta, baby spinach, and nutritional yeast added

Today was pretty heavy on soy, but usually I have a bean-based soup and an English muffin for lunch and I often have a bean-based dinner.


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