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 Post subject: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:20 pm 
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Hey guys!
I've been exercising an extreme amount lately. At least compared to how much I used to... which is none. I'm trying to bulk up and become stronger cause I'm taking karate twice a week and I'm training for roller derby tryouts. Plus, I've always been shrimpy so it'd be nice to open my own jars for once. I've been trying to increase the amount of protein in my diet. Also, the more I work out the more I feel myself craving protein/meat like foods. So I'll often throw a bunch of seitan in a tortilla, add some lettuce and tomato and siracha and make a wrap.

I've been trying to find protein rich foods that I like to eat but require minimum effort. And lately I've found myself addicted to seitan. Especially the frozen Gardein packs that come in awesome flavors. I already have a fast metabolism, and since I've been working out I'm hungry ALL THE TIME. I heard that too much gluten can be bad for you, but I don't know how true that is. Can anyone offer any insight?

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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:29 am 
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Gluten is not bad for you unless you have a particular problem with it (like celiac disease). There's no reason to avoid it if you don't have a sensitivity or allergy to it. However, you also shouldn't get the bulk of your protein from it because it's not that high in the amino acid lysine. Soy foods and regular old beans are a better bet for that (it looks like Gardein is actually a mixture of soy protein and wheat protein, so that's probably fine) and it's always a good idea to diversify your protein sources and diet in general anyway. You might be interested in trying tempeh (a soy product) - it has a very meaty texture and takes well to marinades as well as quick-cooking methods and is a less industrialized food than Gardein (if that matters to you). Straight up beans out of the can are also great in a million applications - even just cold from the can if you're pressed for time! You can also find vegetarian refried beans in a can, which are awesome (and would make a good addition to your seitan wrap).

Also, if your metabolism is just fast, you should be looking to increase more than just protein in your diet. Complex carbs and fat will go a lot further toward helping you manage your hunger. Throw some avocado and brown rice on that wrap and maybe a fatty dressing, too. PB&J on whole wheat is also great and hits all your macronutrient needs.

Also, building muscle has less to do with how much protein you're eating and more to do with how you're stressing the muscle. If you're eating a varied diet in sufficient quantities to gain weight and are challenging the muscle, you'll build muscle without having to pay special attention to protein in particular. Your body type, strenuousness of your routine, and hormone composition will determine how long it takes you to build that muscle.


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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:51 am 
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I couldn't agree more with the above!

But yes, I also feel better and crave protein-rich foods - just try to make sure they're balanced, and not full of junk. Maybe maybe your own, and include soy flour, chickpea flour, legumes blended, etc?


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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:56 am 
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It actually is a high lysine food overall just due to how high in protein it is -

http://jacknorrisrd.com/?p=3273

But as a proportion of the amino acids, it is lower in lysine than some other protein sources like soy.

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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:57 am 
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I can eat SO MUCH seitan and be fine, but friends of mine do have serious issues. If it's not making you ill, I wouldn't worry too much, as long as you are getting a wide range of other foods (veggies, fruits, healthy grains) as well. Those gardein meats are pretty processed, so you might want to consider making huge batches of seitan or seitan sausages/cutlets on a day you have some time and freezing them. Chickpea cutlets are a great marriage between seitan and beans, and are really easy to make in large batches.


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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:01 am 
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vijita wrote:
I can eat SO MUCH seitan and be fine, but friends of mine do have serious issues. If it's not making you ill, I wouldn't worry too much, as long as you are getting a wide range of other foods (veggies, fruits, healthy grains) as well. Those gardein meats are pretty processed, so you might want to consider making huge batches of seitan or seitan sausages/cutlets on a day you have some time and freezing them. Chickpea cutlets are a great marriage between seitan and beans, and are really easy to make in large batches.

Seconding chickpea cutlets, and also any of the steamed sausage recipes with beans in them. Steamed seitan is just so freakin' easy and you can tailor the seasonings to your tastes and switch up different kinds of beans, etc...

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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:09 am 
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vegimator - good point, although I imagine if one's protein needs go up in general, so do lysine needs. In any case, it's good to get protein from a variety of sources for many reasons.

I also feel better getting a higher percentage of my calories from protein, although I tend to err on the side of soy protein instead of wheat protein (just personal taste - don't like the texture of straight up seitan, can't figure out how to make chickpea cutlets or steamed sausages with a flavor profile I like). However, I *don't* have a high metabolism and I think my higher protein needs have more to do with needing a low calorie diet in general, so I can't just rely on a regular varied diet to fulfill my protein needs. I swear by tempeh, chickpeas, black beans, and low-fat "refried" pinto beans.


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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:38 am 
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Thanks for all the info!

I've tried tempeh before but I can never get it to taste good at home. I do really like the tempeh bacon they put on breakfast sammiches at a local vegan bakery, but I haven't been able to recreate that flavor in my kitchen. The only tempeh recipe I've succeeded at was the Spicy Tempeh Sushi Rolls from Veganomicon (or was it VWAV?). However, the summer I found that recipe I ate it every day, so I kind of got tired of the recipe even though its delicious.

I've made seitan at home a few times. Chicpea cutles from V'con, steamed breakfast patties from vegan diner. But I just haven't had the time lately to cook. Maybe on a day off I'll cook and freeze a few batches.

Thanks for suggesting complex carbs! This always being hungry thing is driving me nuts. So I'll try to incorporate some whole grains into my diet. But the only whole grains/complex carbs I can think of are brown rice and quinoa...

I didn't realize seitan wasn't a complete protein. How much should I really be concerned with amino acids? I now vegans/vegetarians in the 70's were all about pairing foods to make "complete proteins" but I thought that had been debunked?

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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:13 am 
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Carefully pairing up your proteins at each meal to make complete proteins has been debunked. However, you still need to eat a variety of protein sources over the course of the day/week/whatever because you do need all the essential amino acids and there are few vegan protein sources that provide all of them. I don't personally ever spare a thought for individual amino acids, but I am eating nuts, seeds, grains and legumes all regularly so I'm comfortable that I'm covered.

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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:30 am 
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loveisthenewpunk wrote:
Thanks for all the info!

I've tried tempeh before but I can never get it to taste good at home. I do really like the tempeh bacon they put on breakfast sammiches at a local vegan bakery, but I haven't been able to recreate that flavor in my kitchen. The only tempeh recipe I've succeeded at was the Spicy Tempeh Sushi Rolls from Veganomicon (or was it VWAV?). However, the summer I found that recipe I ate it every day, so I kind of got tired of the recipe even though its delicious.

I've made seitan at home a few times. Chicpea cutles from V'con, steamed breakfast patties from vegan diner. But I just haven't had the time lately to cook. Maybe on a day off I'll cook and freeze a few batches.

Do you have Vegan Brunch? The Chesapeake Tempeh cakes will help you change your mind on tempeh. Oh look, the recipe is online! http://www.theppk.com/2009/04/chesapeake-tempeh-cakes/ And ijdi's tempeh wingz are pretty awesome. http://donteatoffthesidewalk.com/the-zi ... e-recipes/ And super quick to make.

The chickpea cutlets come together REALLY fast too.


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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:40 pm 
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You also might try protein powder. Vega is a really popular one that is loaded with nutrients.

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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:00 pm 
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monkeytoes wrote:
... there are few vegan protein sources that provide all of them.


This isn't strictly true. Just about any source of protein (apart from gelatin) is going to have all the essential amino acids. What people mean when they say a "complete protein" is that all the amino acids are provided in a ratio similar to the ratio of the RDA for those amino acids. Most often with plant proteins, the limiting amino acid, (meaning the amino acid lowest in relation to this ratio) is either lysine or, to a slightly lesser extent, methionine/cysteine. So it's a good rule of thumb to make sure to eat enough high lysine protein sources because you're going to be good on all of the other AAs too.

What does all this mean? If you're eating decent protein sources regularly and in quantity, even without too much variation, you're going to be fine. Jack Norris has a good chart for plant protein sources here -

http://veganhealth.org/articles/protein#table3

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 Post subject: Re: Is too much seitan bad for me?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:54 pm 
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i've totally been there with feeling like i am always hungry from a high metabolism from a high-energy lifestyle, and craving more protein rich foods than i eat at other, lower-energy times (mostly when i'm biking a ton every day). i don't know if i have been capable of feeling truly satiated during those times. i don't think too much seitan is bad for you if you're feeling good (too much for me makes my tummy slightly less happy but i don't think it has long-term bad effects on me or anything) and as long as you're eating a bunch of veggies, nuts and seeds, beans, fruits, and other grains too. more healthy fats might help you feel more satiated for longer- things like nuts or tahini dressing on your wraps or coconut milk or avocados.


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