Hi. This is Stephanie aka “Mama Bird.” I just wanted to address this popular topic because it is such a common follow up question when people learn I eat a vegan diet. I’m not speaking for all vegans out there, just myself here.
To preface, I have never once counted how many grams of protein I eat a day. I really believe that we do not need as much protein as we are lead to believe. Have you ever heard of some one going to the doctor or getting sick from lack of protein? Not me. In fact, there are a lot of studies that point to animal protein as a leading cause for many diseases but I’ll let you research that for yourself (check out The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD).
My favorite sources of protein come from nuts, seeds, sprouts, beans, legumes, organic tempeh, organic tofu, peanut butter, quinoa, brown rice, peas, spinach & broccoli (yes broccoli has protein!). And did you know that hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life? No other single plant source has the essential amino acids in such an easily digestible form, nor has the essential fatty acids in as perfect a ratio to meet human nutritional needs (Hemp Line Journal, July-August 1992, pp. 14-15, Vol. I No. 1). Sorry to get all book-nerdy on you, but hemp is an amazing plant and, no, eating the seeds does not get you high or will not make you test positive on a drug test. But I would recommend blending them up in your next smoothie for a real treat.
Lots of people say that they dont feel full after a vegan or vegetarian meal and think that they need meat to have that “full” felling. I know how that feels. When I first became vegan 4 years ago I had the same feeling….at first. I think it has to do with your body getting used to a new diet and a different kind of protein. But that feeling doesn’t last. Once your body gets used to a plant based diet, you start feeling better than ever. Increased energy, weight loss, shinier hair, stronger nails, lowering of cholesterol, healthier skin, reduced allergies, no indigestion, and less trips to the doctor are just some of the benefits that sealed the deal for me. (Here’s a great list of more health benefits: www.nursingdegree.net).
If you are thinking of trying a vegan diet, remember that you can make almost anything vegan! Below is a list of some common foods and their vegan alternatives:
Mayonnaise—>Vegenaise by Follow Your Heart
Cream Cheese —> Better Than Cream Cheese by Tofutti
Butter—> Earth Balance (even my grandma prefers this over butter)
Scrambled Eggs —> Tofu Scramble (personal fave!)
Milk —> Rice Milk, Almond Milk, Hemp Milk, Organic Soy Milk
Eggs (for baking) —> Ener-G Egg Replacer, Apple Sauce or Bananas
Eggs (for binding) —> Flax Seed Meal w/Water, Apple Sauce, Bananas, Chia Seeds
Cheese—>Daiya, Vegan Gourmet by Follow Your Heart, Cashew Cheese, Almond Cheese.
If you need any other substitue recommendations, shoot me an email at SeabirdsTruck@gmail.com. Happy to help!