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get to know your plant protein

By: Dawn Hamilton, chc

Vegan. The word is sometimes associated with skinny and gangly. However, it is possible to be muscular, physically fit, and even bulky as a vegan.

Some of the world’s most successful athletes are vegans. For instance, Brendan Barzier, Carl Lewis, Tia Blanco, Mike Tyson, Venus Williams, and Heather Mills are vegan to name a few.

Due to lack of education, a protein-filled diet is often associated with just meat eaters. In actuality, there are plenty of plant based ways vegetarian and vegans get their protein.

The Dish on Animal Proteins

Animal proteins that are inside animal cell walls contain cholesterol, which human bodies have a hard time breaking down. Cholesterol accumulation in the blood can often lead to clogged arteries and various health issues. Especially, when the recommended amount of physical activity in 80% of the population is not met. https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/28/health/cdc-exercise-report-study/index.html

Cholesterol then coats our gut with grease and makes absorption difficult. This can cause constipation and bodily disruptions.

Slow stagnant digestion is the number one energy drainer for people. Heavily cooked foods are devoid of enzymes, making them more likely to set in the gut and are difficult to break down. This rotting food will lead to health issues, weight gain, and will cause you to feel fatigued while trying to digest it.  

The Benefits of Plants

Where do you think elephants, bulls, and buffalos get their high quality protein? Several of these large mammals get protein from eating plants. The body assimilates and digests nutrients into the bloodstream from plants; your body is receiving whole food, nutrition, therefore making it easier to digest.

In addition, plant cells are made of fiber, and fiber passes through the body’s system in an orderly fashion which gives us a gut and regular bowel movements.

There is now undeniable evidence that fiber has many healing properties. Fiber can strengthen a diseased heart, reduces cholesterol, steadies blood sugar, aids in weight loss, and curbs appetite. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983

By eating a variety of plants, the body gets all 9 amino acids.  When the body gets all 9 amino acids, it is receiving a 100 percent complete protein. Raw protein will be a higher quality of protein because the human body will easily digest it since the amino acids and digestive enzymes are intact. When cooking, keeping the temperature below 118 F for most plants will prevent denaturing (breakdown process) of the plant.

Here are a few ways to incorporate more plant based protein into your diet:

1. Greens. Greens are the only living thing that can turn sunshine into energy that is consumable. The Greens nourish the body on a cellular level. When the greens are broken down in a high speed blender to small particles, the body will be able to be more nourished effectively. It is a fact that we don’t chew our food long enough to break it down into minuet particles so it can mix with the digestive enzymes in our mouth. That is where digestion begins, not in our stomach.

2. Hemp.  Hemp, add 30 grams of hemp powder to your smoothie and get about 11 grams of quick protein.

3. Quinoa.  It is versatile, delicious, and delivers about 9 grams of protein per cup. Bonus….. it‘s Gluten Free!

4. Nut Butters. Eat them right up! Almond butter, cashew butter, and sunflower seed butter all have about 8 grams of protein per two tablespoons.

5. Tempeh. One cup of tempeh equals about thirty grams of protein. Be sure to buy organic, non-gmo, and sprouted if possible.

6. Chia Seeds.  Just 2 tablespoons of these little nuggets have 4 grams of protein.

In summary, a variety of greens and plant-based foods can supply enough protein to sustain each four unique bodies. For the meat lovers out there, going vegan isn’t necessary; simply try to incorporate more of the above foods to increase your health for a more energetic, balanced lifestyle. Start by getting your family on board with one Green Smoothie a day.

After all, the Green Smoothie is known as the elixir of life!

Dawn Hamilton, CHC

Owner of Encompassing You LLC,

Dawn shares her passion on plant based foods. As a holistic Health Coach and Raw Food Chef, she helps clients identify and interrupt patterns that are not serving them well, and establish new habits that support their best health.