Protein Pants

I've been vegan for about a year and I still get flustered when people ask me where I get my protein. So I'm mostly writing this as a cheat sheet for later.

1. There are stats all over from the World Health Organization and the American Dairy Association (conflict of interest?) about how much we should get from food-- somewhere around 5-10% of our calorie intake. Let's say we should aim for 30-40 grams of protein a day, but really, everyone is different, and apparently most people in the U.S. get too much protein.

2. Some vegans take supplements to ensure a consistent source of protein. I'm not really into this, and if you are I would just say make sure to do your own research.

3. I like the idea of getting nutrients from whole foods.

Here is an example of a classic simple vegan meal with the protein breakdown.

RICE & BEANS ~31 grams of protein.

Rice & Beans like to be eaten together, but also legumes + grains = whole protein.  Yum.

Most beans (1/2 cup, cooked) : 8 g
Brown rice: (1/2/ cup, cooked) : 3 g

Wow! I bet you are eating more than 1 cup of rice & beans. Probably more like 2 cups. That's 22 grams of protein right there! And guess what? There is usually even a little bit of protein in most food, and that adds up. Let's add another gram for any salsa, peppers & onions, and avocado you want to slop on there.

Oh, I almost forgot-- the tortilla. First, take 10 minutes to make your own mind-blowing home-made fresh tortillas for your awesome rice & beans meal. Is your mind blown? Are you never going to buy tortillas from the store again?

Whole wheat flour has a BOOM crazy amount of protein in it. 1 cup has 16 grams. So even if you have the equivalent of a half cup of flour in your tortilla (good luck eating just one..), this vegan meal of rice, beans, salsa, peppers & onions, avocado, and tortilla will give you about 31 grams of protein. Congrats.

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