Ok, so the question on so many peoples lips, “Where do you get your protein from Larissa”? This is a common question I hear and heck, certainly not just since I’ve been on my raw food journey. Remember, I have been a vegetarian for over 10 years now. The last time I looked at my body I see that I am certainly not protein deficient. I’m stronger than most people I know (the ones outside of my workplace that is). 6 years ago I actually leg pressed more than every budding woman personal trainer in my Cert III in fitness course and smashed all the men’s weight too, bar 3 of them. That calls for me not being protein deficient in any way, meesa think!
There are so many protein pimps out there, flogging protein like it’s as important to us as air. Almost like you need to eat it every second of the day for your survival or weight loss efforts. Yeah yeah, I know it is an important part of our diet, but the thing is the majority of the population are getting way tooooo much protein and do not understand that our bodies are nourished with protein nearly every time we eat whole foods. It’s not all about eating rotting animal flesh people. If you think you need to continually eat animals, pump in toxic protein shakes (I’ve only come across a few brands that I wouldn’t call toxic waste) and consume dairy to the hilt to get your protein needs fulfilled everyday then it will only be a matter of time before your health will begin to suffer. I’ll have to leave this to another post, as I may get into a rant about this one.
Just go to your local gym and I guarantee you’ll find that there are a majority of personal trainers that I would label Protein Pimps. They pimp it out and many of them also get a cash return (profits from their pimping protein powders). I have nothing wrong with personal trainers. I am one, and most of my friends are but they have been fed so much information regarding protein consumption that I feel simply isn’t true. Lets face it, most of the studies done regarding protein powders are done by the very companies trying to market their products to this industry in the first place. Lets not forget protein bars, protein ready to drink poppers, protein balls, protein everything! I’m surrounded by protein!
Holy heck, I was talking to one of my main gals yesterday and she stopped eating banana’s (even though she loooooovvves them) because her protein pimp personal trainer told her that they are bad. If banana’s aren’t good for you and make you put on weight I should be one big mama fatty boomba right now. I’ve eaten 6 banana’s so far today. So hearing this kinda sh*t makes me realize how super dooper majorly uninformed or should I say misinformed people are about protein, health and weight loss. Talking about banana’s, I met this awesome girl last week who runs a website called 30 bananas a day. She eats gazzilions of banana’s, lost 20 kg’s whilst doing it and is now leaner and fitter than she’s ever been. Something to think about…..
Ok then here we go, a bit about protein and where I get it from.
- Spirulina is 60% protein
- Spinach is 51% protein
- Mushrooms are 35% protein
- Beans 26% protein
- Whole wheat pasta 15% protein (not that I eat this now)
- Corn 12% protein
This is just a little example. According to The World Health Organization the average 69kg (150 pound) male requires 22.5 grams of protein daily based on a 2000 calorie per day diet. This means that approximately 4.5% – 5%of calories should becoming from protein. Funnily enough this is the same amount of protein that is present in human breast milk. A baby develops more rapidly than any other time in a humans life and that is the amount of protein they need to thrive. Yep, 5% of total calories! You certainly don’t need anymore. Most people these days are growing outwards rather than growing into larger humans so why do they think they need more protein? Eating muscle from an animal doesn’t turn straight into muscle on a human, just like eating hair from an animal doesn’t mean your hair is going to grow or eating fingernails gives you better fingernails.
So if you are eating a plant strong diet (which I am) then from these basic stats above you cannot possibly become protein deficient, as the average plant contains at least 10% of it’s calories from protein and up to 60%. As long as I am not calorie deficient, and trust me I am smashing in about 2000 – 2500 calories a day (yes, all you calorie counters out there, I am eating a heck of a lot of calories and still shedding the fat), I will not become protein deficient.
I remember watching good old Dr. Oz one day as I was doing the washing up and he held up a small tin of tuna and said (maybe not these exact words but something along these lines) “This 1 small tin of tuna will fulfill the daily protein needs for woman”. Yes 1small tin of Tuna! Not a tin of tuna, a plus a glass of milk, plus a protein shake, plus chicken breast for dinner, plus a boiled egg plus blah blah whatever else you’ve been told to shove down your gullet . Tooooooooooooooo much protein people!!!
Ever heard the saying as strong as an ox? Well oxen are plant eaters and mate they’re strong. They even got a saying made up about them. Good work fella’s! Ever looked at your husband and thought, “gee he looks a little like an ape”. Haha! Maybe not, but if so that’s because we are most closely related to that of primates. You know Monkeys, Chimps, Gorillas etc. With an estimated 99.4% of our DNA sequence shared with chimpanzees, this means our genetic make up is most closely related to these hairy little buggers than any other species on this earth. These cheeky, hairy little guys are plant eaters, along with other mammals such as gorillas, giraffes, rhinoceros’, buffalo, wild horse. They all get their protein needs fulfilled from plant amino acids. Just like we will and do, if we gave our bodies half a chance.
Gorillas are vegetarians and 86% of it’s diet are comprised of greens,(not boogers people) green leaves, shoots and stems, with the other 14% made up of primarily of bark, roots, flowers and fruit. The gorilla gets all it’s protein, vitamins and mineral needs from its plant-based diet and is actually the strongest animal on earth kilo for kilo (pound for pound).
According to Dr. Gabriel Cousins Cooking destroys:
- 50% of the protein in food
- 70% – 90% of the vitamins ans Minerals
- Nearly 100% of the phytonutrients
So my diet rich in raw plant foods, nuts and seeds is a diet rich in fulfilling my protein needs. I could not possibly carry on with my job if I was protein deficient. I teach 4 – 5 fitness classes per week, 2 of them primarily being made up of resistance training. I am actually feeling stronger and more athletic since I have been following my raw food regime. I told myself that if I felt weak or depleted then I would stop. To my surprise and delight I feel fantastic. Except today when I was at work and about to straighten my hair after showering after my class. I stuck my GHD in the power point and the bloomin power point exploded and I got electrocuted. Oops!! I’m spewing, about my hair straightener. It has blown up! Oh well, I’ll live.
Until next time, go eat some banana’s and chuck some Kale in your morning smoothie. Just like they are saying 40 is the new 30, they are saying Kale is the new red meat. Kale is rich in so many nutrients including Vitamin K, A, C and minerals including iron.
Signing off now to cultivate my new superpowers I’ve got after my electrocution. Taser hands girl!
This post was dedicated to informing individuals on how they can improve their health using plant power and dispelling the great protein myth of our time.
P.s Check out the Engine 2 Diet’s section on the protein myth. They have a great FAQ section on protein and will explain more about complete proteins and amino acids.