Contrary to popular belief it is entirely possible to optimize your health and physique in the absence of animal products. Don’t take my word for it. Here is a list of superstar athletes thriving on plant based diets:
1. Prince Fielder
2. Mike Tyson
3. Venus Williams
Despite what conventional USDA dietary guidelines suggest, animal derived products such as meat and dairy are not necessary components of a healthy diet. In fact, eliminating (or limiting) such products from your diet can actually promote:
- Increased energy
- Greater mental clarity + focus
- Weight loss
- Healthier digestion (reduced gas, bloating + constipation)
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the fault of the animal. Quantity is often the true culprit.
The majority of us consume far more protein on a daily basis than necessary. Estimating adequate protein needs requires converting one’s weight from pounds to kilograms and multiplying that number by the RDA for protein. Assuming the average (non-athlete) man weighs 75 kg (165lbs) and the average woman, 65kg (143lbs). Their protein requirements are respectively 60 and 52g per day. Just so we’re clear My Fitness Pal clocks a 6oz chicken breast at 44g of protein.
How can you tell if you’re consuming more protein than necessary without doing all the math?
1. You’re eating healthy & still gaining weight– Excess calories from protein overload is stored as body fat.
2. Analyze your poo– Feces offer direct insight into our gastrointestional tract. For the most part, healthy poo is light and buoyant. Solid sinkers are a sure sign you’re ingesting too much protein.
3. Dehydration & constipation– Protein requires a considerable amount of water in order to break down. Insufficient water intake certainly leads to dehydration and invariably constipation.
4. Consuming animal protein (in any given sitting) in a portion larger than the palm of your hand– As a rough rule of thumb, when consuming animal protein try to limit the portion size to the palm of your hand. Any more is rather unnecessary and likely converting to fat.
I’m not implying animal protein is a poor dietary choice. I’m simply suggesting that plant based protein is equally as healthy a choice (plus, you can get away with consuming double the amount).
Top 10 Plant Based Protein Sources
1. Quinoa: 11g/ 1 cup
2. Lentils: 17g/ 1 cup
3. Tempeh: 24g/ 4oz
4. Seitan: 24g/ 4oz
5. Beans (black, kidney, mung, pinto, garbanzo): 12-15g/ 1 cup
6. Spirulina: 6g/ 3 TBL
7. Hemp seed: 16g/ 3 TBL
8. Almonds: 6g/ 1oz
9. Bee Pollen: 12g/ 3 TBL
avocado: 10g/ 1 avocado
broccoli: 5g/ 1 cup
spinach: 5g/ 1 cup
kale: 5g/ 2 cups
boiled peas: 9g/ 1 cup
sweet potato: 5g/ 1 cup