Raw Adventures – Got Protein?

I know when I tell people I’m on a vegan, raw diet they all give me a look of horror and say “But, but, where do you get your protein?” Honestly, I feel so much more “balanced” and have very few hunger moments that I didn’t really stop to think about it that much.

Curiosity might have killed the cat, but I believe I may now have stumbled upon an educated response to my carnivorous buddies. Here is a list of foods that I consumed today and the total protein grams associated with each food item:

2 bananas – 3
½ c almonds – 10
1 c kale – 2
1 c pineapple – 1
1 c mango – 1
3 cups butter lettuce – 2
½ cup sauerkraut – .5
½ cup micro greens – .5
2 T sunflower seeds – 3
2 T. miso – 2
1 T. nutritional yeast – 3
1 tomato – 1
1 c celery – .8
1 T flax oil – 0
2 T coconut oil – 0
1 T nutritional yeast – 3
3 flax crackers – 5
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds – 16

Wow, what do you know, a whopping 53.5 grams of protein, all from vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds! Does that surprise you? Here is some more interesting information about plant protein that I discovered.

The largest land animals in the world, elephants, are exclusively vegetarian. They grow up to 10,000 pounds, by eating nothing but what? Plants! There is no way they could grow that big if plants weren’t loaded with protein because we all know that protein is essential to building muscle. I might be crazy but I think an elephant could do some serious bench presses.

News Flash!! Vegetables are a complete protein! If you actually look at the detailed nutritional composition of individual food items you will find that vegetables and nearly all foods are a complete source of protein and contain the needed amino acids, which we need in our diet everyday.  Food combining for “complete protein” is so yesterday! (Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine www.pcrm.org/search/?cid=251)

Again, I’m just an average person (with no formal education in nutrition) on a quest for better health, so I’m just sharing information that I’ve uncovered on my raw adventure as encouragement for those contemplating or interested in the idea of a plant based diet.  Here is a recipe I came up with that was inspired by several salad recipes in Ani Phyo’s book Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast.  It uses items in the box this week, of course!

Asian Protein Salad
2 cups of Tatsoi, torn (6.6 grams)
1 cup of Bok Choy, shredded (1 gram)
1 cup of shredded Round Carrots (1 gram)
1/4 cup of cilantro (1 gram)
1/4 cup of raw almonds, sliced (5 grams)

Dressing
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T miso (2 grams)
2 t. minced fresh ginger (.08 gram)
1 T tamari or soy sauce
1 T hemp seed (3.5 grams)
1 T sesame seeds (1.5 grams)

Combine greens, carrots and almonds on a plate.  Put all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Toss with salad and enjoy your 21.68 grams of protein!!