• How to Go Vegan and Not Starve {Part One}

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    It seems that when someone mentions the term vegan, it’s easy to conjure up the idea of a PETA-paint throwing, seed-eating person who is tough to cook for as a houseguest, but I’m here to tell you: not every vegan is like that. You can be vegan…and be healthy and strong  {and love animals, too, of course}. Many professional vegan athletes and bodybuilders exist through history to prove it can be done, too.

    vegan

    So what’s all the hoopla surrounding being vegan?

    It seems that many people think it’s actually unhealthy to be vegan (as well as bland and boring!) and void of certain key nutrients such as protein (a fan favorite in the workout world), as well as some vitamins and minerals, in particular, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. These are all seemingly more prevalent and “easier” to consume from animal sources, but it’s not impossible to consume correct and optimal amounts of all nutrients, and from non-animal sources with a little bit of know-how. And being vegan can also be super delicious, as well as fuel workouts just as readily as a meat-lovers mecca!

    What does it mean to be vegan?

    To be a vegan, you eat a diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. This makes it more difficult to consume protein…but not impossible.
    When it comes to protein, some might say it’s impossible to form complete proteins {containing the right amounts of all essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein} from plant foods – not true! Plant-based sources of proteins contain many amino acids, and when combined with other plant-based sources, it is easy to get just the right amount of amino acids daily without tapping into any animal-based proteins. So what are these plant-based proteins?

     

    Step 1: Eat Vegan Sources of Protein

    hoboken girl chocolate peanut butter bar

    A chocolate peanut butter bar from Simply Home Goods…TOTALLY Vegan!

    Some great plant-based sources of protein are:

    – Kidney Beans

    – Chick Peas

    – Lentils

    – Hemp Seeds

    – Chia

    – Spirulina

    – Seitan {beware my gluten-free friends!}

    – Nut Butters {PB, almond, cashew, etc}

    Vegan High Protein Sources

     

    – Almonds 6 g protein/oz

    – Pumpkin seeds 10g protein/3 tbsp

    – Hemp seeds 11 g protein/3 tbsp

    – Almond Butter 8 g protein/2 tbsp

    – Black Beans 14 g protein/cup

    – Lentils 18 g protein/cup

    – Garbanzo Beans 12 g protein/cup

     

    Combining some of these together with other foods {grains} can then form complete proteins and can give you just the right amount of protein you need daily.

     

    Step 2: Form a Complete Protein:

    Combine the above sources of protein with other plant-based, protein-rich foods.

    Some examples:

    – beans and rice

    – nut butter and whole grain bread

    – tortilla and retired beans

    – hummus and pita

    Research also shows they don’t need to be at the same meal. Mixing up your sources of protein throughout the day will ensure getting enough of “all” your amino acids and give you the tools you need to create a well-formed physique – no chicken breasts required.

    Step 3: Stay Consistent Even When on the Go.

    Ways to get your protein in without much time:

    vega one protein vegan hoboken iron plate studios

    Easy vegan shake on the go! 8 oz almond milk and 1/2 cup frozen organic mixed berries, easy peasy.

    Many plant-based protein powders {no milk or whey proteins!} exist such as Vega –my personal favorite– and SunWarrior, to make creating your own vegan smoothies a cinch!

     

     

    Stay tuned for Part Two of “Going Vegan” by Iron Plate Studios.

    Are you Vegan? What are some tips you have to consume protein?

     


    Written by:

    Kristin Reisinger, MS RD CSSD, is the founder and owner of IronPlate Studios, elite and private fitness and nutrition studios located in Hoboken, NJ and Jersey City, NJ. A Personal Trainer for over 17 years and Registered Dietitian for 10 years with a background in obstacle course competitions and NPC Figure competitions, Kristin has helped hundreds of people in the tri-state area lose weight in a healthy way and achieve a physique and athleticism that they never thought possible. Frequently quoted in Women’s Health, Today’s Dietitian, Real Simple, Oxygen magazine, Men’s Health Online, Good Housekeeping Online and JC Downtown magazine, Kristin also hold’s a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She is an avid yogi, snowboarder and surfer, and lives locally with her MMA-loving daughter, Sophia.


    2 comments

    • Hi!
      Any recommendations for Hudson Restaurant week for vegan offerings?
      My boyfriend has made reservations at Anthony David’s, and Dino and Harry’s, and hoping for any ideas for modifications?
      Thanks!

      Reply

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