I recently met with a nutritionist who indicated that my protein levels were low. And no it isn’t because I’m vegan and not eating meat (MOM)! It is most likely due to the fact that I was on a raw vegan diet for a year and eating mostly nuts for my protein. While nuts do contain some protein they are mainly a fat dominant food. That isn’t to say that nuts are bad for you. In fact they are packed with nutrients, minerals and one of the best sources of essential fatty acids; but should not be relied upon as a protein source, not for an extended period of time. I have moved over to some other plants that are protein dominant, the wonderful world of beans 🙂
If you are into smoothies, I have been using Raw Protein from Garden of Life in my smoothies in the morning. It is basically sprouted beans, dried and ground into a powder. There is also some flax and chia seed in there, which are also very nutritious. I also like the fact that they include some probiotics and enzymes! I do admit I feel kind of silly using a protein powder in the morning, something feels reminiscent of frat boys and meat heads heading to the gym with their muscle milk. But this protein powder is 100% vegan, gluten free, raw, soy free, kosher and so on. It has large doses of Vitamin A, D, E and K. Vitamin D is hard to obtain on a vegan diet, whereas most vegetarians obtain this through milk and dairy products. And finally, there are NO additives or any flavorings, and I can barely taste it in my smoothies. I highly recommend it!
Next I’d like to talk about tofu and tempeh. After about two years of avoiding tofu and tempeh I have finally decided to give them a try. Since I feel that I always need to be highly informed about my food I decided to do a little research on the two. I found that tempeh is more of a whole food because it is actually made from the soybean, higher in protein and vitamins, and the proteins and vitamins are easier for the body to claim because of the fermentation process used to make tempeh. Whereas tofu is made from soymilk, making it not a whole food, and contains more phytates which inhibit the bodies absorption of nutrients. I still think that both foods contain a good source of protein and vitamins. But from now on I will be choosing tempeh!
My only caveat about buying soy products is that soy is often GMO, which is why I stayed away from them for so long. So my advice if you choose to eat either tempeh or tofu you MUST buy organic! GMO foods are incredibly disastrous not only to our health, but to the environment as well.