View Full Version : Protein and the organic vegan

Apr. 8, 2012, 02:42 AM
Yes I know that fasting is a bad idea, no lectures please, but having totally failed at my Lenten duties, I want to try the Daniel fast (http://www.ultimatedanielfast.com/2009/10/what-is-daniel-fast.html) basically 3 week strict diet.

The rules are really simple, eat fruit and veggies, nuts, seeds and whole grains, drink water, and avoid meat, fish, sugars refined and processed foods. It is not so much a fast, seeing as you can eat without restriction the allowed foods, as a cleanse for me.

I have though for a long time tried to eat a high protein diet, and I am concerned as to what would be suitable sources of good protein for the three weeks.

Being a carnivore of long standing the thought of having no meat or fish is worrying, help me out here people

Apr. 8, 2012, 03:58 AM
Greek yogurt?

Apr. 8, 2012, 04:00 AM
Protein is protein ;)

Most people get way too much - besides, there are many awesomely healthy grains that have plenty of vitamins, fibre AND protein.


Oh, there are plenty of them :). Most north Americans don't get enough fibre. Great books include The China Study and Healing with Whole Foods.

Hope this helps!

Apr. 8, 2012, 08:41 AM
Please dont take this wrong. I mean it kindly.

You are potentially making a big deal out of nothing. Just dont eat meat. Dont eat anything out of a package. Quite frankly its so easy you wont believe it :)

Dont buy it, dont eat it. Simple.

Apr. 8, 2012, 09:15 AM
Disclaimer: I realize you're not trying to go vegan, but it sounds pretty close to a vegan diet. Also, I'm not a vegan and I don't play one on TV. I eat meat. But I've looked into vegan eating practices because frankly they have some yummy stuff to eat over there in Vegan Land.

Some good protein sources for vegans:

Beans of all kinds. Also lentils. See especially chickpeas (mmm, hummus. If you take your hummus really creamy instead of chunky or pasty, the key is to add a few tablespoons of some plain ol' water. It's an emulsion, and water helps the chickpeas and oil to make friends.)

Almond milk


Seitan, which has a very meat-like texture to it but is actually a wheat gluten

Vegan jerky, which is usually just dehydrated seitan

Vegan tuna - I prefer not to think of it as "tuna" but more as an interesting take on pate made primarily of veggie protein and soy flour. Follow Your Heart Mayo is also pretty high in protein and is vegan.

Nuts, and along those same lines, peanut butter and almond butter. These are easy enough to make at home in your food processor, and many granola-esque stores have grinding stations for it.

Pasta - if you don't consider this "processed," that is. DeBoles Organic pastas are widely available and are vegan. Trader Joe's pasta is good too.

Soba noodles -- full of buckwheat flour which is high in protein.

Cielo Azure
Apr. 8, 2012, 09:30 AM
What EqTrainer said but retrain your mind to accept that this IS healthy! We have been brainwashed by the USDA/Dairy/Meat/ agrobusinesses to think we have to have these things. We don't. This is what I recommend to give you courage and confidence.

Forks Over Knives. Great documentary. Has its flaws -ego stroking of the main producers and some of the basic science is is theory -not fact or is glossed over but other than that -WONDERFUL!!!!


The China Study. A MUST READ!!!!!

If you need to see the actual studies that the China Study is based on: Go to Pubmed and read the actual papers (search: Colin Campbell). His group from Cornell studied the rural Chinese and show the link between a plant based diet and longevity (lack of cancers and heart disease) is incredibly strong (the studies involved huge numbers of people).

A great book to train your mind:
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure
Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr.
This really isn't just about heart disease. It is a great book that explains about why plant based diets work (avoid the processed food and high fat/sugars that fill you up).

The evidence is there. It is very strong. Plant based diet without process foods, sugars and avoid fats) are healthier and will "cure" a lot of acute and chronic diseases like diabetes, immune issues and heart conditions.

If you haven't read these books thoroughly and believe that a Vegan diet is not healthy, please read them before commenting on this post. Otherwise, you are writing from your own emotional baggage and not your brain.

If you do have that emotional baggage, you might try reading "Eating Animals," another "must read"!

I will not climb off my high horse after one more thought.

But seriously, -a little brag here but people look at me (I am 51 years old) and they can't believe my age and how fit I am (I have been a vegetarian for all my adult life) and as I have slowly eliminated dairy, I have only become healthier!

Apr. 8, 2012, 09:30 AM
I would take it a step further and go gluten-free. Why can't you eat eggs since it doesn't kill the chicken? Also, add nutritional yeast to stuff. Keep nuts raw.

Apr. 8, 2012, 12:22 PM
If you haven't read these books thoroughly and believe that a Vegan diet is not healthy, please read them before commenting on this post. Otherwise, you are writing from your own emotional baggage and not your brain.

I won't read all that before commenting on this post, sorry, and I'm not replying from my own 'emotional baggage' believe me that is something you don't want to see.

I am setting out on a short 3 week experiment for me, it will be different, I have been a meat eater all of my life. I lost 100 pounds a while back through a high protein diet, which included a lot of soy based, manufactured proteins, and I have to say I felt great on it. I have lost serious amounts of weight 3 times in my life by following various versions of a high protein low carb diet, but sadly have been unable to maintain that diet.

So here we go on a 3 week cleanse, and during that 3 week period I will listen to the feedback my body gives me, and also do more research on what rules I wish to follow after the initial 3 weeks.

I will certainly be adding back eggs, cheese, yogourt, and fish, I will have to decide on the meats, as I say I will see how I feel.

I think long term I will be aiming to a more Mediterranean type diet, aiming to improve the quality and variety of my diet, and eliminating a lot of the processed food, which I believe is the real culprit. BTW when I say diet, I mean as an ongoing plan for eating, rather than a weight loss type diet;)

Apr. 8, 2012, 12:25 PM
Thanks for all the great thoughts and advice, I have been trying to research some of this, and wasn't making much progress, the good people of COTH have provided me with a great amount of information, and suggestions for ways to target my research thanks so much.

Apr. 8, 2012, 12:34 PM
xeroxgirl - my vegan friends don't eat eggs for one or two reasons.
1. Animal rights: Producing eggs may not kill the chickens but they're not treated very well (understatement). Even so-called 'free range' chickens usually means they only get 1 hour out of 24 to get out of a tiny cage into a slightly bigger area.
2. Health reasons.

I have a friend who has chickens on her farm and they live the high life so when she gives me eggs - actual organic eggs from chickens who don't live in tiny cages - some of my vegan friends will eat them while the others still won't.

Back on topic:

Check out vegan recipe websites. Gluten-free Goddess and Oh She Glows are my favourite ones. There's another called fat-free vegan.

I found the hardest thing when I switched to vegan was that I couldn't restrict my calories as much as I used to or else I'd miss out on essential nutrients. I used to keep my calories to 1000-1100 a day and now eating vegan, I'm up to 1200-1500 to make sure I'm getting required protein, B12, zinc, and iron. Even with the huge increase in calories, I somehow lost 8 lbs in 2 weeks when nothing but my diet changed.

There's TONS to eat by going vegan or restricting your processed foods, etc. It takes some more time to prep but it's worth it (to me, anyway).

One thing I'd recommend doing is signing up to a site like fitday or sparkpeople so you can track your nutrients and make sure you're hitting the right amount. You need to get protein, B12, zinc and iron at the recommended amounts or you may feel poorly. It's easy to do but too many people rely on meat to do so when there are many other options out there.

For fun, here's what I had to eat yesterday:
Breakfast: Spinach smoothie, a.k.a "Green Monster" on the Oh She Glows website
Snack: homemade hummus and green and red peppers
Lunch: Vegan Mexican Mini pizza
Snack: Homemade salt and lime chickpeas
Supper: High protein mashed potatoes (from Oh She Glows)
Dessert: homemade Vegan cookie dough

Way more food than I'd ever eat pre-vegan...it still feels weird to be eating constantly throughout the day.

Apr. 8, 2012, 12:43 PM
There are proteins in all sorts of vegetables, nuts, beans, they just tend to not have the complete set of amino acids that we need to build muscle protein, so many cultures that didn't have a lot of access to meat developed combination meals - beans and rice for example. Eaten together they provide all the necessary amino acids.

I ate a MacDougall diet for a year or so back in the early '90's, the guy was a local to me doctor who promoted it heavily and it was vegan, it also called for reduced refined oils. You were expected to get the oil soluble vitamins ADEK from things like whole nuts, avocados. I called the diet death by tomato sauce because it relied heavily on a home made tomato base for flavoring many items. They did have a recipe for a really good vegan stuffed pepper! They used no processed foods that I can recall although I did use Ragu instead of taking the time to make their tomato base.

A friend of mine had adopted the diet after developing a lipoma. She wasn't otherwise fat looking/high BMI but the lipoma caused her concern. I lost 20 or so pounds quite easily, but making the diet work for the family was difficult and cooking two sets of meals didn't work at all. The peppers were about the only thing I could make and have a meat version too. When I got pregnant I went to a standard diet that was easier for my nutritionist to feel comfortable with, and pretty much quit the vegan thing.