Have you ever known someone who has had a protein deficiency? Died from lack of protein? Probably not in our society.
So tone it down and keep it plant based. I don't believe you can overdo plant based protein at all.
When do we need to ADD in protein powder?
If you eat low on the food chain, not much or any meat, eggs, dairy or fish.
If you are pregnant.
If you are exercising a lot.
If you are trying to build a lot of muscle.
Then you may want to add some powder into a green smoothie!
You might want to just keep some around for when you are feeling depleted and need a little oomph.
Okay, so easy. No, wait! Which kind?? Hemp? Soy? Whey?
Since I prefer to go all plant based, I knock whey out of the running right off the bat. Whey is a dairy product. Whey is cow milk.
Let's remember right here where the cow milk got it's essential amino acids... from the greens the cow ate right?
Milk just does not do any body good. Casein, a component of milk, has been linked (famously in The China Study by T. Colin Campbell - a must, must read book) to disease and the beginning of cancers.
As ultra endurance athlete, Rich Roll, puts it in an article on the Forks Over Knives website, "...whey is nothing more than a highly processed, low-grade discard of cheese production — another diabolical stroke of genius courtesy of the dairy industry that created a zillion-dollar business out of stuff previously tossed in the garbage." (Here is the full article...)
Soy is just as disappointing. What seemed like such a terrific, healthful alternative to dairy in the 90's has turned out to be nothing more than a marketing job. And we all totally bought it.
The downside to the consumption of soy is far reaching. Indeed, I fed both my children soy milk and I sincerely wish I had not. And, no I don't wish I had fed them cow milk either! No milk would have been the way to go. And now we have all the delicious nut milk options.
Here is a short laundry list of issues soy (particularly GMO soy) can contribute to or cause:
Low sperm count
And don't get me started on the problems it can cause for kids. Please don't feed your baby soy formula! For a more in depth article here is a link to one at Dr. Mercola's website. If you want anything to do with unfermented soy after reading it you are braver than I (or maybe just more foolish).
Won't Hemp Get You High?
No, of course not. Well, you'd have to eat a LOT of it and I think you'd give up first.
Hemp is a great protein source and has no downside except perhaps a bit of a heavy handed flavor and texture. Hemp protein has a high fiber content and is very easy to digest Hemp seed protein may have anti-fatigue and immune enhancing benefits as well.
Whirled Peas Please
Pea Protein is the top protein in most raw vegan blends.
Gluten free, soy free, dairy free, pea protein has a high Lysine content.
Lysine, one of the essential amino acids, appears to help absorb calcium and plays an important role in the formation of collagen—the building block of connective tissue such as bones, cartilage, skin, tendons. Lysine also helps prevent cold sores.
You can buy hemp and pea protein powders, but I think the best vegan protein powders are combination blends... so here come the best of the best!
Have a look at the right side bar for a comparison of my 3 favorite protein powders. I really like all three and would highly recommend each of them.
What is Your Protein Personality?
Sunwarrior - Warrior Blend - Vanilla
You want the BEST TASTING blend of pea, cranberry, hemp, vanilla and cinnamon.
Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein - Vanilla
You love that this protein is from ORGANIC SPROUTS and contains PROBIOTICS.
Vega Protein & Greens - Vanilla
You love the idea of getting an extra 2 servings of GREENS in your smoothie.
You may have noticed the array of protein powders available these days. Whole Foods practically has an entire isle full.
And it's confusing!
Protein is a hot topic these days, and there are 2 fiercely divided camps... Paleo vs. Vegan. You may have figured out by now which camp I live in.
Most of us consume far too much protein and that's not healthy. Excess protein can contribute to weight gain and damage your kidneys, but that's especially animal protein. I believe that the consumption of too much animal protein leads to chronic disease and premature aging (and bone loss!).
Okay... let's cut to the chase...
What do I use? Raw vegan protein of course!
Here are my favorite brands and why (in no particular order)...
#1 Sunwarrior - Warrior Blend Vanilla
This is just my favorite basic vanilla protein powder. I have used it for years. I trust this company. It's tastes great. It is pea, cranberry and hemp protein, plus vanilla, stevia and cinnamon. Great product, unbeatable flavor. (I keep opening the jar and smelling it as I write - it even smells good.) $1.18/oz.
#2 Vega - Protein & Greens Vanilla
20 grams of protein PLUS 2 servings of greens (alfalfa, spinach, broccoli and kale no less!). Great addition to a smoothie and a boost to the day first thing. Okay, so the flavor is not quite up there with the Sunwarrior, but it blends into the smoothie very well. $1.43/oz
#3 Garden of Life - Raw Organic Protein Vanilla
Another great raw vegan protein made from 13 organic sprouts with some live probiotics added in. A really power packed protein powder. I love that the protein source is sprouted seeds and grains (like chia, quinoa, pumpkin seed and flax). Again, this doesn't beat the Sunwarrior flavor, but this one is tops for nutrients. $1.42/oz
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I'm Birit Trematore. (Rhymes with Spirit!) I'm obsessed with, addicted to, can't stop pursuing ways to feel better and higher and fill our lives with more love and vibrance. I hope you find inspiration in these pages!
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