Want to Lose Weight? Eat Protein

runningI’m a vegetarian, 90% vegan. I don’t love cheese or any dairy products. I’ve never been a cheese lover so going vegan was fairly easy. Please understand, I’m not here to encourage anyone to become a vegetarian or vegan if that’s not his or her path to health. As for meat, I am not a fan of it either. Eating Grass-feed, organic meat a couple of times a week is fine. But the more meat you eat, the more acidic your body gets. Not to scare you but disease grows in an acidic environment. Other things lead to an acidic environment within your body, even your negative thoughts, so I’m not coming down on meat eaters. I just want you to know the facts.

Of course you need protein for a healthy lifestyle and for weight loss, but too much of one thing can cause you to feel sluggish create digestive challenges and produce skin that turns a shade of gray. Not pretty.

Protein is mainstream right now. Eating meat recipes created by top chefs such as Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray and Giada de Laurentiis are the craze. That’s cool but that’s not how I roll.

Here is a short (I promise) science lesson. Proteins are large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Proteins are made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units called amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein.

Protein, a macronutrient (macronutrients are defined as a class of chemical compounds which humans consume in the largest quantities and which provide humans with the bulk of energy) is vital for building and the repair of tissue, produces enzymes, hormones and other substances the body uses.

Your hair and nails are mostly protein so you need enough protein to have glowing healthy skin and shiny hair.

The biggest question I get form anyone and everyone (even a registered dietitian) is where do I get my protein? For weight loss, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and feeling sexy in your body, PLANT PROTEIN is a great choice.

Don’t worry about yourself, your friends or family members that might be dabbling in going meat free. Here are some fantastic plant based sources of protein:

  • Quinoa (technically a seed but many people consider it a grain)
  • Seeds
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Greens such as kale and collard greens
  • Plant based protein powders (I like Sun Warrior brand)
  • Hemp seeds or hemp powder
  • Tofu (not my favorite as I limit my soy intake)
  • Tempeh (fermented soybeans- doesn’t sound tasty but tempeh is delicious when marinated in a yummy sauce)
  • Veggies especially kale as spinach and broccoli, asparagus, green peas and portabella mushrooms
  • Grains such as buckwheat, millet, amaranth, oats and brown rice (if you want to lose weight, I highly recommend eating grains earlier in the day and smaller portion)
  • Fruits, especially avocado
  • Homemade nut milks
  • Spouted grain breads

Now that you your comfortable with knowing your body will be ok and thrive eating plant proteins, challenge yourself to go meat free for one week or just one day a week. While filling up on plant protein notice how you feel, your energy level, digestion and how you’re pooping…yep, with digesting plant protein you’re also filling up on more fiber. Plant protein is a win-win situation.

Leave me a comment below and let me know how it goes.