4 Mar

Yesterday, my friend told me he’s worried that my vegan diet is not providing me with enough protein. I appreciate his concern, but he shares the same belief as most Americans — that you must eat meat to get enough protein. Why do we believe that? Because that’s what we’ve been told our whole lives — television commercials, pediatricians, in every grade of school, magazine ads and family members. Yes, meat is a complete protein and an excellent source of it. But, it’s not the only source and it’s not always the healthiest choice.

Most Americans eat way more protein than they need. Some estimates say almost double! The average adult woman needs about 45 grams a day. The average adult male needs about 55 grams a day. (Protein needs vary based on your physical activity; i.e., a weightlifter will require more protein).*

So let’s say Mr. Average’s normal day looks like this:
Breakfast: 2 eggs (12g) + 1 slice whole wheat toast (2g) + 1 cup milk (8g) = 22 grams
Lunch: turkey (5g) + 1 slice cheese (7g) on 2 slices whole wheat bread (4g) = 16 grams
Snack: bag of peanut M&M’s = 5 grams
Dinner: cheeseburger (17g) + baked potato (7g) + side salad (2g) = 26 grams

For a grand total of 69 grams of protein! And that doesn’t even include butter, salad dressing, any sides he had with lunch, and other beverages.

Now look at Mr. Vegan’s normal day:
Breakfast: A bowl of oatmeal (6g) with 1 oz almonds (6g) = 12 grams
Lunch: PB&J on whole wheat bread (16g) + 1 cup soy yogurt (5g) = 21 grams
Snack: 1/4 cup hummus + a whole wheat pita = 8 grams
Dinner: 1 cup of spaghetti (6g) + 1/2 cup lima beans (5g) + 1 slice whole wheat bread (2g) = 13 grams

Total? 54 grams of protein — without eating anything “weird” like tofu. Again, it doesn’t include beverages. So it really is easy to get your daily protein needs with a vegan diet.

Now, on to a yummy recipe. I was in the mood for guacamole today. I love it and it’s really easy to make. Plus, avocados are really good for you. Not only are they high in dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin C and copper, they are a good source of potassium — a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Usually, I chop onions and fresh tomatoes for my guacamole, but I was in a hurry to eat it. So, here’s a really quick recipe for guacamole. Served with homemade baked corn tortillas, it’s fabulous.

makes about 1 cup

2 ripe avocados
1 tablespoon salsa (I like the fresh kinds by Garden Fresh Gourmet)
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
dash of garlic powder
dash of chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Cut avocados in half and remove pit. Scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork. Scrape into your bowl. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Adjust seasonings to your liking and enjoy!

*I’m not a doctor or dietician — this info is readily available on the internet.


One Response to “Guacamole!”

  1. Vanessa March 5, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    Love Love Love avocados and guacamole.

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