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My Crazy Sexy Guide to Plant-Based Protein

February 25, 2014|98Comments|


Hi Sweet Friends,

Today we’re tackling the topic of protein, which can be a touchy subject in the health world—especially when it comes to animal vs. plant-based protein. And just so you know, this blog isn’t about converting you to veganism or even vegetarianism. It’s about helping you make healthier, more conscious food choices. No judgement. Just knowledge and love.

I’ve written a lot about animal and plant-based protein in the past, so I looked back at Crazy Sexy Diet and Crazy Sexy Kitchen while writing this post. I’ve updated some fantastic excerpts from these books, added a bunch of tips and even created a handy infographic for you!

Let’s dive right in and tackle some common protein myths and questions…

Myth: The more protein in your diet, the healthier and stronger you’ll be.

The belief that we need enormous amounts of protein to be healthy and strong is one of the most pervasive myths in America. In fact, overdosing on protein is one of the reasons we’ve become so unhealthy. Studies show that as protein consumption goes up, so do the rates of chronic disease. Hello, inflammation! In truth, protein deficiency is virtually nonexistent in industrialized countries.

Is protein important? Absolutely! But as you just read, in large quantities it could actually harm your health. The trick is to upgrade the proteins we consume and to make safer choices on a regular basis.

How much protein do you really need?

The USDA’s recommended daily allowance is about 0.36 gram of protein for every pound of body weight (so, at 130 pounds, you’d need about 47 grams of protein daily). I’ve also broken down how to calculate your protein needs and the best plant-based protein sources in my infographic below. Please note: If you’re an athlete trying to build muscle, are pregnant or lactating, or are under physical stress, use 0.45 when calculating protein needs (so, at 130 pounds, you’d need about 59 grams of protein daily). Reality check: The average American adult consumes between 100 and 120 grams of protein every day. Not only is that nearly two to three times what we need, it comes mostly from high-fat animal products.

PlantbasedProtein-Infographic

How easily can I meet my protein needs with a plant-based diet?

Here’s how a moderately active adult who weighs 140 pounds could meet their protein needs (50 grams per day):

  • Breakfast: 12 ounces green juice = 2 grams protein, ½ avocado on 1 piece Ezekiel toast = 8 grams protein
  • Snack: 1 cup raspberries and ¼ cup raw almonds = 9 grams protein
  • Lunch: Large green salad with ½ cup black beans, ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds with olive oil and brown rice vinegar dressing = 15 grams protein
  • Snack: 10 rice crackers and raw veggies dipped in ½ cup hummus = 13 grams protein
  • Dinner: Broccoli stir-fry served over ½ cup brown rice = 6 grams protein
  • Snack: Green apple with chamomile tea = 1 gram protein

TOTAL: 54 grams protein

So clearly, if you’re eating a well-balanced plant-based diet—meaning you’re consuming a wide variety of high-quality foods, like vegetables, greens, sprouts, legumes, tempeh, beans, nuts, grains, and so on—then you will certainly meet your protein needs. Even the higher protein needs of pregnant and breast-feeding women, and athletes can easily be met just by eating more of the good stuff.

Do I need to be concerned about eating complete proteins?

Proteins are long strings of amino acids. There are twenty different amino acids you need for good health, but our bodies can only make eleven of them. The remaining nine are referred to as essential amino acids. Because we can’t make them, it is essential for us to get them from our diet. Foods that contain all nine essential aminos are known as complete proteins, although they are not necessarily better protein sources.

While animal flesh is a complete protein, it’s also “complete” with potentially harmful saturated fat and cholesterol, plus hormones, antibiotics, and oftentimes other unsavory party poopers like E. coli. And unlike their plant-based counterparts, they lack phytonutrients, water, antioxidants, enzymes, and fiber. And did you know that many plants have complete proteins? Can you say quinoa, soy products, buckwheat, and hemp seeds? Other plant proteins are only slightly incomplete, so as long as you’re eating a variety of them you’ve got a complete protein powerhouse. You don’t even have to eat them all at the same meal or even on the same day.

Animal-Based Protein: The Bigger Picture

Whether or not a particular food is healthy for us doesn’t solely stem from its nutritional value. It’s also about how your dinner got to your plate. When evaluating the health consequences of animal products we must also consider the way the critters were raised and treated. Compassion aside, this is about your well-being.

How an animal is cared for from birth to slaughter truly, madly, deeply affects your body. Unhealthy animals create unhealthy food. The unsanitary and inhumane practices of factory farms threaten our food supply. Would you knowingly drink from a polluted well? We must remember that we humans are at the tippy top of the food chain. This means that we eat everything that the critter below us ate and below them ate and so on.

What if you want to include animal products in your diet?

That’s your choice and I totally honor it (and you!). My advice: keep it to a minimum (two or three times per week), as a garnish or side dish, and make the best selections. According to the American Dietetic Association, a portion of meat shouldn’t be larger than a deck of cards, or the palm of your hand (about 3 ounces).

In addition, do your best to say “no way” to factory-farm products. Instead, look for the Certified Humane Seal, which is the gold standard in farming. As for seafood, Food and Water Watch is a terrific resource to learn what seafood products are safest and, therefore, healthiest. Unfortunately, farm-raised fish often experience similar confinement and health issues. As for wild fish, our oceans aren’t what they used to be and as a result, high levels of mercury (especially in deepsea fish) and other heavy metals are abundant.



And once you embrace the deliciousness of plant-based cooking, there’s a entire world of whole foods (filled with all the protein you need) waiting to be experienced and savoured.

Your turn: What’s your favorite way to add plant-based protein to your diet?

Peace & protein smarts,

Kris Carr



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98 responses to My Crazy Sexy Guide to Plant-Based Protein
  1. Protein rocks! Loving all the tips included here.

  2. Hi Kris,

    Thank you so much for your well-thought out and logical post on protein. I’m a vegetarian holistic nutritionist (I’ve been off and on again eating meat but a few years ago, committed 100% to being a veg). This pervasive myth you talk about with protein-exists between practitioners! I was at the Canadian Organic Growers Conference last weekend and got an earful about how vegans are riddled with candida and are super unhealthy. I just go into angry mode and shut down at the ignorant views/misinformation and downright prejudice against vegetarians and vegans. Even in my field!! The argument was-they can’t get the proper amount of protein. Ugh. I like reading your information because it makes so much sense and I can breathe a sigh of relief that there are still people out there with common sense.

    Lots of love and blessings, Eleanor

  3. This is so interesting! As a fitness instructor I was told by a nutritionist that I needed 25g of protein at every meal eating about every 3-4 hours…That seemed like a LOT and when I was stuffing my face with that much I felt aweful!!! I will go back to what you stated above, I always felt better when I ate a more plant based diet:)
    love and green juice to you! :)

  4. Is Spirulina a complete protein? How much protein in a TBSP? Thank you and wow you glow!!

  5. Thank you for this SO MUCH. Can you do the same infographic for plant based iron intake and calcium intake? And vitamin D intake?

  6. I’ve often worried that I don’t get enough protein, but now I feel reassured! Thanks!

    • If you’re worried about it you could be a worrier, or your body might be telling you something. Listen to your body.

  7. This has become a hot topic in our household, this post couldn’t have been better timed :) . Me and my man made a recent shift in the new year to eat mostly vegan. It’s working for us and we feel great! The only time we slip is maybe once on the weekend or when friends ask us out to dinner. But recently, we have increased how often and how intense we work out. My man seems to think he’s not recovering like he used to (on the “old” diet and pumping himself with crappy supplements, btw we’ve changed our supplement cabinet to vegan friendly plant based as well) and a lot more sore the next day. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Kendra, for recovery, I use AdvoCare’ Night Time Recovery….and or Catalyst and or PostWorkout Recovery…I was lucky enough to find out about these effective products in 2002 when I was kickboxing…for weight loss. Sue

    • Check out the book Thrive by Brendan Brazier. He goes into a lot of detail regarding nutrition to fuel your workouts, as well as what to consume for optimal recovery. He also talks about what kind of fuel the body needs based on the various activity levels (low, moderate, intense). I can’t recommend it highly enough for athletes. I’ve healed adrenal fatigue and am able to play hours of tennis and keep up with my gym workouts at very high intensity now – it’s amazing!

      • I second your recommendation, Dayna! Brendan Brazier’s Thrive is what I used when training for my first marathon. It all worked, and was against everything my personal trainer was telling me to eat. So, I gave her a copy. The information and recipes really kept my energy up and my recovery time to a minimum.

  8. Thank you Kris for this enlightening post!

    I’ve a learned a lot about protein thanks to you and Crazy Sexy Diet which has enabled me to convince my fiancé to go vegetarian more of the time :)

  9. Excelent post!!! Brilliant!

    My favorite way to add plant-based protein to my diet is veggie milk made with almonds, nuts, dates, and quinoa (cooked). After the super shake is done, I add a table spoon of chia. Powerful breakfast!

  10. Hi Kris –
    I have your Crazy Sexy Cookbook and had the great pleasure of seeing you at I Can Do It – Pasadena, CA! :)

    Thanks for this protein info. I don’t eat meat and am minimizing (hopefully eliminating) eggs and dairy. I’m always hoping I get enough protein, so this really helps.

    I think it’s hard enough traveling or going to restaurants when you’re a vegetarian. It seems nearly impossible when you’re vegan. What do you do (in addition to bringing green smoothies :) when you travel?

    As a 12 year breast cancer survivor, I am amazed and inspired by you. Thanks for all you do!
    “Notre Sante” – To our health!
    ~Michelle

    • Michelle I can totally relate. When I went vegan a year and a half ago I had no idea how I was going to travel or go to restaurants. Turns out it’s pretty easy! Especially at Mexican restaurants, where there’s always beans and rice. I found out a lot of restaurants are very willing to customize something from the menu, removing cheese from the dish or even meat! I have ordered pasta dishes and asked them to hold the chicken. Also, if you know ahead of time what cities or restaurants you’ll be visiting you can check out their menu online and plan what you’ll have. That always makes me feel better, going in with a plan.
      And Michelle, congratulations on your cancer survival! What an inspiration!

      • Thank you so much, Jess! Inspiring and being inspired is my passion in life and Kris is one awe-inspiring person!
        Yes, I am finding more restaurants will create vegetarian or vegan meals, thankfully.
        Enjoy-
        MIchelle

  11. Oh – just saw your Tips for Travel. Now that was perfect for ask and receive. :)
    Thanks Kris!
    ~Michelle

  12. What a great info and design, Kris!!!

    I sprinkle hempseed on everything! Salads, fruit, smoothies, cereal, etc.!

  13. I have a vaping (electronic cigarette) lounge in West Palm Bch Fl and I am currently working on a project to include an organic juice bar as well as organic ejuice for vaping. My purpose is to help people quit their unhealthy smoking habits and transition them to eventually becoming non smokers also by including the organic juice and organic snacks I will give people healthier alternatives to munch on throughout the day. I just want you to know that you are my role model, you changed my life, and gave me a better healthier way to live my life! Keep up the good work!

  14. is tempeh safe? Any particulr brands are good? I would go for organic and non gmo only but what about the estrogens in soy.
    I think even greek yogurt and spirulina are good sources.

  15. Love your thoughtful menu plan on protein intake. Thanks.

  16. This info is so helpful to me. My school-age son won’t eat meat (just never liked it) and I’ve always worried about getting enough protein in him. I tend to overload him on milk and cheese since he is allergic to all nuts and peanuts. This gives me some new options and a guide for how much to offer him. Thank you!!

  17. Thank you Kris for this wonderful article. Simple to read and understand!!!

  18. Oh my!!! Thank you so much for this! I am vegan and eat gluten free, and raise three kiddos largely this way. Everyone who sees us wants to do what we do, but man, I can never get through the protein conversation with the pediatrician! My two girls have their yearly check up tomorrow, so now I know what to say! We feel so amazing, and I have become a fabulous chef, but explaining the facts still trips me up. So grateful :-)

  19. What a great post, Kris. It’s terrific that you are getting the word out about the importance of essential amino acids instead of “protein.” When you think about it, it just makes so much more sense that all the food we eat gets broken down and releases the individual amino acids into our bodies, which can then draw on the whole pool of amino acids to construct whatever it needs – that it can snap them together into the string of amino acids we call “protein.”

    Eating chicken or meat or fish doesn’t give us a hunk of “protein,” it gives us a bunch of amino acids that get added to the ones we get from everything else. And whichever of the 9 amino acids are missing in spinach exist in beets, or corn, or kale. And we don’t have to keep track of them because they are all so plentiful – juice certainly removes any concerns (especially “kitchen sink” juice :). I love that you pointed out the amount of protein we actually need – it makes me so sad to see people knocking themselves out to get the high levels of protein they think they need, when so much is actually soooo bad for us.

    I’m so excited to see you put all this info out there because you reach a lot of people! Yayyy!

    You rock and are a great educator and motivator and source of love.

    Thanks!
    Nancy

  20. Thank you for the info!

    I started to pump iron to prove it to the skeptics that as a vegan I can thrive and look better than ever. So far I am doing great and stay lean while building muscle.

    For those of you looking for a little protein splurge after workout here are a few simple recipes:

    Banana oatmeal soft cookie:
    2 mashed bananas
    3/4 c old fashioned oatmeal
    1/2 c hemp seeds (or hemp protein powder if you are okay with processed stuff)
    1/2 c chia seeds
    Scoop it on a parchment covered baking sheet using an icecream scoop and flatten them a little. Bake for 10 minutes on 350.

    Home made protein bar:
    2 1/2 cups rolled oats
    1 cup raw seed of your choice (hemp for high protein)
    1/2 cup dried fruit (i like cherries)
    2/3 cups peanut or almond butter
    1/2 cup agave nectar or honey (may substitute half a banana if you don’t want sweetness)
    Mix it well (I use stand mixer) and roll it out to a protein bar thickness between two plastic wraps. Let it rest in the fridge for 4 hours before cutting it up. This recipe can be modified to your taste (add hemp powder, chia seeds …)

    Love you Kris! F… cancer!

  21. Hey Kris! thank you so much for that… I have been vegetarian for years and vegan for almost a year… I feel great and it has allowed me to address a health issue… You are one of the reason why I looked into it after reading Crazy Sexy Diet! However, I still have resistance around me towards believing that my health improvement is due to my diet change – even thus my condition is neurodegenerative and incurable according to science! This will greatly help and this is why I shared it on every social media I am part of… spread the knowledge… thank you thank you thank you! xox

  22. My favorite way to add plant protein to my diet is using avocado instead of mayo on any sandwich. thank you for this information!

  23. My 6 year old decided to be vegan–I honored her choice and did tons of research. At her well visit exam the doctor asked her about how much milk she drank. I cringed. I feared the next exchange between the ego of a doctor and the determination of a 6 year old.

    I was amazed at how wonderfully my daughter explained in her own words why she doesn’t eat “dead animals” and how she eats lots of other things. Then she asked the doctor–“how much protein do you think I need? how much calcium?” The kind doctor didn’t know without looking it up. My kid told her that was cheating! I smiled inside.

    Thanks to my daughter–two years later, she remains plant based and brought me along with her. Neither of us knowingly consume animal products. The rest of the family still eats animal products and I make the best choices I can for them . . .

    I pinned this info graphic and I’ll mention it on my blog as well. Thank you for being a great inspiration!

    P.S. The bean infographic was great as well.

  24. Thanks so much for the wonderful info!! and graphics. I have them posted on my fridge, so they are easy to reference and remind me of what to eat. Me and my sisters are gearing up for your 21 day CS cleanse, we are starting it March 11th…. can’t wait!!! Love your lifestyle!!!! xo Lara

  25. Just wanted to add a little to your excellent article here, from the animal protein standpoint. You are so right to advocate for humane raising conditions and I’d like to take it even a step farther. Being ranchers, we’ve poked around every nook & cranny of this “industry” and found that it can indeed be industrial – in most cases. If you’re looking for the greatest health benefits from land animal protein, pasture raised is going to be the very best option, and there should be nothing industrial about it. Look for Certified Grassfed by the American Grassfed Association to make sure (yearly on-farm/ranch audits) the animals do meet the AGA definition of Grassfed, not just the USDA’s. Animal Welfare Approved is another gold standard for humane treatment – every step of the way, including slaughter. Yearly audits here, too. Both websites list qualified farms, ranches and retail outlets, even restaurants! Keep up the great work, Kris!

  26. QUESTION: About how many calories does the sample day’s diet have?

  27. Great post!!! I really needed this. I’m vegan and I was worried that I wasn’t getting enough protein since I’m trying to stick to the most healthy food options. Thanks so much!

    Oh, yeah – does edamame count as protein?

  28. Awesome, awesome, awesome post Kris!

    Thank you so much for tackling this topic. I’ve noticed so many of my friends talk about how they’re not getting enough protein and I haven’t been able to explain it to them in a way that sounds credible.

    Breaking down the long-believed myth that we need lots of protein (mostly animal -based) is a tough one to deal with. So thank you for writing this, because now, not only can I forward this onto my friends but it has also given me tools on how to explain it better!

    You’re the bees knees!
    Hayley :)

  29. For some of my protein, I turn to my go-to salad. It’s inspired by Kris’ “Chopped Salad” from Crazy Sexy Kitchen, and It’s WAY easy and soooooo yummy!

    Kale, romaine, and parsley mixed with flax oil and white balsamic and sprinkled with hemp and sunflower seeds. You can even toss on some chia seeds for good measure…;)

    This salad really packs a punch of protein!

  30. I do love your philosophy on life, Kris, and have been following you for some time now. Just one thing I need to suggest. Most of the world uses the decimal system for weights and measures; I think the US and the UK are the only places that still use the Imperial system. When you write about lbs etc., would it be possible to also use kg etc.? You have an international following, yet ignore this fact when writing your blog.
    I do hope this is taken as a constructive criticism. I have two types of leukemia, and am sure that by following much of your advice is the reason I am still here. Maybe for not much longer, but thank you anyway for being you.

  31. Kris, would love to join you and others at one of your programs. Do you ever go to the Boston area?
    Janis

  32. I am concerned with the ratio of protein-carbohydrate-fat when eating a plant based diet. The carbohydrate content of the protein rich choices above is high. So, to get the required amount of protein, one would get very high amounts of carbohydrate. Any thoughts on this? Special awareness should be emphasized for those of us who do not metabolize carbohydrates and have a tendency to store excess carbohydrate as fat.

    • Yes! I too would love to hear your thoughts, Kris, about the carb-heavy aspect of the plant-based diet, even if it’s whole carbs.

    • I am one of those people! and trying to lose weight and was thinking the same thing about the carbs, so entered everything into a calorie tracking website and this is what I got. 1’719 calories, 224g carbs 79g fat 55g protein 27g sugar

      • Hi Ladies! I checked in with our Health Editor, Jen Reilly RD, and here’s what she had to say in response to your questions:

        “It’s true that you can get too carb-heavy on a plant-based diet, especially if you’re eating a lot of gluten and sweets. But, here at KrisCarr.com, we emphasize only high-fiber whole grains which include very few simple carbs, processed carbs, and very little gluten. As a result, our overall diet ends up being very high in health-boosting fiber and only moderate in total carbs. If you’re especially sensitive to carbohydrates, then you can certainly limit your carbs even more. But, keep in mind that beans, lentils, and whole grains have also been shown to reduce risk of disease and improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels — not to mention decrease BMI.”

        I hope that helps!
        Kris

  33. I was a vegetarian for years and I was not getting enough protein. I was sickly. I now eat meat and am MUCh better. Goes to show you everyone is different. Also, tofu is extremely UNhealthy. All soy in America is GMO. Best to stay away from all soy-based products, and hydrolized soy protein which includes tempeh. I now follow the Weston A Price philosophy. http://www.westonaprice.org. It is not based on any government recommendation, but on pure scientific research. Weston Price was a famous dentist that studied primitive diets and concluded that these people had robust health and longevity due to thier dependence on fresh local, NON processed foods. They discuss the dangers of soy. There are a lot of opinions out there. We all must find what works best for us as individuals. Vegetarianism is not for every BODY.

  34. SUCH an informative post, Kris! I just recently found your blog — and am so happy I did. Three cheers for plant power! xoxo

  35. Thanks Kris!

    You are brilliant.

  36. I’ve been using green juices for about 18 months now along with eating less animals and I have seen a terrific change for the better in my health – especially with regards to my IBD. However, one thng that keeps recurring is the nails on my thumbs are constantly becoming brittle and split – any I missing something vital?? Wondered if it was lack of sufficient omega oils? I use UDO and coconut and olive oils.
    Please can you give me any clues – thanks – yours in plants x

  37. Hi Kris,
    I so look forward to your blog and never miss reading one – I’m really missing your vlogs though – you’re such a natural on camera and I find I absorb and retain more visually – do you have plans to film more in the future?

    p.s – the vlog with your Alicia Keys ‘New York’ performance really made me smile – it makes my day every time I think of how unrestrained and joyful you were – it was really hilarious…and beautiful!

    Thank you for all you do,

    Therese x

  38. So confused! Are beans and grains like quinoa GOOD or BAD?! Matter of opinion? As I try and move myself and my family to a healthier diet I am stuck trying to figure out what to do on protein. I was just working towards more plant, less meat when the Paleo diet came up AGAIN and I looked into it. Now I am more confused than ever! Just looking for healthy balance.

    As a middle-america meat, dairy (sometimes plain old junk food) eating family I really appreciate your style of educating without judgement. We are starting to eat healthier because of you!

    • Hi Jane,

      In my opinion, quinoa and beans are great. I’m not paleo and don’t agree with some of the paleo thinking. Though I do appreciate how paleo diets encourage lots of veggies and zero processed foods. That’s awesome!

      Clearly, there isn’t a “one” right way. You have to decide what is best for you and your family. Try not to stress about it. If you enjoy whole grains and beans and you feel good eating them, that’s probably your answer. :)

      Some paleo peeps can be just as pushy and forceful as some vegan peeps. Many will never meet in the middle. I like to find the common ground, there’s plenty of it. x

  39. Hi Kris
    Love your blog and cookbook!
    I am very confused about protein. I have CFS and after many years as a vegan/vegetarian have been advised by several nutritionists that the way to recovery is to introduce meat into my diet to ensure the correct amount of amino acids. What are your thoughts on this?
    Many thanks

  40. I like the menu for a day with plenty of plant based protein.
    I have recently broken my upper humerus near the socket & had surgery .
    I’ve been vegan for 8 years . My family is upset that I’m not getting enough protein to heal the bones plus vitamins , minerals.
    So I’ve eaten 2-3 Oz of wild caught cod .
    But I have to say I ache more now the last few days since eating the fish .
    I don’t digest legumes & grains well .
    I normally eat lots of greens , fruit, nuts& seeds.
    Any suggestions?
    Thank you!

  41. Kris thank you so much for this clear, easy to follow, easy to incorporate cheat sheet!. . I have to tell you that since beginning my cancer journey I have learned so much from you. Thanks for always being there with all the info I need. You Rock!!

  42. Just for fun I put the sample menu into a calorie counting website to see how much it would be and it works out to 1’719 calories, 224g carbs 79g fat 55g protein 27g sugar

  43. Thanks for this great post, Kris! I’m loving my quinoa and spice it up with some chipotle and nutritional yeast.

    I do eat fish so appreciate the link to finding the best quality.

    Great infographic!

    Keep on glowing,
    Aimee

  44. I put canned beans in my smoothies- You really can’t taste them! Since beans aren’t my favorite food, it’s a great way to get the protein and bean benefits!

    • Hi Sally – I never thought of adding beans to a smoothie before. What a great idea! What kind do you use? Thanks!

      Susie

  45. This info about how much protein we should be eating is very interesting. The way you layed it out made it so easy to understand. Thank

  46. My bff is having a monumental argument with her boy friend over this pro saturated fat diet his trainer has him on. I guess it’s rooted in the paleo / atkins ideal. When I tried to read about it I couldn’t get passed the forward on this guy (who isn’t a doctor or a nutritionist’s) book because all he did was bash every single other diet that wasn’t his. Seems to be some fundamentalist diet plan… Anyway – just wanted to mention the “eat 8 slices of bacon a day and don’t worry” diet since you mentioned saturated fats.

  47. Crazy, Sexy Bone Health!
    Thank you for this article as I do consume more dairy thatn I probably should and have been replacing alot of it with Unsweetened Almond Milk. I now eat about 4oz of organic chicken or wild salmon and have incorporated Quiona into my diet and lentils and beans!! And keep these great posts coming as the information is so critical! Next I am having a FUN time and experimenting one day a week, eating only plant based proteins, how crazy and wild it that!!

  48. LOVE YOU KRIS!! Just what i had been asking the universe for this past week and VOILA! There you are! Thanks so very much. Many blessings to you for all you do! – Susan in Florida

  49. Thank you so much Kris for sharing this valuable information in so many ways for different types of learning. You are so awesome. This info is so helpful! Thank you!

  50. Hi Kris, I am allergic to soy, gluten intolerant and I don’t tolerate legumes and grains well in general. I know that hemp seeds and green veggies are great sources of plant protein as well, but do you have any additional suggestions? I appreciate any input.

  51. This is incredibly helpful and reassuring.

    I’m building up my exercise routine after 16 weeks of chemo last year but am ravenously hungry after workouts. Any suggestions? Is my body needing protein or carbs at this point? xx

    • I imagine that you probably need added protein right now. Have your tried adding protein powder to your smoothies? Avocado and nut butters would be good too. I like Vega and Plant Fusion brands (protein powders). Hope that helps!

  52. Kris I have a request and suggestion:

    1) please let us know when a contest is open to U.S. residents only.

    2) give readers the option of signing up for your newsletter when submitting a comment; and or let them know by submitting a comment they will automatically receive your newsletter.

    I know for me I really appreciate when websites offer both.

  53. This is SO WONDERFUL Kris! MANY of my clients, friends and family are always asking about protein – it’s like we’ve become paranoid that we aren’t getting enough!

    I can’t wait to share this with them all, so they can understand why I don’t concern myself with it all :)

    By the way I am LOVING the Spotlight Crash Course – I finally have been able to dive into it and it’s BLOWING MY MIND.

    So much love and appreciation
    Ash xxx

  54. Thanks Kris! I like adding protein to my diet with spirulina, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, goji berries, nuts and of course a variety of delicious leafy green vegetables.
    xx

  55. edamame baby!!!!

  56. Thanks for this information Kris. And I love that you don’t judge, you’re a compassionate and kind plant-based warrior. :)

  57. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post
    plus the rest of the website is really good.

  58. Hi Kris, I love reading your inspiring story and blogs… I am really in a bad (health) space right now. I am overweight (obese according to the BMI) and having many health issues. I have high cholesterol, acid reflex, hypothyroid disease, fatigue and lots and lots of joint issues that my Dr. is currently trying to pin point the cause of… I work full time and have a 7 year old daughter that I feel I am not mirroring the person I want her to become. She actually adds me to the dinner prayer every night “please help mom get skinny”.. I know I should exercise everyday but between work, joint pain, fatigue and my family I just can’t seem to find the time.. Could you give me any advice about how to start changing my ways (in small leaps) so that I can get on my way to good healthy and active lifestyle?? Any words, advice, blogs or articles you can think of would be very much appreciated.

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  60. Seaweed! Sally

  61. This was a great subject to touch on. For those that want to build muscle or their metabolism is extremely efficient, plant based protein provides a way to gain healthy mass. I agree that many people are in our current culture have been sold on the fact that we need massive amounts of protein to stay healthy. I’ve actually had a personal trainer tell me to take 1 g of protein per pound of body weight! I thought to myself, “How can I possibly eat that much?”.

    As for my favorite way to get protein, it’s beans I must confess. Yes they’re simple, but delicious and they go well with so many things!

  62. I love my Arbonne vanilla or chocolate vegan protein powder- provides 20 grams of vegan protein per serving–NO soy, whey, or gluten!! Complete amino acid profile. My son also uses it for a recovery protein shake after his intense football training.

  63. Hi Kris! Thanks for the awesome article and infographic!

    My husband and I have been (mostly) whole foods plants based for the past 4 years but the one thing holding us back is his obsession with protein intake. We’ve read many articles like the one you posted detailing protein requirements, but his response is always the same, “Yes, I agree, for the average person that’s enough protein. But we’re trying to build bodies and you just can’t do it with that little.” Because of this we both supplement heavily with hemp and soy protein shakes throughout the day (this is why I say we’re mostly whole foods). He was a successful, natural body builder before we met and the past 4 years we’ve been training together. He calculates both of our protein requirements with the “P” as 1 to 1.5. I think it’s unnecessary, but he feels better safe than sorry and since it’s plant protein “What’s it going to hurt?”. My question is, can you point us to any information, research or resources specifically regarding the protein requirements of body builders?

    Thanks so much for all you do!

  64. My morning smoothie – I add greens to my blender: kale, spinach, swiss chard, seaweed and then the fruit – YUM – love the GREEN!!

  65. pls help to get good thing

  66. excellent

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  68. Vegan for a year and half. Thanks for the info looking forward to seeing more

  69. I’m a woman over 300lbs so my calculations put me at 120 grams of protein….. that seems like A LOT. Is that accurate? Is there a max amount?

  70. Thank you so much. This helps to explain protein content to my parents. I’m taking care of mother with Alzheimer’s and father with heart conditions. Pretty overwhelmed. I work full time in high stress job. I appreciate easy fast recipe ideas. I need some new ideas for crockpot. I’m a good cook but need help. To tired to think :-)

    Love you and your positive messages!!!
    Thank you thank you
    Dwynne

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  72. I already eat a plant based diet but am eating around 120g protein a day. I want to decrease my protein intake but am unsure what to replace it with. more carbs? more fats?

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