Kris Carr


Plant-Based Protein Guide: Expert Tips, Advice & Strategies

Best Plant-Based Protein Sources  | Animal vs. Plant-Based Proteins
How Much Protein Do You Need? | Plant-Based Protein Infographic

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 protein vs. plant-based protein. And just so you know, this blog isn’t about converting you to a vegetarian or vegan diet. It’s about helping you make healthier, more conscious food choices. No judgment. Just knowledge and love.

I’ve written a lot about animal and vegan protein sources 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!

Best Plant-Based Protein Sources


Seitan has become a popular staple of vegan diets. It has a high protein content, containing around 25 grams of protein per three-ounce serving. Seitan is made from vital wheat gluten and is one of the best meat substitutes to mimic the texture of meat.

Because Seitan is made from wheat gluten, anyone with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance should focus on other vegan sources of protein.


Tempeh is a soy-based protein that’s made by cooking and fermenting soybeans. Then they’re pressed into a block. A half-block serving of Tempeh packs a powerful protein punch with 20 grams per serving.


Tofu is similar to tempeh, except soybean curds are pressed together (similar to how cheese is made). 3 ounces of tofu contains 9 grams of protein.


Edamame is considered an “immature” soybean that must be steamed or boiled to be edible. These extremely versatile beans can be used in salads, stir-fries, and vegan sushi. They also pack a powerful punch with 17 grams of protein per cup.


Just like tofu and tempeh, soy milk is derived from—you guessed it—soy. Soy milk is a decent alternative to cow’s milk that also provides 6 grams of protein per cup. It’s usually fortified with vitamins and minerals (like calcium, Vitamin B12, and vitamin D).


Cooked lentils contain 18 grams of protein per cup and include other key nutrients, such as folate and iron. Lentils also contain over half of your daily protein needs. They’re versatile and can be used in soups, salads, and even curry.

Looking for a lentil-full recipe? Try my 1-Pot Lentil, Potato and Spinach Soup!


Legumes, i.e. beans, are another versatile staple of high protein options on plant-based diets. 1 cup of cooked beans contains 14.5 grams of protein. They’re also one of the cheapest sources of protein available. Legumes are full of antioxidants (which can prevent inflammation) and are a great source of fiber.

I’ve created many great bean recipes you have to try!


Just 3 tbsp of hemp seeds contains 10 grams of protein! That’s a pretty high protein content in a small serving (and the most protein of all the seeds). Plus, hemp seeds contain other nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. They’re also a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids not derived from fish. Hemp seeds are great in salads, granola, and protein balls.


Quinoa and other “ancient grains” like amaranth are great sources of protein, containing about 9 grams of protein per cup. They are also unique because they’re complete proteins, whereas most cereal grains are incomplete proteins.

Some great ways to use cooked quinoa include:


You might have heard these little guys called garbanzo beans, but chickpeas contain 14.5 grams of protein per cup. They’re a great addition to Coconut Thai Curry or Chickpea Tuna Salad and are the base for one of my favorite dips—hummus! 

Here’s a few scrumptious hummus recipes: 


Almonds contain fat, fiber, and protein. A one-quarter cup serving of raw almonds has around 8 grams of protein. You can eat almonds plain, make your own almond butter, or toss them on your favorite salad. Other nut butters like cashew and peanut can be great sources of fiber, too.


High protein plant-based foods also include sunflower seeds. They’re allergen-friendly, gluten-free, and contain 7 grams of protein per quarter cup.


Pumpkin seeds contain 10 grams of protein in 1/4 of a cup. They make a wonderful snack or great addition to a salad for some added crunch. You can even use them in vegan mac & cheese.


Flax seeds contain nine grams of protein per serving. They’re high in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients and are rich in fiber.


Chia seeds are another source of both fiber and protein. Just like hemp seeds, they contain selenium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are a great topping on my Raw Cashew Banana Yogurt (a great replacement for dairy-based greek yogurt).


This little, green guy is another completely allergen-friendly protein source that’s a vegetable. One cup of chopped broccoli holds 6 grams of protein. Give my Broccoli Curry Udon or Vegan Broccoli Salad a try to get your greens in.


Peas are another vegetable that packs a powerful protein punch. Cooked peas are full of protein, with 9 grams per cup. If you want to add protein to a smoothie, pea milk and pea protein can be a great edition.


Ah, kale. Two cups of chopped kale hold 4.5 grams of protein. Kale is also versatile and can be used in many different ways. Here are some of my favs:


Nutritional yeast is a deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (that’s a mouthful!). This powdery substance is a great flavorful addition to mashed potatoes or a fun topping to sprinkle on popcorn. Just half an ounce contains 8 grams of protein.


Wild rice is a surprising source of protein, with 7 grams in a cup. But because wild rice isn’t stripped of bran, it can be commonly contaminated with arsenic. But careful washing and boiling will reduce (if not eliminate) most arsenic contamination.


Spirulina is algae and is also considered a superfood. Why? Just 1 tbsp. of dried spirulina holds 4 grams of protein. It’s the highest source of plant protein in the smallest serving. Spirulina is also full of iron, minerals, and B vitamins. Spirulina is even known to help boost your immune system.


Dry oats provide approximately 5 grams of protein per half a cup (and are also packed with fiber). Whole grains like oats can be used to bake bread, make a great alternative to dairy milk, or simply be eaten as oatmeal.

As you can see, vegan diets based on plant-based sources provide adequate protein necessary for the human body.

Animal Protein vs. Plant-Based Protein

Poor Animal Living Conditions Compromise Your Health

Whether or not a particular food is healthy for us doesn’t solely stem from its nutritional value or health benefits. 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.

Want to Include Meat? Follow These Principals

If you want to include animal-based foods 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 deep-sea 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.

Getting the Right Combination of Protein and Essential Amino Acids

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 these essential building blocks, it is essential for us to get them from our diet. Foods that contain all nine essential amino acids are known as complete proteins, although they are not necessarily better protein sources.

While animal flesh is a complete protein source, 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 plant proteins, they lack phytonutrients, water, antioxidants, enzymes, and fiber.

Plants are often touted as incomplete protein sources, but many plants have complete proteins providing all the amino acids you need. Quinoa, soy products, buckwheat, and hemp seeds are all vegan protein sources.

Other plant protein sources 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.

How Much Protein Do You Need in Your Diet?

Your Daily Protein Needs

How much protein you need depends on your body weight (and a couple of other factors). The USDA’s recommended daily allowance is about 0.36 grams of protein per every pound of body weight (so, at 130 pounds, you’d need about 47 grams of protein daily).

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, but it also comes from high-fat animal products instead of protein-rich plant foods.

Daily Protein Needs Calculator

Sample Meal Plan

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

  • Breakfast: 12 ounces green juice = 2 grams protein | ½ avocado (1.3 grams protein) on 1 piece Ezekiel toast (5 grams of protein per serving) = 8.3 grams protein
  • Snack: 1 cup raspberries and ¼ cup raw almonds = 9 grams of protein per serving
  • Lunch: Large green salad with ½ cup black beans, ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds with olive oil and brown rice vinegar dressing = 15 grams of protein per serving
  • Snack: 10 rice crackers and raw veggies dipped in ½ cup hummus = 13 grams of protein per serving
  • Dinner: Broccoli stir-fry served over ½ cup brown rice = 6 grams of protein
  • Snack: Green apple with chamomile tea = 1 gram of protein

TOTAL: 54 grams of protein

So clearly, if you’re eating a well-balanced plant-based diet—meaning you’re consuming a wide variety of high-quality protein-rich foods, like vegetables, greens, sprouts, legumes, tempeh, beans, nuts, grains, and so on—then you will certainly be getting enough protein. Even the higher protein needs of pregnant and

A Protein Myth: The More Protein in Your Diet, the Healthier and Stronger You’ll Be

The belief that we need a high protein intake 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 can harm your health. The trick is to upgrade the proteins we consume and make safer choices on a regular basis.

Plant-Based Protein Infographic

Plant-based protein infographic, showing various protein sources and their nutritional content.

Now it’s your turn. Which plant-based protein will you add to your meals this week? Let’s inspire and uplift each other in the comments below.

Plant-protein power,

Add a comment
  1. Deb says:

    I am kind of excited and nervous to try tempeh and figure out how to incorporate more lentils and legumes into my daily intake
    Thank you for sharing these, much appreciated

  2. Anne Scherliess says:

    dear Kris, I agree that beans and whole food plant protein is enough and I need far less than is promoted by mainstream media. On a totaly different note: I just finished listening to your audiobook “I am not a mourning person” today, since my 50 year young sister in law entered hospiz care today for her terminal cancer. Thank you so much for this book.

    • Kris Carr says:

      I’m deeply touched by your message, and I’m glad to hear that my book could offer some comfort during this challenging time for your family. Sending you and your sister-in-law strength and warmth as you navigate this journey together.

  3. Jules says:

    I love this post so much! I’ve been so overwhelmed with all the info saying that (especially over 40) we should be getting 1g/lb of ideal body weight – leaving me struggling to get 125g/day!

    Are there scenarios where that 1g/lb run actually applies, or is it just something that caught on because it’s simple to calculate?

    • Kris Carr says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post! The 1g/lb recommendation can indeed feel overwhelming, especially considering individual needs and lifestyles. While it’s a widely circulated guideline, it may not be suitable for everyone. Factors like activity level, muscle mass, and overall health play a role. It’s often best to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist to determine the right protein intake for your specific needs and goals. Remember, finding what works best for you is key. Keep exploring and listening to your body! 😊🌱

  4. Barbara McGuire says:

    My favorite added protein is chickpeas and lentils. I also throw flax seeds or chia seeds into my morning smoothies!

    Thanks for your perky and insightful info Kris…you are the best!


    • Kris Carr says:

      Barbara, I’m thrilled to hear that chickpeas, lentils, and seeds are part of your protein-boosting routine! They’re not only nutritious but also delicious additions to any meal or smoothie. Thank you for your kind words—I’m delighted that you found the information helpful. Keep shining bright, and here’s to your continued wellness journey! 🌟😊

  5. Marla Stein says:

    I needed this post today. I have a rare stage 4 cancer and am working with nutritionists to up my protein intake. Thanks for the timely information and validation!

    • Kris Carr says:

      I’m so glad to hear that this post resonated with you! It’s wonderful that you’re working with nutritionists to optimize your protein intake—it’s such an important aspect of supporting your health, especially during your journey with cancer. Wishing you strength and healing on your journey! 💪🏼💖

  6. I used to take a lot of regular whey proteins when I was younger and then started to notice my skin would get more ‘rashy’ and dry and also my stomach didn’t feel that good.

    Now I’m trying to only take plant based proteins and I feel a lot better.

    There’s no need to worry about eating copious amounts of tofu or legumes though, since plant-based protein is a fantastic way to get protein in your diet.

    Stay healthy everyone!

    Cheers, Jonathan!

  7. Susan says:

    Thank you for your website and all the quality information you share. I watched “Hungry for Change” on Netflix and it changed my life. You were part of that program and I am so inspired by your story and the entire program. I have already ordered your book “Crazy Sexy Diet”. I will continue following you and exploring the recipes you share:). Lastly, the quote that you shared that someone else shared with you, “If you are upset, don’t eat” has been a great insight and a mantra I will memorize. God Bless!

  8. Thomas says:

    what’s a better source of protein spinach or kale

  9. Terumi says:

    Thanks so much Love! I am so excited about eating healthier and feeling more amazing!

  10. Andrea Lucas says:

    my husband has a severe allergy to sunflower seeds. If he eats just one seed his head begins to swell. He is having bariatric surgery and needs a high protein drink with NO SUNFLOWER. Do you know of any brand with no sunflower?

  11. Caroline says:

    Hi Kris and Team,
    Thank you! I love all the easy information. Super inspirational. I was vegan and a Sexy eater/juicer/blender for so long and then I got pregnant and had to expand into dairy and some fish. I couldn’t even look at anything green for my first trimester but now I’m back to feeling human so I’m trying really hard to make the best food choices (and not just eat pasta all the time). I know I need to get back to more plant-based proteins and uncover my sexy self. Thanks for this it will help push me (us) in the right direction! 🙂 -CMR

  12. Margo says:

    Thank you Kris!!! This is an excellent source of information and I will share with many!

  13. aloe vera says:

    L’aloès ou aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) est utilisé pour ses
    propriétés laxatives.

  14. angela riemma says:

    Thank you for this useful information regarding protein. I eat mostly plant protein but 2x a week I add pasture raised eggs for vitamin B12. I also take methylcobalamine as a supplement but not daily, just because I forget. What are other ways I can get in vitamin B12?
    The only other non plant food I eat is sheep yogurt, full fat. I just felt it was a way to get in extra protein. Is that unhealthy for my gut? Please advise Thank you and have a great day

  15. Bethan Morgan says:

    Dear All,

    You used to hear from me. I was forced to spend almost 6 months in hospital on account of hypertension; but nothing doing.

    Home again, I am too disabled to use my NutriBullet the products of which I badly need if I am going to make any sort of recovery. Please, please do you know of any other hassle-free product I can use instead? I certainly hope you do.

    I came home reduced to babyhood; forgotten how to use my computer, unable to get into my old address book etc. It is a fluke that I found yours again!

    Bethan Morgan

  16. Your style is very unique in comparison to other people I
    have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have
    the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this blog.

  17. Thank you Kris for this article on plant-based protein. I have not been taking in enough protein for myself. I will be more conscious of doing this…thank you for your positive outlook on life and health. I love the journey I am on. You have a lot to do with that journey.

  18. Sandy says:

    This is a great post! I love what you do say.

    One of my favorite ways to add plant-based protein to my diet is at breakfast when I cook quinoa flakes, stir in a handful of chopped walnuts and top it with a mixture of ground chia, flax seed and Saigon cinnamon. Ta Da! That takes care of more than protein issues too.

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  21. Bethan Tomos says:

    Dear Kris,
    It is so heartening to read about people like you, who took charge of your own health issues – and WON!!! I can’t tell you how often in the course of my life I have done the same – and FAILED! I tried several diets, and a number of mental and emotional healing methods. It was very, very lonely too. Back in the 60s and 70s, nearly everybody thought all non-orthodox- medicine ‘cures’ were trashy, and bound to do you harm. I know now, too late, that if only I had stuck to two of my then dietary measures, instead of allowing myself to be pushed off them by family, I would be in much better health now.

    Now that it might well be too late for me, I realise how much more courageous I would have been about it had we had computers in those days, and I had read about people like you on the internet. Times change! A one-time member of my family who made it all difficult for me, recently admitted to me that he is now doing what I was doing then!

    Despite the fact that to my wrinklie mind, the way of life now is largely mistaken, I respect and admire the way you young women respect your own inner selves nowadays, stand up for yourselves in that you alter anything, from career to diet, to fit in better with your real, deep-down needs. Surely, it is the only way to live, and by respecting the needs of others to do the same.

    God bless,

  22. Master It says:

    Quinoa is my all time favorite!

  23. Robin Slusher says:

    So….what if you’re fat? Should you eat the amount of protein for your fat body? Or for the smaller body that you’re aiming for?


  25. I like the sources and links you provided. That will give my rational mind a better ideal of my own needs based on my body size rather than in general guideline. Thanks for the information.

  26. Alina says:

    I add nuts to salads and entrees. I also love eating every bean out there known to man. Some people eat a variety of meats, my family loves a variety of beans. We also eat greens every day. I have to limit soy because of allergies, I wish I could eat more of it!
    I’m new to this whole website, and so far I love it! Thank you!

  27. Nanci says:

    I’m so excited I made hummus tonight! I am also having 16 bean soup for dinner. Loved the post! I have been juicing twice a day and eating ALOT of salads and nuts (last 4 weeks) but I was still so hungry shortly after. I was not getting enough protein. Once I started juicing I was so acutely aware of everything I was putting in my body I became afraid to eat anything that wasn’t an organic vegetable. Thanks to all your help I now have a kitchen full of amazing proteins,legumes, chia, flax, hemp, lentils, almond butter, almond milk, tahini, lots of Kale, Ezekiel bread, avocados, my fridge looks like the produce department! Nothing I had ever eaten before and I absolutely love this new lifestyle. I love to go to the market now!! I am eating to live for the first time! I also just got the news that I am cancer free! Hooray for me! Hooray for you! Thank you so much!

  28. sherry says:

    Hey Kris…my husband and I are doing your 21 day detox and we are wanting more info about E3 Live please! Is it worth the money? Are the pills just as good as the liquid stuff?


    Love and Light,

  29. natty says:

    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?

    • How about “more phytonutrients”–especially flavonols like quercetin and kaempferol? They act as anti-oxidants in normal cells but selectively target cancer cells for destruction. That basically means more vegetables–onions, capers, herbs, kale.

  30. Dwynne Keyes says:

    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

  31. Ashley says:

    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?

  32. Jim Edwards says:

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

  33. kendenison says:


  34. vipula says:

    pls help to get good thing

  35. Sally D says:

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

  36. Holly says:

    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!

  37. Monica Mills says:

    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.

  38. 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!

  39. Michell says:

    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.

  40. Tonette says:

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

  41. Jennifer says:

    edamame baby!!!!

  42. Elisa Lionne says:

    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.

  43. Ashlee says:

    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

  44. Marie says:

    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.

  45. AJ says:

    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

    • Kris Carr says:

      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!

  46. Joan says:

    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.

  47. Julie says:

    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!

  48. Susan says:

    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. KaKthy Dowling says:

    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!!

  50. BleachedBrunette says:

    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.

  51. Sharlene Acheronti says:

    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

  52. Sally says:

    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!

    • Susie says:

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


  53. 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,

  54. Steph says:

    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

  55. Sabine Dettlinger-Metropoulos says:

    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!!

  56. Lisa says:

    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!

  57. Miche says:

    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

  58. Jane says:

    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!

    • Kris Carr says:

      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

  59. Therese says:

    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

  60. Penny says:

    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

  61. Victoria says:

    Thanks Kris!

    You are brilliant.

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

  63. Health Nut says:

    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. 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.

  64. Ana says:

    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.

    • Talia says:

      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.

    • Steph says:

      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

      • Kris Carr says:

        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, 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!

  65. Janis says:

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

  66. Gillian McOmish says:

    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.

  67. Kimberly says:

    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!

  68. Hayley says:

    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 🙂

  69. Sue says:

    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?

  70. Patches Magarro says:

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

  71. Lauren says:

    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!

  72. Lara says:

    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

  73. Renee Baude says:

    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.

  74. lori says:

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

  75. nathalie says:

    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

  76. Johanna says:

    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!

  77. 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.


  78. Mia Moran says:

    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 🙂

  79. Sugeiy says:

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

  80. Nan says:

    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!!

  81. Yvonne says:

    Love your thoughtful menu plan on protein intake. Thanks.

  82. sia says:

    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.

  83. Marcia Vandervert says:

    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!

  84. Sarah Jayne says:

    What a great info and design, Kris!!!

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

  85. Michelle Bentcliff says:

    Oh – just saw your Tips for Travel. Now that was perfect for ask and receive. 🙂
    Thanks Kris!

  86. Michelle Bentcliff says:

    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!

    • Jess says:

      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!

      • Michelle Bentcliff says:

        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.

      • Andrea says:

        Download the Happy Cow apps for veg friendly restaurants in your area! It’s been a lifesaver after 2 years vegetarian and now 1+ vegan. It’s like anything else in life, it becomes habit and you become exposed to plant food you would have probably never heard of our tried when you were eating animal products at most of your meals. Good luck and happy exploring! You won’t be disappointed.

  87. Bárbara says:

    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!

  88. 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 🙂

  89. Kendra says:

    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?

    • Sue Wilson says:

      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

    • Dayna says:

      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.

  90. Cassie says:

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

  91. Carlen says:

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

  92. Chad says:

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

  93. Brooke Coblentz says:

    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! 🙂

  94. 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

  95. Ashley says:

    Protein rocks! Loving all the tips included here.

    • What if we shift the focus from macronutrients (the protein, carbs and fats in foods) to the thousands of phytonutrients that protect against cancer and cancer recurrence? Flavonols (such as quercetin and kaempferol ) act as anti-oxidants in normal cells but as pro-oxidants in cancer cells, meaning they trigger cancer cells to commit suicide, and keep cancer cells from utilizing glucose and fatty acids as fuels. Which plants are the best sources? Onions, kale, watercress, dill, capers and a host of others.

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