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Where's The Protein?

Like most vegetarians or vegans I get asked this question more than anything else. Growing up with a Standard American Diet (SAD) I think most of us assume that the only protein sources are found in chicken, fish, or beef. This couldn't be more false, but that doesn't stop people from asking. There are funny memes all over the internet about the ridiculous questions people ask vegans (I swear the second people find out you don't meat they magically become nutritionists and fearful of your health). The runner up question is always "What if you were stranded on an island and you would starve unless you ate the pig. What would you do?" Truly, these questions most often don't deserve an answer, because at this point the "argument" fails to acknowledge the difference between killing as matter of pure necessity and killing as matter of convenience or pleasure, which are by no means morally equivalent. This is all completely beside my point though.

Forget high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol problems that so many Americans face on the SAD; when you don't eat meat (or choose to significantly decrease the amount you eat) everyone is now concerned about your protein deficiency. No worries here though. You'll be happy to learn that most foods that grow from our beautiful earth all contain excellent sources of protein, and yes, will offer the full spectrum of all essential amino acids that your body needs to function properly and efficiently. Here's a fun pictograph to share with others, one of the many resources that will help you through this plant strong journey

Chart with vegetables and their protein content

One of my favorite easy meals is black beans and rice. Spice them up and you're set for lunch prep all week long. Add salsa and avocado and you basically just created the same dish I fork up $7 for at Chipotle (pun certainly intended). This combo also forms an awesome nutritional boost to your day. One cup of brown rice has 5 grams of protein and paired with the same serving of black beans at 15 grams of protein, you are already at 30% of the daily recommended value, all without counting your side dishes, snacks, or other meals for the day.

Enjoy your plants, eat good food, and if you're ever at a loss of words when you get the dreaded "Where do you get your protein?" question share a meme.

Chart with vegetables and their protein content
Chart with vegetables and their protein content
Chart with vegetables and their protein content

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