In my last post, I talked about the need to decrease my carbohydrate intake and increase my protein, to start getting my weight under control and improve my health.
Talking to vegans about their protein intake can be a touchy subject. I am sure you have seen some of these snarky posts on social media:
I admit, the constant questioning and assumption that protein only comes from animal products does get old and annoying.
However, I think it is important for everyone to think about their protein intake. Many omnivores may eat far too much and not realize it. Many vegans do not eat nearly enough and are far too defensive about their intake that they may not self-reflect.
I used to be one of these vegans. I was overly positive that I could get all the protein I needed from plants and no one better dare suggest that I needed to eat an animal to be healthy.
To an extent, I still feel this way, but with less hostility and more awareness. I still believe that I can get all the protein I need from plants, but I recognize that I need to be more mindful of intentional with my protein intake.
Here’s something I hate admitting: the dreaded low carbohydrate diet really works for me. Yearrrrrrs ago (about 10, to be exact), when I still ate meat, I did the Atkins diet and lost 30 pounds pretty easily.
Rest assured, I have no intentions to strictly limit my carbohydrate intake (to as few as 20 grams/day [!!!!!] when I was doing the diet). However, I do want to decrease to a healthier range and increase my protein.
I am hoping this will help with healthy, steady weight loss, increased energy and lean muscle gain.
I talked with my trainer about this and she did some calculating. I did some outside research, too and based on my activity level and goals, I am daily shooting for:
90-115 grams of carbohydrates//130-150 grams of protein//60 grams of fat
This is going to be tough. On a good day of tracking on MyFitnessPal, I track that I take in about:
135 grams of carbohydrates//80 grams of protein//84 (eek, love my avocados!) grams of fat
I know there are some tweaks I can do here and there and being honest with myself, I know that I feel better energetically when I have more protein. I also know my natural tendency is to gravitate towards eating lots of carbohydrates, so getting in this additional protein will require more mindfulness.
I am determined to do this within a vegan framework to achieve my goals. I just hope I do not drive myself crazy with calculating along the way.
Next week I hope to share some examples (and non-examples) of how to eat a higher protein, vegan diet.
I am still learning and researching and any advice or suggestions are definitely appreciated!