Protein needs

ABaker

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I decided to cold turkey start a vegan diet because of the health benefits. I am on day 3 and frustrated about protein- of course the biggest concern everyone brings up so obviously my biggest concern switching over and being such a newbie.

First of all I am a 119 lb 26 year old woman and I'm in the midst of training for a marathon in 2 months, so my longer runs are at 15 miles or more at this point. What I have read is that an athlete doing that type of training should be consuming at least 0.5 grams per pound of protein daily. I realized that on my old omnivorous diet I probably didn't come close to that. But now with my new goal of 60 grams of protein, I'm struggling. It feels like I'm working so hard to figure out how to get my proteins in and my diet revolves around high protein foods. This can't be how other vegans do daily life because it's stressful counting proteins and trying to eat enough when I'm not that hungry. And also not being able to eat as much fruit/veggies because I'm so full from all the grains. I have found good protein sources like
Protein powder-15grams/serving
Sprouted tofu-15 grams per serving
Oatmeal- 5 grams/0.5 cups dry
Kidney beans 8 grams/ 0,5 cup
Garbanzo beans- 6 grams/0.5 cup
Quinoa 6 grams/ 0.25 cup dry
Milled flax seed 6 grams/ 3 Tbsp
Pumpkin seeds and lentils are also a source

So as you can see, I'm finding good places to get protein and searching for sources with high protein but I still feel like I want to have more veggies as well in my diet. What am I missing??
 

Nathanaston

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I think 3 days aren't enough to get enough ideas about something. You should pass few more days trying this. Welcome!
 

callador

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I'm actually getting 270g of protein a day on a fully vegan diet. I shoot for 1g per pound of lean body mass. For someone your size, that would be 90 some grams of protein per day probably. I know endurance athletes don't need as much protein, so the .5g per pound may be good.

Here are some foods I eat to get my protein in:
Boca Crumbles- 13g per 1/2 cup
Beans- 7g per 1/2 cup
Special K Protein Cereal- 10g per 3/4 cups
Soy Milk- 8g per cup
Peanuts- 7g per 1/2 cup

Just doing 1.5 cups of cereal and 1.5 cups of soy milk for one of your meals would get you 32g of the 60 you need. :)
 

ABaker

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I think 3 days aren't enough to get enough ideas about something. You should pass few more days trying this. Welcome!
Thanks!! Don't worry I'm going to be doing this long term- I just wanted to get some tips or tricks from those who have more experience with this lifestyle. Does 60 grams sound like too much protein to be aiming for daily? Are there better sources for protein?
 

ABaker

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Callador,

Thanks!!! This is exactly what I was looking for- you're reply was awesome and I wasn't aware of that protein cereal or a lot of the other tips.
 

callador

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Callador,

Thanks!!! This is exactly what I was looking for- you're reply was awesome and I wasn't aware of that protein cereal or a lot of the other tips.
Not a problem! :)

And the Special K Protein cereal is cheaper than a lot of the other fancier cereals out there (in the US at least). It is really low in fat, since it doesn't have nuts in it. At first I was struggling to find how to get 270g of protein in a day. But I made it happen, and the foods all taste pretty good too.
 
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I personally used to be so hyped about the whole "I need lots of protein", however after going vegan my protein intake has dropped and I actually have not lost any size. IMO it's more of a personal thing, if you feel like you need more protein in your diet then have that god damn protein ;)

P.s - I do take BCAA's which may help in preserving my muscle and al also aid in gaining muscle as I am actually increasing calories to gain some size.

I only count calories. Every meal contains a protein source but for ease I don't count carbs, protein or fats. This is what works for me. It makes my diet easy to follow which leads me to stay on track consistency. Consistency is key.

It appears that you are coming from a more endurance approach. I would therefore look at consuming more carbs. Pre load on carbs a day before your event and you'll have all the energy you need.

I still feel like I want to have more veggies as well in my diet. What am I missing??
Then have more veggies :) I would say focus more on your micronutrients than macronutrients. Your macronutrients will take care of themselves and you'll feel better in the long run. (like what I don't there ;) )

I recommend watching "What the Health" on Netflix. There's a dude on there who you may know that follows a plant based diet and competes in triathlons called Rich Roll.


I actually play football and I have found that since following a plant-based diet my performance has increased. I have also seen all my numbers in the gym increased to! SO WIN WIN!

- Samuel
 
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callador

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BCAA's can help quite a bit. There have been some studies showing this. Leucine is the main driver of mTOR and muscle protein synthesis. Most BCAA supplements are Leucine, Valine, and Isovaline. In one of the studies, they found that eating 20g of protein and leucine spiked mTOR about the same as eating 40g of protein. Another study showed that taking Leucine in combination with wheat protein increased the effectiveness as well.

I buy leucine in bulk, but I normally just take it pre/post workout. I haven't tried to time it with my meals, although I might give it a go. In bulk the prices aren't so bad.
 
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Lou

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I just wrote a long reply to another new user. but most of that was to convince him that he probably had too high a protein goal.

The .5 number and the 60 grams a day goal is probably just about right. It could be just a little high but despite conventional wisdom, runners need even more protein than bodybuilders. (pound for pound)

The good news is that runners burn more calories than bodybuilders. (pound for pound).

You didn't mention your calorie goals. I'm going to guess that they are around 2400 calories a day. Maybe less but 2400 is a nice round number.
(BMR is 1300 c + 1000 c running + everything else = 2400)

With a goal of 60 grams of protein, your diet only needs to be 10% protein.
That should be super easy to do. Just about everything but fruit contains at least 10% protein.

And my guess is that your main issue isn't protein. it's calories which are readily available in fruits, nuts and seeds.

By the way, my protein goal is about the same as yours. but my TDEE is almost half. So meeting my protein goal is like twice as hard. When I first became vegan I used CronOmeter a lot. Give it a try. It will normally figure out your Calories intake and protein requirements for you but you can customize them. It's really useful to get an idea of what kind of diet you have. It's especially good for the micronutrients that sometimes slip thru the cracks.

Another easy to use the device is Dr Gregars Daily Dozen Checklist. There is an app for it but I like this technique.
Go to this site and print out the PDF
https://veganuary.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Daily-Dozen-Checklist.pdf
Laminate it
Hang it on the frig with a dry erase pen.
Check things off as you go.

or just use the app.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dr-gregers-daily-dozen/id1060700802?mt=8

The one thing that freaked me out at first is the 3 servings of beans. A glass of soy milk is a serving, 3 tbsp of humus is a serving, 1/3 of a can of beans, 5 oz of peas, 4 oz of tofu.
https://veganuary.com/starter-kit/dr-gregers-daily-dozen-checklist/

I also go with Dr Fuhrman's recommendation and eat less than 3 servings of grains a day. But you probably need the carbs in grains.

I'm going to conclude with the same thing I told the other member. If you are eating enough calories you are eating adequate protein.
 

poivron

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And the Special K Protein cereal is cheaper than a lot of the other fancier cereals out there (in the US at least). It is really low in fat, since it doesn't have nuts in it.
Special K is not vegan. It contains whey, which is milk protein (i.e., it comes from cows). If you look at the ingredients, there is nothing nutritious in Special K. It doesn’t even give you fiber. You would be better off eating a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and two teaspoons of ground flax seed on top.
 
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