I am struggling putting together meals for myself because I am getting confused on the protein aspect of this way of life..it seems like it should be simple to me, but it's not really clicking. I've read that quinoa is a protein? But also a whole grain? so then I'm not sure if I need a protein if I have quinoa in my meal.. I think I'm just confused on what exactly is considered a protein other than the typical tofu, seitan, etc. Can a whole grain be considered the protein of the meal? I have not had meat since I was about 6 years old when I had a very serious case of e coli food poisoning, but have been eating unhealthy since then..as in not eating the correct amount of protein and getting sick often, so I'm really trying to sort this all out. Thank you for any help!
Hi Kim, Don;t think about it as "a protein" but rather that all vegetables have amino acids which make up a complete protein. Whole grains, like rice, barley, millet, and quinoa all have different levels of each amino acid. Most grains are low in a few of them. It just so happens that beans are high in those that grains lack and visa versa!!! so if you eat a varied diet with grains and legumes you are totally set! certian vegetables actually have a lot of all amino acids. These include soy and quinoa. They are all different. Don;t get stuck with only the complete proteins, your body actually puts it together itself. Soy products like tofu and tempeh and also quinoa are really great for a hearty main course. And beans have really high levels of protein but you include grains in your diet to complement those. If you eat a varied amount of whole foods you will have plenty of protein, its in pretty much everything. http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/protein.html
Claire, you cited my article, but my point is the exact opposite of what you said. The truth is that individual plant proteins are *already* complete, and don't have to be complemented. Oats are a complete protein, by themselves. Beans are a complete protein, by themselves. Carrots are a complete protein, by themselves. Please have another look at the article.
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