Vegetarian Protein

Healthy Eating Tips For Veggie Haters

Healthy Eating Tips
During my years in practice, I’ve realized that for many people, visiting a dietitian does not sound like fun. Unfortunately, some of my sisters and brothers in dietetics have established a bad reputation for themselves. I’ll never forget one of my first appointments as a newly-fledged dietitian with a client who was not interested in being there. “What are you going to do—write down everything I say and then tell me what I’m doing wrong?” she asked. Cue the eye roll. But I get it. If you’re already struggling with eating healthy, the last thing you need is someone telling you you’re doing everything wrong and that you need to completely overhaul your diet. The advice given by health and wellness experts is not always relatable either; I’ve seen plenty of examples of this. I follow a fitness instructor on social media who recently suggested that people with a sweet tooth should munch on cherry tomatoes when they have a craving since they have a slightly sweet flavour. “Healthy eating tips” like that frustrate me because I know that for most people, they will actually have the opposite effect. Expecting to never eat sweets and only eat vegetables will just set a person up for intense cravings, followed by immense guilt when they give in to those cravings. I’d rather see health professionals be honest and realistic with their clients. It’s a lot easier to eat healthy when you know you’re allowed to be human. You don’t have to turn into a complete veggie lover to improve your diet. I’m proof of that. I am not a fan of the taste of raw vegetables. Hand to my heart, it’s the honest truth. I have my reasons for being “frenemies” with raw veggies—maybe you can relate to some of them. First, there’s the taste. I’ve never liked bitter flavours, and veggies like broccoli and kale taste so bitter to me when they’re raw. Then, there are the potential unpleasant stomach issues that arise after eating large amounts of uncooked vegetables—the bloating, gas, and loose bowel movements are not so fun. Lastly, I don’t find that vegetables satisfy my hunger. If I eat a salad for lunch, it won’t hold me over until dinnertime.  If you can relate to any of these veggie-related problems, don’t worry. Despite these issues, I’ve figured out how to include vegetables in my daily diet while keeping my tastebuds and body happy. Don’t Like The Taste? Try This . . .  The key to adding more veggies to your diet when you don’t like the taste is to go on a flavour exploration. The easiest way to do this is to try out a variety of cuisines. Check out the restaurants in your area, or go online to find recipes for dishes from different cultures. Exploring cuisines will help you determine what makes a dish taste good to you, which you can then apply to your own cooking. This will help to improve the taste and appeal of vegetables for you. For example, when trying Indian dishes, you might discover that you prefer your veggies to be cooked with hot, spicy flavours; you might enjoy the tangy salads from Mediterranean cultures; or perhaps you like the umami flavour of a Thai stir fry.  “If you don’t know how to make veggies taste good, you aren’t going to eat them.”  While you’re taking note of the flavours you like, also pay attention to textures and colours. Do you like your veggies to be crunchy or soft? Do you prefer to eat veggies on their own or incorporate them in a mixed dish? Are brightly coloured vegetables appealing to you, or do you prefer dark greens? These may seem like rudimentary questions, but they are important to answer. If you don’t know how to make veggies taste good, you aren’t going to eat them. So, give a lot of thought to what you enjoy and apply those concepts to your grocery shopping and cooking at home. Stomach Issues . . .  The discomfort that happens in your stomach after eating a bunch of raw veggies is the result of a fibre overload. When we’re not used to eating a lot of fibre, the microbes in the colon have a heyday with the influx of insoluble fibre found in veggies. These microbes ferment the insoluble fibre that our body’s cells can’t break down, causing it to produce large amounts of gas and organic acids—the culprits behind bloating and loose stools. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent these unpleasant side effects. Whenever you’re introducing something new to your diet, be sure to start slow and gradual, and build from there. If you’re not used to eating veggies regularly and suddenly start eating them at every meal, you’re definitely in for some gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort. I suggest adding vegetables to your diet one serving at a time. If you aren’t in the habit of eating them, begin by having one serving of veggies each day. Give yourself a solid two weeks to adjust to this change. If your gut is feeling happy, introduce another serving of vegetables to your d ...

Iron Vegan Sprouted Protein

Protein: Power plants For a variety of reasons, you might be cutting back on the animal foods in your diet – at the same time that you’re concerned about how to meet your daily requirements for protein. Luckily, plant foods are powerful and delicious sources of protein that you can easily incorporate into your meals and snacks. Start with seeds Seeds contain all the nutrients required for a plant to start and sustain early life. With 8 grams of protein per cup, for example, quinoa is a grain-like seed that also provides magnesium, antioxidants, and fibre. Amaranth offers 7 grams of protein per cup, along with a side order of iron, B vitamins and magnesium. Pumpkin seeds take protein up a notch with 8 grams per 1/4 cup. Sprouts for maximum protein In order to stall germination until optimum growing conditions occur, seeds contain anti-nutrients including phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors and lectins that can cause digestion problems and impaired absorption in humans. The trick to de-activating these anti-nutrients is to start seed germination, which breaks down starches and makes it easier for you to digest plant nutrients without bloating and gas. As a bonus, sprouting is associated with higher in enzyme activity in plant foods, as well as the B-vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, iron, zinc and the phytonutrient sulforaphane. Sprouting also amplifies amino acids, which will help you with your goal to eat more protein. Compared to raw, for example, sprouted quinoa provides 30% more antioxidants and higher concentrations of γ‐aminobutyric acid (GABA). Germinated brown rice also contains higher levels of glutamic acid, alanine, and glycine versus the raw grain. The net result is undeniably better nutrition. Supplemental support Add a scoop of Iron Vegan Sprouted Protein to your morning smoothie for an extra 18 grams of plant-based protein derived from 5 organic, non-GMO sprouted grains and seeds, including brown rice, amaranth, millet, pumpkin seed, and quinoa. Try delicious vanilla, chocolate or unflavoured. For 16 grams of protein on-the-go, try Iron Vegan Sprouted Protein bars. Available in Coconut Cashew Cluster, Double Chocolate Brownie, Peanut Chocolate Chip and Sweet and Salty Caramel, these bars are also an excellent source of fibre.

Happy Mother's Day from Healthy Planet!

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! This is the perfect opportunity to treat all the Mama's in your life and even yourself to a few sweet gifts to celebrate this beautiful day. Healthy Planet is currently running an INCREDIBLE Mother's Day Sale, full of pampering and practical products for all Mothers! I have narrowed down my top 4 favourite products that not only do I use, but would make the  perfect Health & Wellness gifts for the Mama's in your life this Mother’s Day!   Organika Collagen – Because healthy skin is always on trend. Collagen has many beautiful benefits that does our body so good - promotes skin health, boost muscle mass, improve ingestive health, burns fat, alleviate joint pains, promotes heart health, and improves cognitive health. Our bodies naturally produce collagen, however our ability to produce it decreases less and less as we age. This is why it is so important to either incorporate foods that contain collagen in our diet or supplement it with a product like, Organika Collagen. Because let’s be real, who doesn’t want beautiful skin? Skin Essence Facial in a Jar – Spoil the Mama's in your life with this multipurpose product. You can either use this as an exfoliator to scrub away dead skin or leave it on as a mask so that the product can absorb all the oils and impurities out of your skin. Either way, this product will leave your skin super soft, supple, nourished and will brighten your overall complexion!   Everyone Hand Soap Coconut Lavender – This is the best naturally smelling hand soap on the market. I really love that it is kind to our earth, cruelty free, gluten free, does not contain synthetic fragrance, and really does a wonderful job at cleansing and moisturizing the skin.   Andalou Naturals Body Lotion Lavender Thyme – You will not catch me without some sort of hand lotion in my diaper bag. With all the diaper changing and constantly washing my hands to avoid catching my toddler’s germs, it strips away my natural oils leaving my skin super dry and cracked. I love this hand lotion not only does it DELICIOUS but it also does a fab job at moisturizing and keeping the skin moisturized for a long period of time. If Lavender Thyme isn’t your jam, they also have a large selection of other scents as well!   Written by Healthy Planet Ambassador @lifestylebycp.  Follow Cherrie as she lives her best life spreading her vision of the Health and Wellness lifestyle with the help of Healthy Planet!

How to Choose a Plant-Based Protein Powder

Plant-based protein powder isn’t new, but it does seem to be gaining in popularity. These days, there’s a wide variety of products to choose from, so it can be hard to determine which is best suited to your lifestyle and dietary needs. For those considering adding a plant-based protein powder to their diet, but don’t know where to start, this is the guide for you! A Primer on Protein Dietary protein consists of 20 amino acids, nine of which are essential or conditionally essential amino acids. So this means we need to get them or their precursors through food or supplements. At one time, we thought we had to eat all eight essential amino acids at the same time which led to considerable stress about combining plant foods to get “complete protein”. But, we now know that it is sufficient to eat a good mix of plant-based foods that provide essential amino acids throughout any 24-hour period [1]. The human body is very efficient at using and recycling essential amino acids to create its own complete protein. This means that most moderately active adults need around 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day [2]. More active people, such as athletes, may need a higher intake of  1.4-2/kg of body weight, given the higher rate of protein turnover [3]. Protein Powder Forms In general, protein powders (for example, whey powder), tend to come in the form of isolate, hydrolysate, and concentrate. This describes how they are purified and manufactured. Isolate Protein isolate is almost entirely isolated amino acids, with little fat, fibre, or other substances. These are digested more slowly and are typically less allergenic than other protein sources. They also help keep you feeling full for longer while supporting muscle protein synthesis [4]. Hydrolyslate Protein hydrolysates (proteins soaked in water) are digested more rapidly. This is because the bonds between the amino acids have been cut and undergone enzymatic activity. Protein hydrolysates tend to increase the rate of dietary amino acid incorporation into skeletal muscle protein [5]. As a result, this kind of protein may be useful for supporting muscle repair after an intense workout. Concentrate Protein concentrates are high in protein but are less concentrated than isolates and hydrolysates. They’ve also undergone less processing than other types of protein, so they’re an attractive option for those wanting a more natural protein powder [6]. Plant-Based Protein Sources Legumes, nuts, and seeds are excellent protein sources. Grains, fruits, and vegetables also contain protein, although in smaller amounts. Accordingly, plant-based protein supplements tend to come from legumes, seeds, and some grain products, or mixtures thereof. These plant-based protein sources have some key advantages over animal-derived proteins. For example, they often contain fibre, are lower in fat, and are free from cholesterol. So plant proteins can help you feel full while keeping your daily calorie intake low, and still meet your protein needs. Let’s take a closer look at four popular sources of plant-based protein powders and what they’re good for: Soy Soy protein is a complete protein and is touted as having many health benefits, like helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels [7]. It does tend to be quite dense, but it mixes well with liquids. This, combined with its bland taste, make soy protein powder a good option for smoothies. Soy is a common allergen, however, and soy protein is often extracted using hexane so it isn’t suitable for everybody. Hemp Hemp seeds are an excellent source of amino acids as well as some essential fatty acids (EFAs) and fibre. Protein powders from hemp may be concentrates or isolates, however, so check labels for EFA and fibre content if those are factors. Hemp protein is quite granular and light. It also has a slight grassy flavour which helps make it a good choice for a green shake or smoothie. Additionally, hemp is a near-complete protein and is typically high in fibre, which makes it a popular choice. Brown Rice Brown rice protein and sprouted brown rice protein contain a good amount of amino acids, although they aren’t complete proteins. Because of this, brown rice protein is often mixed with pea or hemp protein to round out the essential amino acids. Sprouted brown rice protein is, in essence, a raw rice protein hydrolysate and is less granular than hemp, but less dense than soy. These qualities make it a good choice for mixing with foods, simple shakes, or smoothies. Additionally, brown rice protein has a low-allergen profile and is easy to digest which makes it a smart option for those with sensitive stomachs or allergies to soy or dairy. Pea Protein Mixing pea protein with other sources of plant protein ensures a good amino acid profile. Because of this, it’s common to find it in a blended formula with other plant-der ...

3 Ingredients to Make the Best Protein Shakes

We’ve all gotten stuck in a smoothie rut before, whether we’re creatures of habit or just don’t really feel like being creative. We make our post-workout smoothie and realize that we’ve been drinking this same concoction for the last two weeks straight. Sure it tastes good, but you’re starting to really despise these ingredients and even the smell of them is making you feel unmotivated about your once fabulous smoothie.  You stick to it, because it has everything you need: protein, some healthy fats and maybe some extra goodies like antioxidants or greens.  It’s now time to step out of that rut and make yourself the best protein shakes of your life. Protein shakes with purpose! Click on the highlighted ingredients for inspirational recipe ideas to destroy your smoothie rut. Plant-based protein inspirations Ever wondered which plant-based foods make excellent sources of protein and taste great in a smoothie?  Here are a few of my favorites: Hemp seeds Almonds/almond butter Sacha Inchi seeds (SaviSeeds) Pumpkin Seeds Vega One, Vega Protein Smoothie or Vega Sport Performance Protein Healthy fats Now that you have some great ideas for some plant-based protein smoothie ingredient ideas, it’s time to look at adding in essential fatty acids. These are an important addition to our diet, since our bodies cannot produce them.  Here are some great healthy fat options to add to your smoothie: Avocados Chia seeds Ground flaxseeds Nut butters Extra nutrition booster These next few ingredients pack quite a nutritional punch and make a great addition to your smoothies, not only for flavor but for the great nutritional benefits they offer. Berries (antioxidant support) Turmeric (inflammation support) Cayenne (circulation) Lemon (alkaline-forming) Ginger (digestive support)

Top Vegetarian Sources of Protein

If you're a vegetarian, you've most likely been asked the same question over and over again: "but how will you get your protein?" Well, contrary to popular belief, protein is not exclusive to meat-based sources. There are plenty of plant-based and other sources of protein for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. We should be striving for somewhere between 10-15% of our daily calories in the form of protein. Or, an easy way to figure out your daily protein requirement is to take your weight in pounds, divide it in half, then subtract 10. So if you weigh 140 pounds, you would need 60 grams of protein per day. Here are the top vegetarian sources of protein, along with how many grams they contain per serving: Beans and Lentils - 12-14 g per cup cooked (beans) and 18 g per cup cooked (lentils) - Beans and lentils are excellent sources of protein. Either look for organic brands that use BPA-free cans, and rinse the beans well before using, or buy dry beans and cook them at home, which is much cheaper! Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and red, brown and green lentils are all delicious and very versatile! Nuts and Seeds - 3 to 7 g per 1/3-cup (nuts) and 2 to 5 g per 1/3-cup (seeds) - Nuts, seeds, and their butters are very tasty and nutritious protein sources. A handful of almonds is a great mid-morning snack, and some almond or sunflower seed butter is a delicious spread on a piece of toast or some apple slices. Hemp - 12 g per oz (powder) and 6 g per oz (seeds) - Hemp is special because it contains all nine of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Add a scoop of powder into your morning smoothie or sprinkle some seeds over a salad for a healthy protein boost. Check out Healthy Planet's wide range of hemp products. Milk and Yogurt - 8 g per cup (milk) and 20 g per cup (greek yogurt) - Whether you drink cow's milk or a non-dairy alternative like almond milk, you'll get somewhere between 7 and 9 grams of protein per cup. And organic greek yogurt packs a huge protein punch! Again, stay away from soy milk since it's highly processed and most likely contains GM soy. Vegetables - 1 cup of green peas (9 g), spinach (5 g), or broccoli (5 g) on your dinner plate is an easy way to include some green veggie-based protein in your diet. Either fresh or frozen, these three are a great addition to any diet. Chia Seeds - 5 g per oz - Although they should be included with the nuts and seeds section, chia seeds really deserve a section all their own since, like hemp, they are a complete protein. They contain twice the potassium of a banana, three times more iron than spinach, and are high in dietary fibre. Sprinkle some over cereal, soups, and salads, or add some to a smoothie. Healthy Planet also carries a nice range of chia products. Grains (ancient, sprouted, multi) - Quinoa (9 g per cup), oatmeal (6 g per cup), and sprouted grain breads (7-10 g) are a healthy addition to a vegetarian diet, since they provide a high amount of protein, and quinoa is also gluten-free! Some oatmeal is also gluten-free, but you must check the label. Check out Healthy Planet's selection of quinoa products and gluten-free oats. What About Tofu and other Soy Products? Though it's true that soy products contain some of the highest amounts of protein, tofu is one of the most highly processed products on the market today. Nearly all of the soy being produced now is genetically modified (GM), and even if you purchase organic soy products, there is no guarantee that those crops have not been contaminated by GM soy. Recent studies have also shown soy to be a hormone-disruptor, as it contains phytoestrogens, causing it to mimic estrogen in the body. Tempeh, on the other hand, which has been consumed by Asians for many generations, is a fermented soy product and is much healthier and more nutrient-dense than tofu. What are your favorite vegetarian sources for protein? Have anything to add to this list? Share your tips in the comments!