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Look, Feel and Perform Better Challenge > Vegetarian Protein┬áSources

Hey all,
So I'm doing level 2 zone, and while I'm excited about my recent adventures with eggs, I can see that having them every meal to make things zone balanced is going to get old quick. I don't want to include a bunch of processed soy fake meat crap, although I plan on including tofu and hemp protein powder for some meals.

Fox- you mentioned lentils as a good choice, but in some of the zone literature, beans seem to fall into carb blocks. What do you think?

Any other suggestions folks? It seems nuts fall into fats and not protein? What about any non-dairy milks- like coconut or almond?

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBreebree

Bree - I hadn't realized that you were intending to take the Zone route. Eggs, pea based protein powders, eggs, tempeh, greek yogurt, eggs...do you eat fish at all? I can't remember. There are really no natural protein foods so you may be better off just eliminating grains from the mix and doing more of a Level 1 type challenge this time around. Eggs, lentils, lots of veg, and lots of healthy fat would be your go to foods

January 2, 2014 | Registered CommenterChristian Fox

Hey Bree,
We should talk/strategize for the challenge. I prefer skipping tofu altogether. Occasionally, I might have tempeh. Yes, it's soy, but it seems like a lesser evil (see http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-it-primal-8-foods-scrutinized/#axzz2pGmRjkuC for one discussion on fermented soy).

Lentils are relatively high in protein and easy to digest as far as legumes are concerned. A cup of cooked lentils has about 18 grams of protein, and yes, a bit over double the carbs. So I combine them with low carb veggies like greens when putting together a meal.

As for protein powders, there are also split pea and rice protein powders, as well as some formulas with combinations from other non-soy sources. I have not tried the latter, but might do so at some point just to experiment. There is a vegetarian/vegan crossfitters group on FB, and you could read for hours there and the internet in general about vegan protein powders, amino acid profiles, etc.

Last but not least, there are eggs...by the time I add in one protein smoothie, lentils and eggs, I am up to about 70-75 grams of protein,and the rest is coming from a bit of nuts, seeds and veggies. Today my app tells me I am getting 91 grams of protein, for example. That said, the fat and carb ratios are off since it seems like vegetarian zone can only be accomplished with tofu.

Any other suggestions out there?

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

Thanks Fox and Barbara.
I decided to do zone for a couple of reasons. I tried doing a paleo-vegan thing a few months back and I really didn't feel great on it. I think I resented cutting out healthier grains like oatmeal, quinoa and brown rice because without eating those, I felt like I wasn't really eating anything substantial. It also seemed like allowing the beans and soy made it so not paleo that it didn't seem like I was getting the benefits. So I figured doing the zone would allow me to eat those things but balance them with proteins. I also want to get portions under control, so Zone seemed good for that. (I don't eat fish or dairy).

Barbara- yes, I forgot about tempeh which I like. I try to get it fresh from Barry at the farmer market on sundays. Thanks for the heads up about the FB group- I'll for sure check that out because the attitude toward vegetarians is so nasty on the main crossfit site. Next time we are both at CFSB- let's continue to strategize!

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBreebree

Great stuff, Barbara!

@Bree - keep us posted on how this works out for you.

January 2, 2014 | Registered CommenterChristian Fox

Hey, just jumping onto this thread. I use two great vegan, organic, non-gmo protein powders in smoothies. They make a great breakfast or snack. They are:

Sunwarrior Protein, 21g per serving of rice protein (hmmm - does this make it a grain??? There's only 3g carb so I don't think so...)
Hemp Protein approx. 13-15g per serving depending on brand

I drink a ton of smoothies, always including green veggies, healthy fat and a little fruit. I also add chia or flax seeds. I am wondering, however, if the powders have enough protein in them to be considered a meal...

January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer G