Vegan Protein: FAQs, Sources Of, Weight Training & Exercise as a Vegan, Chocolate Vanilla Coffee Protein Shake


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Hi Friends!  Are you getting over The Hump I hope your week has been smooth sailing and maybe you even had Monday off, so possibly a shorter week for you.  I have to teach a 5:30pm Hot Power Flow Class at the Gym (where  none of the trainers wanted to help me) in just a bit, so that’s what I’m up to next.  What are you up to today?

Earlier today I went grocery shopping and replenished my Produce Stash today.  Here’s some of my loot…
Pineapple, Bananas, Red & Green Pears

Various produce on countertop

Pineapple was on sale for $2.50 each.  Nice.  
Whole pineapple

I never buy pre-cored pineapple.  It seems slimy and un-hygienic to me because the minute you cut into a fruit or veggie, the rotting process is accelerated so I prefer to cut into it at home, but that’s me. 

Brussels & Green Food

Various vegetables on countertop


Close up of Brussel sprouts

Kale at 99 cents a bunch so I always look for the biggest bunch I can find

Bunch of kale on countertopHand holding bunch of kale
Washed and deveined.  The Rabbit Food is Ready!  
Close up of Kale

Thanks everyone for the Great Comments You Left on yesterday’s post about Intuitive Eating I asked if you thought will children, people in general, intuitively eat healthy foods, or will they eat junk?   The responses were varied and it was great to hear your take on this one.

I also asked if it matters how one is raised, with access to all kinds of foods, junky, healthy, etc., and will that determine if the individual will be able to self-regulate, self-moderate, and eat intuitively as an adult?  It was interesting to hear so many of you say that you were raised with absolutely no junk food in the house and when you had the chance, you did indulge, but that now, you do prefer healthier options.

Also, it seemed the majority of you told me that you Do Eat Intuitively.  That perhaps you haven’t always done this, or you’ve had some roadblocks along your path, but that now, you’re an Intuitive Eater.  I love hearing your stories like this and thanks for the info!

Moving on…
Many of you have been asking me what I am doing for (raw vegan) protein now that I am training for fitness competitions?
And in general, Vegans are Always asked, So Where Do you Get your Protein?

The short answer in terms of the protein for training is that yes, it’s increasing, but I am also not “panicking that I’m not getting enough” and I’m not chugging protein shakes like they’re going out of style, either.  I know some of you may be shaking your head right now, and you can, but for me I’ve simply never stressed about protein.  And I’m not going to start stressing now.  I am just tweaking things slightly, now.

First, I know my body chemistry does not have a high protein requirement, but carbs are a different story.  This is just me.  Some people’s bodies are pear-shaped or have Type O blood or have brown hair.  My body just doesn’t “scream” for protein, it’s just how I believe I am wired.  It’s why being a vegetarian and vegan has been “easy” for me.  I never wanted or missed animal protein.

Secondly, there is protein in everything.
Here are some examples of plant-based foods high in protein:

PROTEIN IN LEGUMES: Garbanzo beans, Kidney beans, Lentils, Lima beans, Navy beans, Soybeans, Split peas
PROTEIN IN GRAINS: Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oatmeal, Quinoa, Rye, Wheat germ, Wheat, hard red, Wild rice
VEGETABLE PROTEIN: Artichokes, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Green peas, Green pepper, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard green, Onions, Potatoes, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Watercress, Yams, Zucchini
PROTEIN IN FRUITS: Apple, Banana, Cantaloupe, Grape, Grapefruit, Honeydew melon, Orange, Papaya, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon

PROTEIN IN NUTS AND SEEDS: Almonds, Cashews, Filberts, Hemp Seeds, Peanuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Walnuts (black)

Here’s another Chart and Website that is Awesome!!! 

Protein in Fresh Vegetables (cooked)
Vegetable Serving Protein
Artichoke medium 4
Asparagus 5 spears 2
Beans, string 1 cup 2
Beets 1/2 cup 1
Broccoli 1/2 cup 2
Brussels Sprouts 1/2 cup 2
Cabbage 1/2 cup 1
Carrot 1/2 cup 1
Cauliflower 1/2 cup 1
Celeriac 1 cup 1
Celery 1 cup 1
Chard, Swiss 1 cup 3
Chayote 1 cup 1
Chives 1 tablespoon 0.10
Collards 1 cup 4
Corn, Sweet 1 large cob 5
Cucumber 1 cup 1
Eggplant 1 cup 1
Fennel 1 medium bulb 3
Jerusalem Artichoke 1 cup 3
Kale 1 cup 2.5
Kohlrabi 1 cup 3
Leeks 1 cup 1
Lettuce 1 cup 1
Okra 1/2 cup 1
Onion 1/2 cup 1
Parsnip 1/2 cup 1
Peas 1/2 cup 4
Peppers, bell 1/2 cup 1
Potato, baked with skin 2 1/3 x 4 3/4″ 5
Potato, boiled with skin 1/2 cup 1
Radish 1 cup 1
Rhubarb 1 cup 1
Rutabaga 1 cup 2
Spinach 1 cup 1
Squash, Summer 1 cup 2
Squash, Winter 1 cup 2
Sweet Potato 1 cup 3
Tomato 1 medium 1
Turnip 1 cup 1

And Fruits

Protein in Fruits (raw)
Fruit Serving Protein
Apple 2 per lb. 0
Apricot med. 0
Avocado med. 4
Banana 1 1 to 2
Blackberry cup 2
Blueberry cup 1
Boysenberry cup 1
Cantaloupe cup 1
Casaba Melon cup 2
Cherimoya 1 7
Cherry cup 1
Cranberry cup 0
Currant cup 2
Date(pitted) 1/4 cup 1
Durian 1 cup 4
Feijoa med. 1
Fig 1 0
Gooseberry cup 1
Grape cup 1
Grapefruit 1/2 1
Guava med. 1
Honeydew cup 1
Jackfruit cup 2
Jujube, dried 1 oz. 1
Kiwi large 1
Kumquat med. 0
Lemon 1 1
Lime 1 0
Loganberry cup 1.4
Loquat 1 0
Mango 1 1
Mulberry cup 2
Nectarine 1 1
Orange 1 1
Papaya cup 1
Passionfruit 1 0
Peach 1 1
Pear 1 1
Persimmon 1 0
Pineapple cup 1
Plum 1 1
Pomegranate 1 1.5
Pomelo 1/2 2.3
Prickly Pear med. 1
Quince med. .4
Raspberry cup 1
Rhubarb cup 1
Sapote med. 5
Star Fruit cup 1
Strawberry cup 1
Tangerine med. 1
Watermelon cup 1

These are just a couple of Samples of All the Charts & Great Info on the Site.  

Thanks Katie for sending this link to me.  I’ve seen things like this is the past, but couldn’t find it when I wanted it.


Another great source of plant-based protein is spirulina.  What is it?  
In a nutshell it’s microscopic Blue-Green Algae with great stats!  Katie and Gabriela are both fans! I used to take blue green algae when I was pregnant but got out of the habit.  I need to start again!

“Spirulina contains an unusually high amount of protein, between 55% and 77% by dry weight, depending upon the source. It is a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids, though with reduced amounts of methionine, cysteine, and lysine when compared to the proteins of meat, eggs, and milk. It is, however, superior to typical plant protein, such as that from legumes.”

Another great source of plant-based protein is Nooch! What is it? 

Container of Nutritional Yeast
Inside container of nutritional yeast showing flakes

See this Post for what it is and 11 Recipes: Nutritional Yeast (Nooch) Info & Recipes

Stellar Nooch Stats: 80 calories, 9 g of protein, tons of B Vitamins!

Nutritional Facts on back of container of nutritional yeast
Close up of nutritional facts
Close up of nutritional facts

Thirdly, I believe that plant-based protein is more well assimilated and therefore we don’t need as much if it’s plant-based rather than animal-based protein. 

Read Brendan Brazier the professional vegan triathlete’s books, he discusses this over and over.

Gena of Choosing Raw has posted similar thoughts on “Where Do You Get your Protein?” in this post.

And Also Check out This Article By Vegan Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke
Back of man flexing without shirt
Vegan Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke from his Gallery of Pics

And there are a slew of articles on Vegan Diets and Weightlifting, Here

And Kristen’s Raw makes Protein “Grenades” for her husband.  And he is in incredible shape so obviously it’s possible to look great, lift, and build and maintain muscle mass on a (raw) vegan diet!

However, I am not foolhearty.  I realize that indeed, in order to build muscle, I must fuel myself with more protein than I have been taking in.  This is not rocket science; this is human physiology 101.

Enter Sun Warrior Sun Warrior Brown Rice Protein Powder in Chocolate (The Vanilla is fine, but I prefer chocolate to vanilla, my protein is no exception)

80 calories and 15 g of protein per scoop in Chocolate.  Vegan, Raw, Gluten & Soy Free, Perfect for me.

Sun Warrior Brown Rice Protein Powder in Chocolate container
Inside container of Sun Warrior Brown Rice Protein Powder in Chocolate

Note:I order all my protein, Sun Warrior Brown Rice in Chocolate is my #1 Protein and **I get it from and if you use my code: AVE630 you can save $5 off your First Order!**


I make  Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats with it
With additional Tips Here

Ingredients for Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats

18 Hours later, here’s what the overnight Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats looked like

Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats in clear containerClose up of Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats

So nice to have this waiting for me in the fridge!  Wheaties Chocolate for breakfast is the Breakkie of Champions!

Close up of Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats

And in This Post, I made Protein Cookie DoughOf course, hats off to April for gracing us all with her creativity and her Original Recipe for Protein Cookie Dough

Protein Cookie Dough in white bowl
My take on Raw Vegan Protein Cookie Dough has been working well for me!
Close up of Protein Cookie Dough

I still love my My High Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls  but when I am in need of extra protein, I’ve got Raw Vegan Protein Cookie Dough, too.

Close up of one Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough BallPlate full of Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls


And I make No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bars
No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bars recipe photo
Can see the Peanut Butter woven into the inside of the bar here?  oh yeah, baby!

Side of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bar

My No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bars are Super Fast and Easy and many of you have written to me telling me you’ve made them, or a similar version, and I am glad to hear you’re getting your homemade bar groove on!  

One cut No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bar


No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bar

And for those of you who aren’t big on Coconut Oil or don’t have it, you can make these bars without coconut oil:  No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bars 

No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bar on plastic wrap
Overhead of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bar
Click Here for The Recipe

The addition of the coconut oil makes them solidify and hold together just a little better which is great but if you don’t have a coconut oil, don’t let that stop you from making these!

But now,  I am also drinking more protein, too.
Averie’s Chocolate Vanilla Coffee Protein Shake
1 Scoop Sun Warrior Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder
4-6 oz of Coffee (previously chilled is nice.  Just save your “leftover” coffee from your pot to keep on hand…2-3 days I’ve stretched it in a container in the fridge without issue.  And yes, water or a nut mylk would be “better” but I like coffee, so I use it.  Use another liquid as you see fit.)
Vanilla Creamer (I use So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer)
Vanilla Stevia Drops to taste (or regular stevia, agave, sugar, lucama, yacon, etc. or another sweetener if you choose, or omit)
4-5 Ice Cubes

Sun Warrior Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder in containerIngredients for Chocolate Vanilla Coffee Protein Shake in shaker bottleSide view of shaker bottle with ingredients

Shake Up all the Ingredients; Add the Ice

Overhead of shaken up Chocolate Vanilla Coffee Protein Shake
Chocolate Vanilla Coffee Protein Shake with ice

Deb also recently made a Protein and Coffee Drink with Rum ExtractWow.  Somehow that sounds too good to be true!  Leave it to the Smoothie Queen to rock out genius smoothie creations!

Green Food was Kale, Tomatoes, Cukes

Greens with vegetables
Simple is best for me!  I let the dressing (which has apple cider vinegar in it which wilts and softens the greens) sit for about 10 minutes before I eat it and it’s perfect!
Close up of mixed greens with vegetables

Dressed with my latest dressing creation: Vegan Slaw Horseradish Relish Dressing

Vegan Slaw Horseradish Relish Dressing

Did you See my Post on Plant-Based CalciumDairy FAQ’s, Calcium, Myths, Recipes

Kale is a great source of calcium and also a nice protein source according to the above charts!
Kale salad up close on plate

I nibble on some Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate
Diced up Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate
Diced Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate in bowl
My Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate Is Super Fast to Make and in About 5 Minutes, you Can Munch on Chocolate til your Heart’s Content! 

**Edited to Add an Excerpt from This Post where I provided my Protein Update and what’s working and not working, and discussed being a Slow Oxidizer (see quiz below) which is why I don’t believe I need as much protein**

Today I wanted to touch on my Protein Situation that so many people ask me about it.  I had posted that I was trying to be mindful and increase my protein slightly but nothing crazy, now that I’m Training for Fitness Competitions.


Sun Warrior Protein powder container

…as I alluded to in this Post, my Tummy is not Enjoying the Protein Powder, at all.

Thanks for your suggestions and tips you had for me…

But, I have realized in the past 2 weeks after giving it a valiant effort, that my body does not like and is not tolerating any more than 1 scoop per day of protein powder or “engineered protein”I won’t go into the details, but suffice to say, lots of time in the bathroom, GI distress, stomach cramps, and clearly, that is my body telling me to stop giving it something it doesn’t tolerate!

So, I’m going to stop “trying so hard” to consume “more” protein, and I will have One Scoop of Protein Powder, maximum, per day, and that’s itLet the protein chips fall where they may.  And the rest of my protein is going to come from food.  Real foods, not powders.  Yesterday Heather posted about consuming her protein in the form of real food rather than powder.  Novel concept, huh.  Sometimes life keeps throwing us lessons and challenges and until you really learn the lesson, you will keep being tested.  Ok, I think I got this one now: real food, not powder.

So, as I mentioned in this post about why it was easy for me to become vegan (i.e. I believe my protein requirement just isn’t that terribly high), and I’ve just done some preliminary reading about Metabolic Typing.  Although no one is “textbook” anything, I believe that I possess traits of a Slow Oxidizer and because of that, it’s common to have lower protein, but higher carbs, needs.  Click Here for a Quick-n-Easy Test.  I’ve always said I need carbs over protein or fat.  Turns out, I was onto something! 

Through all of this, I am reminded again that I should never doubt Plants and Plant Power!  Trust in Real Food and Natural Vegan Sources of Protein as discussed in this post and just roll with it.  As evidenced by my Workout Tab Pictures, I am on the right track.

And the timing of a recent post I saw by Vegan Triathlete and Author, Brendan Brazier, was noteworthy:

I am often asked what the secret serving equation should be of protein for optimal athletic performance, and my answer to this is simple. The concern should not be about quantity, but rather quality. Conventional sports training and nutrition books advise taking 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight, which for me would be about double the quantity of what I take now. High-quality, multisource protein that is alkaline-forming and easy to digest will help you reach your peak performance. The question of serving depends on the individual.


Top of mind for most endurance athletes is your body’s strength to weight ratio. High-quality, complete protein will help improve this and assist in the maintenance of strong, lean muscles.


Plant protein for recovery = best performance
The most important consideration for improving athletic performance is your speed of recovery. This is true for athletes or those who work physical jobs. Reducing the time and energy spent between workouts or periods of higher athletic stress will increase your performance gain. Alkaline-forming, plant protein will reduce muscle inflammation and help speed this recovery process.

I know some of you are going to say, “But you’re Training and you need more now.”  Well, maybe I do and maybe I don’t.  But, I can’t keep trying to use protein powders because I am not going to make myself sick, literally, over trying to consume protein.   Katie and I have talked about this a lot.

Again, to each her own and everyone needs to listen to his/her body and then act accordingly!  Feel free to call me a nut or do 180 degrees opposite from what I’m doing.  I’m simply sharing what my body has been telling me the past couple weeks which is hey, back off a bit!  

I love all my Protein Girls: April, Janetha, Deb, Mama Pea, Susan, Allie, Katie, Alyson, even though I can’t hang in your high protein club, I tried!

Protein can be a good thing, though.  Especially when it’s on top of Chocolate Coconut Oil Protein Popcorn!

Chocolate Coconut Oil Protein Popcorn in silver bowl

Glad you all liked the looks of that High Protein Chocolate PopcornAnd some of you told me you made it…awesome!

Close up of Chocolate Coconut Oil Protein Popcorn

Or Protein in overnight Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats

Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats in clear containerChocolate Brownie Protein Oats in container

And I’ve been drinking my protein, too.
Chocolate Coffee Vanilla Protein Shake

Chocolate Coffee Vanilla Protein Shake in blender bottle
Chocolate Coffee Vanilla Protein Shake with ice
 One of these per day is great; more is not better for me!

I am really glad liked my latest Dessert Recipe…
No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (with an Extra Protein Option) 

  No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls stacked in container
 Close up of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
These are a 5 Minute, One Bowl, Extremely Easy Recipe!  And Vegan, Gluten-Free, and So Yummy!  

Please let me know if you make the No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (with an Extra Protein Option)!

 Close  up of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

End the Edited to Add and to See More from Protein Update Post, Click Here

Yoga Today is The Class I am Off to Teach!

Gym & Weights Workout Today (since you told me yesterday you were curious to see what I’m doing, here was my upper body workout that I did yesterday morning):
I did 3 sets of 15 Reps Each:
Flat DB Press on Ball
Seated DB Press
Incline Flies
Lat Raises
Barbell Curls
Bent Over Rear Delt Raises
Wide Pull Ups on Machine
Seated Row Machine
Tricep Pushdown Machine

Tomorrow I have a Full body workout with my Trainer and I’ll post the basic gist of things and what I did.

Tip of the Day: My Cuisinart Food Processor in Stainless Steel Give Away!!!!!


Cuisinart Food Processor

Do I Need to Say More?  This is an Awesome Give Away and I Hope You’ve Entered to Win It!!!!

1. When you workout, be it running, weightlifting, yoga, pilates, whatever it is, do you like it pre-scripted for you?  Or do you go with the flow?  Do you go with a plan and stick to it?  Or do you just wing it?
For me with yoga, running, and everything else, I have always just let it unfold organically. Whatever my body was asking for, that’s what I try to do and honor.  However, with weights, because I still don’t know very much, it’s hard to improvise that which you don’t even know exists, but I can’t wait to learn more so I can really mix it up in the gym and create my own routines and flow!  I’m excited!
What’s your Workout Style?

2. I was sent a (cute!) pink sports bra to review and in tomorrow’s post I can either post pictures of me in it, or just the sports bra alone, not of me wearing it.  If I post pictures, are you all going to be nice?  

Woman doing yoga pose
Yoga in a sports bra in between Camel (ustrasana) and King Pigeon (kaptosana) poses.  I guess you all have already seen me in a sports bra a ton, but ya know, I worry about mean comments.  Don’t need ’em!

3. Protein.  Do you stress about it?  Do you consciously try to “make an effort” to consume a certain amount, or do you just go with the flow and whatever you get in, you get in?  What happens or how do you feel if you, for instance, you believe you’re not getting enough?  How do you notice it?  Or, do you think protein is over-rated and most people get plenty and to stop worrying about it?  Did you learn anything new in this post?  I hope I gave you some new info to ponder!

Stay Tuned For Trainer and Training Details and Mailbox Finds…

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.