Over on my Facebook page, Heather asked, “Do you recommend any specific vegan protein powder and if so how do you incorporate them?”
Great question, Heather! My view on protein powder (and all other supplements) is that they should be secondary to whole, plant-based foods. An insurance policy or Plan B, if you will. Aim to get the vast majority of your nutrition from veggies, fruits, legumes, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and healthy oils, and then you can pick up any slack with protein powder.
I have at most 8 servings of protein powder per week (my favourite type is raw 100% brown rice protein from Sunwarrior). I’ll have a scoop after each strength-training workout to help rebuild muscles, plus several nights a week right before bed because I have a ridiculous metabolism and would otherwise wake up hungry in the middle of the night. It also helps to fuel and recover my muscles while I’m sleeping.
Protein powder as an “insurance policy” also applies when you’re in a pinch and don’t have any other healthy options on hand. If you’re on the go, you can pack some protein powder in a shaker cup (the type with a metal ball), so all you need to do is add water and shake to mix. This makes a great emergency snack option to keep you going until your next meal.
There are tons of vegan protein options, including products from Vega, Sunwarrior, Genuine Health, Garden of Life, Nutiva, Living Harvest, and Progressive Nutritional. Ingredients include protein from hemp, soy, brown rice, pea, cranberry, and more.
Some ideas for using protein powder:
- simply add to water and mix
- add to homemade energy balls or energy bars
- use as a smoothie ingredient
- use instead of some of the flour in baked goods
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