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  1. #1
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    Vegetarians and protein

    My wife and I have been eating very little meat. I don't miss or crave it, but have been eating too much carbs and not enough protein. I'd like to eat at least 150 grams a day (20% of my caloric intake).

    What do vegetarians on here eat for very high protein foods?

    What should I do to get more protein with my typical breakfast (oatmeal with walnuts and raisins)? Add ground flax seed to it?

    How many protein shakes a week is too much?

    Some things I should probably eat more of to get closer to 150g are:
    Greek yogurt (plain)
    Protein shake
    Peanut or almound butter
    Milk
    Eggs
    Beans

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  3. #3
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    I am am a meat eater but sometimes like a vegetarian meal. Simply adding things like beans or nuts will do the trick, and also spinach. They say spinach has more protein then ground beef.
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  4. #4
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    Yes, and Kale!
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    Quote Originally Posted by iBallz View Post
    Its a non issue really.

    Sure, but I don't want to look like an elephant

    I know first hand the effect that protein has on my body and I'd rather have the body composition of a sprinter than a skinny distance runner. Based on the recommendations of the CDC, I believe quite strongly in a healthy balance of macronutrients. I appreciate the feedback and watched the youtube videos but I get skeptical of people pushing nutritional agendas to possibly get their name out and make a buck.

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    Last edited by AZ; 02-20-2012 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Replace dead link.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    Sure, but I don't want to look like an elephant

    I know first hand the effect that protein has on my body and I'd rather have the body composition of a sprinter than a skinny distance runner. Based on the recommendations of the CDC, I believe quite strongly in a healthy balance of macronutrients. I appreciate the feedback and watched the youtube videos but I get skeptical of people pushing nutritional agendas to possibly get their name out and make a buck.

    Haha! Yes, but think of the cows, gorillas, apes, horses, oxen, giraffes etc all plant based and very strong. But like Mr. Pink says spinach and kale have more protein per pound than meat, and its a better quality.

    I agree with the folks trying to make money off of everything, thats what intrigued me about Tim he sells nothing and is a computer guy full time.

    heres his take on supplements

    Tim VanOrden on supplement use - YouTube

    Same with Deanna, she offers nothing to sell, and does real estate.

    Nothing better than 'live' macronutrients than dead, processed, preserved, frozen, cooked, meat glue, growth hormone, antibiotic, pesticide injected animals. I went from lots of meat to lots of dark leafy greens every day, and no meat and never felt better. But I'm mainly going for a higher pH diet and thats been fantastic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iBallz View Post

    heres his take on supplements

    Tim VanOrden on supplement use - YouTube
    But why believe one computer guy who seems to only provide unscientific anecdotal evidence?

    Quote Originally Posted by iBallz View Post
    Same with Deanna, she offers nothing to sell, and does real estate.
    Deanna seems more informational than Tim and has the Clinical Nutritional background. But I personally would have trouble closely following nutritional advice from someone who's main profession is computers or real estate.

    It makes me think of how Airborne was "Created by a school teacher". The whole time, I was thinking it would be more impressive if it was created by a doctor. Then they got sued for $23M for false advertising because it didn't actually prevent and treat colds.

    Quote Originally Posted by iBallz View Post
    Nothing better than 'live' macronutrients than dead, processed, preserved, frozen, cooked, meat glue, growth hormone, antibiotic, pesticide injected animals. I went from lots of meat to lots of dark leafy greens every day, and no meat and never felt better. But I'm mainly going for a higher pH diet and thats been fantastic.
    I'm going to start eating more of the leafy greens and tracking the caloric breakdown on mydailyplate. It's probably impossible to consume 150g of protein just from plants but we'll see how everything goes. Maybe I'll feel better than ever a few weeks from now. I'm starting to lose my appetite for chicken and the tri-tip I had today didn't taste that great. I could have gone for a salad instead

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation.
    Do you take this and do you know how many grams of protein are in one serving?

  10. #10
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    Rice has more protein than I expected. Might be a good choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57 View Post
    They say spinach has more protein then ground beef.
    They smoke crack.
    Show Beef Calculator
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation.
    Do you take this and do you know how many grams of protein are in one serving?



    Yes I take it but with no quantifiable results, just feel better. 2 grams of protein per tea spoon. I usually use 1 table spoon per.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    Rice has more protein than I expected. Might be a good choice.
    Way too much carbs, not enough protein for the macronutrient ratio I'm looking for.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    He may have been talking about it in macronutrient percentages. One problem I have with nutrition is there are a lot of people in the field who use talking points instead of painting a full picture. It's almost similar to a politician using misleading talking points to portray his opponent in a bad way. This creates a lot of confusion and misinformation. One talking point is x vegetable has more protein than beef. Some may think, instead of beef, I'll just eat a serving of x vegetable and get plenty of protein for the day.

    Take for example, 100 calories of broccoli has more protein than 100 calories of beef. However, in order to get 150g of protein from broccoli, one would need to eat 50 cups of broccoli. I understand the importance of fiber, but all of that fiber could lead to disastrous results on the trail

  13. #13
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    For the added breakfast protein get yourself some hemp granola.

  14. #14
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    Yeah, we add hemp seeds to our breakfast bowls of jasmine rice, avacado, tomato, cayenne pepper, and sea salt. Keeps me full all day.
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    We've drastically reduced the amount of meat we eat in our household and I have to admit I've never felt better. We eat lots of quinoa, chickpeas and lentils. Very good stuff with lots of protein. Quite often before long rides I'll make quinoa porridge with trail mix and milk. My wife makes chickpea salad with artichokes,sundried tomatoes and broccoli. Very good stuff!

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    Great recommendations on the hemp seeds, lentils, chickpeas and broccoli.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeriderguy View Post
    We've drastically reduced the amount of meat we eat in our household and I have to admit I've never felt better. We eat lots of quinoa, chickpeas and lentils. Very good stuff with lots of protein. Quite often before long rides I'll make quinoa porridge with trail mix and milk. My wife makes chickpea salad with artichokes,sundried tomatoes and broccoli. Very good stuff!
    Cool, have you seen Forks over Knives? Its a life changer!
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    No I haven't thanks for the link - Wife and I will check it out.


    Quote Originally Posted by iBallz View Post
    Cool, have you seen Forks over Knives? Its a life changer!

  19. #19
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    Cool. Its basically the guy that wrote the China study and some other good stuff. Probably the most important documentary to ever come out.

    It's on Netflix and YouTube.
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  20. #20
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    Any Peas, Beans or lentils all very easy to digest as well.

  21. #21
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    Check out this video about pro racer Cara Gillis:

    Matt addresses protein at minute 6. There are also comments below about it.
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    Unless you are trying to be bodybuilder, or have a lean body mass of over 300lbs, 150 grams of protein is a bit excesive. 1-1.5grms of protein per kilo(2.2lbs) of LBM is about ideal. I went vegan just over a year ago, and haven't looked back. I've never felt better about my health, or my impact on the envoroment. I also feel very good that I am not contributing to the brutal toture of the animals that are subjected to our meat and dairy industry. Most people have no idea how bad it is. I certainly didn't. I highly reccomend watching the movie "Earthlings". It's free on Youtube. But I digress...

    I'm about 210lbs, about 19% BF. I try to get about 90grms of protein per day. When I first went vegan, I was obssesed with counting my protein to make sure I was getting enough in. Over time, I realized that I was getting enough easily, and so I no longer even pay attention to it. My fitness has never been better, since making this change in my life. For anyone interested in making this type of change, I highly reccomend the book "Thrive Diet". It's fantastic!

    Most of my protein comes from-

    Tofu/Tempe
    Nuts
    Lentils
    Beans
    Hemp Powder
    Soy Powder
    Quinoa
    Whole wheat bread
    Whole wheat pasta
    Brown Rice
    Peanut Butter
    Almond Butter

    Best of luck!

  23. #23
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    Right on man! My daughter rented Earthlings and we actually sat through that whole film. (well she left half way through, my other daughter could only stomach about the first 10 minutes) but that film left a pit in my stomach for days afterwords.

    +1 on the Thrive books! And did you catch Tim and Deannas videos on the protein myth?
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  24. #24
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    Amador, have you been losing weight?

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    iBallz- Glad you saw the film. I have to admit, I never made it through the whole thing. About 30 min was all it took for me to realize I needed to change they way I was living. I kept imagining those where people. When you consider that animals feel fear, pain and anxiety like we do, it's a pretty powerful connection.


    Bill- Yes. I lost about 30lbs in the first 4 months. I don't know what my body fat was before, but it was obviously too high! I have not lost muscle, I can tell you that.

  26. #26
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    Cool. I was down 55 pounds in the first 6 months. Feeling like in my 20's again.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amador View Post
    Bill- Yes. I lost about 30lbs in the first 4 months. I don't know what my body fat was before, but it was obviously too high! I have not lost muscle, I can tell you that.
    Very nice. Congratulations to you both.

  28. #28
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    I read a book called Green for Life, and it was great. It changed my diet at home for sure, we use our blender a ton now with noticeable results on the days that we make green smoothies. I throw Kale,Spinach, Bananas,Apples, Carrots top and all, and Flax seed into a blender, add a bit of juice to lower the density, and it is a powerhouse of nutrients.

    Another thing the book touched on is how your body absorbs nutrients from food, and how most people do not chew their food small enough allow the nutrients to be absorbed properly. Running green through a blender automatically makes then easily digestible.

    Hunt the book down, it is worth the read.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hand/of/Midas View Post
    I read a book called Green for Life, and it was great. It changed my diet at home for sure, we use our blender a ton now with noticeable results on the days that we make green smoothies. I throw Kale,Spinach, Bananas,Apples, Carrots top and all, and Flax seed into a blender, add a bit of juice to lower the density, and it is a powerhouse of nutrients.

    Another thing the book touched on is how your body absorbs nutrients from food, and how most people do not chew their food small enough allow the nutrients to be absorbed properly. Running green through a blender automatically makes then easily digestible.

    Hunt the book down, it is worth the read.
    Yes, another good read indeed!

    I like her study on the chimps, and what they eat, and how strong they are. Plus her thoughts on how its easy to tell the age of a person within 5 years or so, but we cant tell a 2 year old giraffe from a 15 year old giraffe. They dont need cheese, milk, chicken nugets and steaks for protein, its all there provided in the foliage. Gen 1:29

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  30. #30
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    You should look into Vegetarian food. Adventists have been making it forever and have that **** down. Most of it doesn't taste bad either, but some are hit and miss. I'd look for Loma Linda or Worthington brands. A single Big Frank (vegan hot dog) has 10g of protien; compared to 5g for an oscar meyer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hand/of/Midas View Post
    Hunt the book down, it is worth the read.
    I'm really enjoying this thread. Thanks everybody!
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  33. #33
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    Lots of good info!!

    My $0.02--

    Engine 2

    This is the book that changed my life. The author is the son of Dr. Esselstyn from Forks Over Knives. My wife bought the book almost 2 years ago and figured I'd do it based on the fact that Rip, the author is a firefighter!
    Dropped 30lbs and my cholesterol went down by 30%!!

    Being vegetarian/vegan is the easiest "diet plan" on the planet.
    You learn about it and you stop buying meat, dairy, etc!
    The hardest part is explaining to people that I get enough protein and I DO have plenty to eat!

    I've never felt better and all I needed to do was buy and read a $15 book! (yes, there is a little more to it, but you get the point!)

    I 'converted' a close friend on the fire dept who was a beer drinking, meat eating hunter! Within 3 months he's dropped 30 lbs and says he's never felt better, too!
    He'll probably not stop drinking beer or hunting, but he's on the right track!!
    www.getbusylivin.org
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  34. #34
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    ACSM recommends .8-1.4 grams of protein per Kilogram of body weight base on how active you are. Im 170lbs and 7.9% BF and I really only need about 62-100 grams.

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    Several studies in the U.S. and other western countries suggest the 'average' western diet already has more protein than the body needs. The 0.8 -1.4 rule of thumb is commonly used. Some sources suggest higher for heavy exercise. 0.8 is the baseline for a sedentery individual, the minimum necessary to maintain your body. I have seen some weightlifting sites advocate up to 5.0 g/kg. Those sites were also selling protein supplements, so their 'suggestions' were to be expected.

    There does not seem to be any real health risks consuming higher levels of protein, it just makes for some expensive urine. Very few people take the higher supplement levels for years on end -- most cut back after 6-9 months of weightlifting. The real risk of taking high levels of protein supplements is replacing other nutrients. The protein supplements make many people (including me) feel full, and so eat less of other real foods.

    The 0.8-1.4 g is total protein needs per day -- not additional supplement on top of normal dietary protein. As I mentioned earlier, most people already consume that much or more.

    Just make sure complete protein is consumed at least one meal per day. Animal source protein is complete, but plant based sources are also possible by combinations (soy is complete, but high levels of dietary soy has its own potential side effects. So soy should not be your exclusive source of complete protein.) Rice and beans, peanut butter on whole wheat bread are two of the most commonly known combinations. It is possible to have a nutritious and complete diet from plant based sources alone -- it just takes a bit more menu planning and personal discipline. A small amount of animal source protein is not harmful, and makes your daily diet more tolerant of disruptions and irregularities.

  36. #36
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    Hey dave54, I have a couple questions for you. You sound very knowledgeable, btw. I like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by dave54 View Post
    Some sources suggest higher for heavy exercise. 0.8 is the baseline for a sedentery individual, the minimum necessary to maintain your body.
    My understanding is that endurance athletes can be on the lower end of this spectrum, however if you are a weight lifter, or even a cyclist training for sprinting, etc. then you want a higher amount of protein. So, not just based on amount of exercise, but the type of exercise you do and what you are trying to achieve. No?

    Quote Originally Posted by dave54 View Post
    There does not seem to be any real health risks consuming higher levels of protein, it just makes for some expensive urine. ... The real risk of taking high levels of protein supplements is replacing other nutrients.
    I understand that ketosis and other problems with the liver can be side effects of consuming too much protein. I'm not sure how much above the norm this is and i'm sure it varies per person, but it is a real risk associated with the consuming too much protein.
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    Endurance athletes are working their muscles during training -- legs and core. Pushing iron with your arms is not the only muscle workout. Fartleks and stairs work the lower body hard.

    Yes, it is possible to have some side effects from excessive protein levels. That normally requires extremely high protein levels over a long period of time. Most people will increase their protein intake for a few to several months while working to a specific goal, then revert to a normal diet. Very few will continue the high levels for a sustained period. Consider the Eskimo. Until the 20th century Eskimos had an exclusive meat diet. They had near zero plant source foods and survived quite well. There are some medical and genetic conditions that mandate low protein intake, but those are relatively uncommon.

    There are some small differences in dietary protein requirements as we age, between genders, and between ethnicities. There is not a lot of scientific data on the ethnic differences. Every time a research project is initiated some liberal civil rights group starts screaming "Racism! Eugenics!"
    and gets the research shut down.:-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54 View Post
    Just make sure complete protein is consumed at least one meal per day. Animal source protein is complete, but plant based sources are also possible by combinations (soy is complete, but high levels of dietary soy has its own potential side effects. So soy should not be your exclusive source of complete protein.) Rice and beans, peanut butter on whole wheat bread are two of the most commonly known combinations. It is possible to have a nutritious and complete diet from plant based sources alone -- it just takes a bit more menu planning and personal discipline. A small amount of animal source protein is not harmful, and makes your daily diet more tolerant of disruptions and irregularities.
    It's not hard to get complete protein. Just eat foods from at least two of the following three groups: Grains, Legumes, Nuts/Seeds.
    Incomplete vs Complete Proteins
    You don't have to worry about balancing ratios of essential amino acids or even eating them at the same time. As long as you get some of all of them throughout the day you should be good.

    I'm not a vegetarian, but I eat like one sometimes. I'm allergic to soy, many legumes (peanuts, soy, chickpeas, lentils), and most nuts (so far pecans are OK, and almonds are probably OK), so it would be difficult for me to eat exclusively vegetarian, and I don't want to anyway. When I'm not eating meat I like beans because they are high in fiber and protein. I make my own baked beans because the canned ones have too much sodium. 1 serving of navy beans dry has 8g of protein and 12g of fiber, and I can easily eat twice that in a sitting. Between two servings of beans and a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, I have half the protein and most of the fiber I need for the day.
    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    Yes I take it but with no quantifiable results, just feel better. 2 grams of protein per tea spoon. I usually use 1 table spoon per.
    I've eaten spirulina for decades. Before every ride, skiing, even when I played tennis, great when sick, too. Usually take 4 tablets. Have tried lots of different health food energy products, this IS the best.
    That and lots of pinto beans, I get 20 miles to the burrito!
    agmtb

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    Quote Originally Posted by m85476585 View Post
    ...You don't have to worry about balancing ratios of essential amino acids or even eating them at the same time. As long as you get some of all of them throughout the day you should be good. ...
    The amino acids must be present in your intestines at the same time. If you are a 6-8 meals per day eater you may be able to get away with eating the pair at consecutive meals, but the effect will be compromised. A morning/dinner split will most likely not work at all.

    There is way too much individual variation in intestinal transit time, blood utilization rates, et al to make a firm claim that fits all. That is why many nutritionists state an animal source protein once per day is acceptable. It guarantees that whatever your daily schedule and eating habits you are getting a complete protein. Follow the USDA guidelines for meat and dairy consumption (which is far less than most people think). Before any tin foil beanie conspiracy theorists start ranting about 'the USDA is controlled by the livestock industry' nonsense, look at the daily dietary recommendations of other countries --- Mexico, UK, Germany, China, Japan, Australia, et al. They have all done their own studies and made their own charts for their own populations. Each is presented somewhat differently. The underlying values are all very similar.

    It is possible to have a complete and nutritionally balanced diet with plant sources alone, but it requires more attention to your daily eating patterns. Many people have too irregular a daily schedule (travel, work, recreation, etc) to maintain a healthy vegetarian diet. If you can, that is good. For the rest of us adding a small amount of animal source protein is cheap insurance.

    The typical western diet has way too much meat and animal protein, no dispute there. Just do not let the pendulum swing too far the other way in the name of correcting a problem.

    If you want to make dietary changes in your life without the personal drama that comes with a sudden radical shift, just start out by cutting the meat portion in half and adding a second vegetable. Once you adjust in a few weeks, repeat.

    BTW -- the two countries currently at the forefront of nutrition and athletic performance are Australia and Sweden. The cutting edge research is originating there, not the U.S. China appears to be still experimenting with supplements and PE drugs, whereas most developed countries have moved past those into better and safer methods of PE using food sources alone. Nutrition timing is a hot topic right now, fine tuning the combinations, ratios, and amounts of carbs, proteins, fats, and micronutrients with specific timetables during the day. If I were training for the Olympics full time and could have a dietician and food chemist on staff at my beckon call (like Olympic or professional teams) I would pay more attention to such a strict regimen ("It is now exactly 42 minutes post workout -- drink this special smoothie custom formulated to your individual biochemistry"). i am not in that category, so my daily diet is not that precise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54 View Post
    ..... If I were training for the Olympics full time and could have a dietician and food chemist on staff at my beckon call (like Olympic or professional teams) I would pay more attention to such a strict regimen ("It is now exactly 42 minutes post workout -- drink this special smoothie custom formulated to your individual biochemistry"). i am not in that category, so my daily diet is not that precise.
    This is exactly what pushed me away from sports nutrition in my undergrad. Weird-O athletes! Happily taking care of the elderly and their clinical nutrition needs as well as my aging athletelic needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57 View Post
    I am am a meat eater but sometimes like a vegetarian meal. Simply adding things like beans or nuts will do the trick, and also spinach. They say spinach has more protein then ground beef.

    this is what I do

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    Check out Rich Roll, Finding Ultra | Facebook He has done a few interviews talking about his protein intake, etc etc etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57 View Post
    I am am a meat eater but sometimes like a vegetarian meal. Simply adding things like beans or nuts will do the trick, and also spinach. They say spinach has more protein then ground beef.
    BTW -- here's the values from the USDA Food Composition database, per serving size:

    1 cup raw chopped spinach, wt. 30 g, 7 calories, 1 g protein.
    3 ounces extra lean ground beef, broiled well done. wt. 85 g, 225 calories, 24 g protein.

    About the only way you can spin the numbers to make spinach more protein than beef is by comparing protein per calorie, 1:7 versus 1:9.


    Lots of reasons to include spinach and other greens in your daily diet --vitamin and minerals, fiber, low fat, etc. A protein source is not one of them.

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