Why Plant-Based Protein Powder? (Hint: It’s my Knight in Fluffy Armor!)

plant-based protein powder

Everyone dreams of their knight in shining armor. Their savior. Their protector. Their hero.

(I’m sure there’s a female equivalent? Their queen in shiny stilettos? Their lady with a shining cell phone cover?)

When thinking of a way to describe plant-based protein powder to you, the only [moderately] decent analogy I could come up with was that it’s my knight in fluffy armor. My savior. My protector. My hero.

Hear me out.

Only a couple of years ago, plant-based protein powder was not something on my radar at all. I didn’t always bring it with me on the go, I wouldn’t constantly find dusty evidence of it around my home, I didn’t somehow find ways to sneak it into almost everything I made and I never budgeted to make sure I had it stocked at all times.

But I also didn’t feel as strong, look as toned/flab-free and keep as calm as I am now.

I owe a lot of those awesome changes to starting to use plant-based protein powder – my knight in fluffy armor.

So today I want to dive deep into the amazing character traits of this hero, so maybe it can save you a bit too.

And before I launch into my lecture on protein, I just want to make this one important point:

PROTEIN FILLS YOU UP. IT MAKES YOU FULL. IT MAKES YOU HAVE LESS HUNGER. THEREFORE IT MAKES YOU EAT LESS. IT MAKES YOU NEED LESS CARBS AND FAT TO FEEL SATIATED. WHICH MEANS IT HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT OR MAINTAIN YOUR PERFECT WEIGHT. AND IT MAKES YOU HAVE MORE ENERGY – LASTING ENERGY. OVERALL, UPPING YOUR CLEAN, PLANT-BASED PROTEINS CAN HELP YOU LIVE THE LIFE IN THE BODY YOU TRULY DESIRE.

Ok, moving on…

plant-based protein powder

First of all: protein. Let’s talk about protein here for a sec. Just protein. In general. Ok? Here we go.

When I first went vegan (well, raw vegan, actually – back 5 or so years ago), I would read book after book after book about veganism, all which kept singing the same song about how annoying it is to ask a vegan where they get their protein. “PLANTS HAVE ENOUGH PROTEIN!!!” All these plant-based books would insist. So I sort of just, well, relied on that being right and I spent the next 3 1/2 – 4 solid years assuming that I just obviously was eating enough protein, because plants have protein. Kale has protein. Nuts have protein. Etc, etc, etc. I never thought about protein, unless to think that people were too unnecessarily concerned with it (which is what all my health-nut books said).

But after a while, I began to notice, that despite having a really active lifestyle and exercising all the time, I was still kinda “soft.” I didn’t have much definition and my cellulite was at an all-time high. Not to mention I wasn’t as strong and capable as I would like to have been.

Confused and frustrated, I turned to what I know best: FOOD. I realized that, by golly, I wasn’t eating NEARLY enough protein. WTF! I thought all those books and vegan/plant-based advocates promised me that plants have enough protein?!?!

(SPOILER: “duh Talia, in hindsight plants have enough protein if you actually pay attention to eating the protein-rich PLANTS!”)

As I dug further, this all started making sense to me. I barely ate tempeh or tofu because everyone said soy was really bad for you. I rarely ate beans because they tend to upset my sensitive tummy. And at the time, I had no eggs or fish in my life (even now I only have them a little), so the rest of my diet was just nuts and seeds and fruit and veggies. I was missing some SERIOUS protein action in my life, but I couldn’t just become a full-on carnivore or soy-nivore…

So I tried some plant-based protein powder. And really REALLY quickly, like in a day or two, I felt insanely amazing. And also quickly, like a month or two, I started to look insanely, ok well, better…. and here’s why:

Why protein is important essential:

Our bodies need protein to do stuff. Awesome stuff like stand up paddle board, decent stuff like grocery shop or mundane stuff like walk from the couch to the toilet.

Without enough protein, our bodies aren’t good enough at doing stuff. And they might tell your mind that doing stuff isn’t fun. And you might just start peeing in a diaper on the couch. Ok, just kidding.

Our bodies also need protein to do internal stuff, like build, repair and keep our body tissue, our hair, our nails, our skin and our IMMUNE SYSTEM in tip top shape.

plant-based protein powder

Why protein helps us look great:

In general, protein fills us up! It keeps our blood sugar from flying around like a crazy person. It keeps us satiated and crave-free. Therefore, it keeps us out of the candy aisle and into our skinny jeans.

Protein also helps our bodies become leaner, and lean muscles actual burn fat just by themselves. Seriously, they just do it without us asking. Lean muscles are just like, “arg, I’m bored…might as well burn some calories for this body I’m in.”

Protein also gives us some energy. Well, the RIGHT protein does. Steaks don’t quite give us a jolt. Lemme say this: PLANT PROTEINS give us some energy. Specifically, PLANT-BASED PROTEIN POWDER can. And having energy means we tend to smile more, do more exercise, and overall glow more: hence, look great.

Ok, so, WHAT IS PLANT-BASED PROTEIN POWDER?

Protein powder is the result of stealing the protein out of various grains and seeds and crushing it into…a powder.

Most plant-based protein powders include some sort of mixture of the protein stripped from hemp seeds, brown rice, peas, flax seeds, chia seeds, amaranth, quinoa and oats. That protein is usually mixed with some stevia for flavor (you know I heart stevia!), a natural flavor like vanilla or cacao powder and a binder like lecithin or xantham gum. Some include a few extra stuff here or there, but the real, true, healthy, plant-based protein powders that I eat and recommend have just a few legit ingredients.

NOTE TO YOU: PLANT-BASED PROTEIN IS WHEY FREE. NO WHEY! NADA. NO WHEY, JOSE.

plant-based protein powder

Why is it so much better than just upping one’s tempeh/tofu/beans/legumes game?

Because it’s sooooooooooooo (I feel like I’m back in HS with all the oooo’s) ooooooo much easier than those guys.

A.) For me, it’s easier to digest. Hands down. Point blank. No problemo on Talia’s digestiono.
B.) It’s easy! Instead of roasting tofu, boiling lentils, soaking beans and baking tempeh, I can throw some protein powder into a bunch of random stuff (more on this below) and have a high-protein meal/snack quicker than it takes me to wash my dishes.
C.) You can take it in the sweet direction. So getting your protein in doesn’t always have to mean savory. (More on this in a sec.)
D.) It’s yummy! Truly. The right protein powders are DEEEE-LISH.

How much protein is enough protein?

Without getting super science-y on you (since I’m not a super science-y person), I don’t aim for specific numerical quantities of protein each day. Instead, I make it a major priority to get SOME protein with each meal or snack I eat. (This is radically different from how I used to eat, paying no attention to protein, eating salads that I loaded with fat to fill me up instead, or making protein-less smoothies that made me more hungry after drinking them than satiated!)

Seriously – my goal is SOME protein with each sitting of food I eat. If I’m really trying to slim down for an event or something, I’ll go a little bit heavier on the protein and produce and light on the carbs and fat, but for the most part I don’t bother thinking about all that jazz.

How I use protein powder to keep me trim, slim and feeling strong and amazing:

I put plant-based protein powder in everything I can rationally think of.

I want you to know that when you put protein into baked goods or carb-y things, it makes them less “bad for you.” What I mean by that is putting protein powder into a treat helps that treat fill you up AND NOT SPIKE/DROP YOUR BLOOD SUGAR and cause you to eat MORE later, which are what sugary baked goods are are notorious for. (This is how they hinder your weight-loss or cause you to gain weight…)

This was revolutionary for me, and I hardly (probably never) make any sweet treat that I haven’t made with some protein.

So that said, here are some stuff you can throw plant-based protein powder into:

plant-based protein powder

What protein powders are Party in my Plants approved?

My #1 protein powder brand that I use daily…

SunWarrior

which is the best tasting, has the best texture, and is the most versatile (meaning it’s perfect for both blending AND baking)!!! Can’t recommend it enough.

I do approve of /enjoy these protein powders as well….

Vega

Shakeology

Perfect Fit Protein

Garden of Life

Plant Fusion

What this all means for you:

All it means is that I encourage you to become a bit more consciences about your protein intake. Sure “they” say that “plants have enough protein,” and they do! Definitely enough protein for you to SURVIVE and continue going to the mall and movies, but probably not enough for you to THRIVE if you’re into hiking, lifting heavy-ish things or bouncing in a bouncey house.

Just consider that protein might be something that you want more of in your life. And then consider that a plant-based protein POWDER might be your way of getting that something more in your life.

And then consider reaching out to me if you have more Q’s about protein powder.

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  1. Hey Talia!

    I’m SUPER EXCITED about trying this – particularly for smoothies. So I’m wondering – which protein powder (and which flavor – vanilla? natural?) you would recommend for smoothies in particular?

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Juliette! YAY for you being super psyched about smoothies 🙂 I would definitely recommend going vanilla for your first go. And I would definitely recommend getting the Sunwarrior classic vanilla (http://amzn.to/1MmwsDA). It blends and tastes the best. Lemme know how it goes! (Keep me in your smoothie loop.)

  2. Hello Talia. Thank you for this post on Protein…I recently had major surgery and I’m now in healing process. In talking about diet, the very first thing my surgeon asked (yes! a surgeon who cares about diet..but hey, this is San Francico)in the post op visit was, ” how much protein are you eating? He then went in to explain the vital role protein plays in our body, and especially for the energy needed for wound healing. I’m a small framed senior woman and he recommended 50grms spread out over 3 meals. So your protein recipes are now a big part of my recovery…

  3. Thank you thank you for your recommendation! I used to use the raw protein from Garden of life and they changed the ingredients and increased the sodium by triple the amount. I kept trying different proteins and it just didn’t digest well with my stomach. I’m so excited to finally have a new protein that’s healthy and agrees with my stomach !

    1. SO happy to help! Did you give it a shot? I’d love to know if it digested better. For me, the Sunwarrior Classic Protein couldn’t be easier to digest and I have a veeery sensitive stomach 😉 Let me know how it goes for you!