GF Vegan Supplements: An Introduction
The common wisdom used to be that you can’t get enough protein on a vegan diet, but that notion has long been disproved by science and the more interesting discussion is about athletes and vegan supplements. When I was a vegetarian in college people commented the weight I was losing. I explained that I was losing fat and eating less fast food, more veggies and thinking overall about health more, then would proceed to have a plate of eggs and chug a whey protein shake. A few years later I was completely gluten free and dairy free due to severe intolerance and my options had shrunk. Some of you reading this will be intolerant to even more foods, such as soy, but still have a desire to create or maintain an active lifestyle. Today, I am letting you know that I do, and you can.
Vegan Supplements Minus What?
When you remove meat, eggs, and dairy from the diet, a lot of obvious muscle-building foods that we learn about in school are suddenly not an option, and it is easy to feel at a loss. As I mentioned, 10- 15 years ago I would eat tons of poultry, tuna, whey, and eggs in order to gain muscle mass. For a while I stuck to just eggs and whey, thinking that I needed the eggs and dairy. Every day I had a running count for “grams of protein consumed”. To tell you the truth, I did that for so long, I still could tell you within a couple of grams how much I have ingested at any point in a given day. Keep in mind that although this article is focusing on whole nutrition, there are countless products such as many vitamins and mineral pills and natural health products like peppermint oil capsules that are often GF vegan, as well. That being said, I will tell you the key foods I eat for protein today, no gluten, and all vegan.
The GF Vegan Supplements List: Intro Facts You Need to Know
We are taught to think of protein coming from meat when we are kids, or at least when I was a kid in the 80s that was the general idea, with dairy being an “important” additional builder. It did take me a while to consider nutrition more and more as I got older and to think of protein in basic terms: amino acids. I am not going to flood you with high school biology, I am just pointing out that the building blocks that we need to build healthy muscle are most definitely not the exclusive domain of the barbecue. They are everywhere, even where you least expect it...vegetables!
The GF Vegan Supplements list: The Honeymoon is OVER!
And then there was that pesky GF thing. In the Western world we eat a heck of a lot of grain. I am from Western Canada, and went to Law school in Saskatoon which is pretty much surrounded my massive oceans of wheat. The Provincial slogan is “The Land of the Living Skies”, or at least that’s what I was lead to believe by the backs of countless automobile license plates. I would frequently look out into the endless flatness toward the horizon, where the endless wheat continued. Yes, all poison to me. It was sort of like The Rime of the Ancient Mariner :
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
I felt like that. All of the foods that I had identified as the staples of my North American diet were gone. Just as I looked out into the endless fields of wheat of Saskatchewan that looked so much like food, now the restaurants and supermarket aisles were dressed up like meals. My belly knew so much better, though. Yes, we scrap wheat in our GF vegan journey, even though I could have told you just how much protein we would get...I could just gag.
5 Keys Basics to Gluten-Free Vegan Supplements: No more Beating around the Sheaf
1. Remember the other staple: Rice
- Make sure it is brown. You want to eat whole grains for the max fibre, and amino acid profile (not to mention the glycemic index... but that is for another article).
- Cooked long-grain brown rice has a bit over 4% protein but you can eat a lot of it, if you are a gluten-free vegan, and if you weren’t counting this amount, it is a nice surprise
2. Beyond Stir-Fry: Rice Protein Powder
- When I think of Brown rice protein, I smile to myself, since I always start my mornings off with a brown rice protein powder shake or smoothie. Remember, it doesn’t have to be whole or in its original form to be good for you.
3. Green Veggies
I eat tons of broccoli. I put it in my stir-fry, soups, stews, even pasta, or just straight off the branch.
- A cup of broccoli raw has 2.6g , while cooked it has about 4.7g of protein per cup.
- Asparagus: 1 cup of freezer-section stuff has 5.3g of protein
- Artichokes: 1 medium artichoke has 4.2g
- Green Peas: a cup of freezer-section peas has 4.6g
this one could be a series of articles on its own. For now, let’s say that there are many meals and products that are high protein in this category.
- Tofu: a third of a block has close to 9g of protein
5. Other Soy Factors: The Bare Intro
- Soy protein powder is easy to obtain an may be a good way to increase protein intake
- There may be concerns in men regarding hormone disruption from too much soy
- Some individuals are also soy intolerant, and there appears to be an correlation (not causation) between dairy & gluten intolerance (GFDF or GFCF) and also developing a sensitivity or intolerance to soy.
6. BONUS: Pea Protein Powder
Lately I have been getting more interested in this and I intend to buy a tub the next time with my next protein powder shipment. I’ll give you the skinny (or the bulky, we’ll see;).