Quit Puzzling Over Protein

Smoothie Madness!

Yum! Protein and whole food nourishment for breakfast.

The Olympics often have the positive effect of rekindling athletic aspirations. But when I think of aspiring athletes, I occasionally recall the giant tubs of protein supplements emblazoned with muscle mass-building claims that line the aisles of many “health food” stores.

I cringe at how polarized the public has become about protein. Many consume copious amounts–causing unnecessary stress on the digestive and excretory systems–in the name of biceps. Still more are not getting enough and are left fatigued and vulnerable to illness.

Proteins are complex, unique molecules that are essential to every bodily function. They are combinations of 9 essential amino acids.

The cool part is this: As long as you get the 9 amino acids, in a meal, you have the necessary ingredients to build a proteinyou don’t have to get them all from the same source! Choose plant foods with complementary amino acids–Voila!–you’ve got protein.

Animal products contain all 9 amino acids, but by food combining you can easily create complete proteins with plant products. This is the secret that keeps vegetarians and vegans alive–and often very healthy because they bypass the inflammation excessive animal product consumption can cause.

One can find amino acids in everything: fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes etc.

Here is a list of popular combinations and vegetable sources of protein:

Whole Grains + Legumes

Brown Rice+ Black Beans

Corn + beans

Whole Grain bread +Peanut Butter

Chickpeas+ Brown Rice

Nuts and/or Seeds + Legumes

Sunflower Seeds+ Peanuts

Hummus (Chickpeas and Tahini)

Lentils + Almonds

Vegan Sources of Complete Protein


Pumpkin Seeds

Wheat Germ

Many protein shakes are too high in protein and dangerous if they are consumed frequently–this is where aspiring athletes run into trouble. Excess protein is discarded by the body–not stored for later! Therefore amounts are crucial: if you overdose on protein you will stress out your kidneys. Beware of protein shakes with more than 18 grams of protein per serving.

But too little protein is a problem too. Protein makes body tissues, the enzymes to digest food, and chemicals that protect the body. It is important to get enough protein–for everyone, not just athletes.

Here is how to calculate your daily required amount of protein:

1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm

If you are physically active, err on the high side of this number; aim to get more protein from non-animal sources to avoid consuming too much saturated fat which can make inflammation worse.

Green smoothie

Green Smoothie–for Protein, Immune Strength and Energy

I have a protein-rich smoothie for breakfast made with SP Complete powder, flax-seed oil, water, fruit, and vegetables–and I definitely recommend it. The powder is made with whole, organic fruits and vegetables and provides a good, healthful amount of vegetarian protein. It is wonderful to start the day feeling nourished and energized after my smoothie. I also recommend trying “Green Smoothies”: add some “Avengers” in first thing in the morning to boost immunity and energy!

Please comment and share your thoughts on proteins! If you have any questions or comments you can also feel free to email drclaps@clapschiropractic.com

Picture from:

A few recipes for Green Breakfast (or anytime) Smoothies:



More information for Vegetarians/Vegans/Raw Foodists on protein sources:



~ by danclaps on August 25, 2012.

2 Responses to “Quit Puzzling Over Protein”

  1. Next time someone asks me where I get my protein I’m gong to tell them I’m too woozy to answer. 😉

  2. […] all plant foods its new food pyramid replacement, “MyPlate“. Check out our post on protein for more […]

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