If you have ever told someone you eat a vegan diet I’m sure you’ve heard the question, “Where do you get your protein?”
After reading the China Study and attending workshops by T Colin Campbell and registered dietitians like Brenda Davis I feel satisfied that most people in North America over consume protein putting their well-being at risk. I’ve been told by many health experts (I am not one of them) that as long as you are getting enough calories from a variety of plant foods you will be getting sufficient amounts of protein. I take solace in those words and generally don’t worry about the protein content in my diet.
However, the protein issue seems to reemerge when training for athletic pursuits. I still don’t worry about the overall amount of protein I’m eating but I do try to time the consumption of some high-quality protein to occur in the hour after I exercise. This morning I went out for a long slow run. When I woke up I had a banana and a small apple (2 hours before my run). I only eat before I run if I am going to be out for more than an hour. I like my body to be giving the blood and resources to my muscles and not my digestive track while I’m exercising. When I get home I tend to enjoy a smoothie with a little added protein-hemp seeds or a nut butter. I eat a high raw diet and sometimes crave “crunch” so I created this hempnola full of great protein and healthy fats. It is the perfect protein addition to my favourite smoothie and provides the texture contrast I crave.
1 1/2 cups buckwheat, soaked and sprouted
1 1/2 cups hemp seeds (hearts)
1/2 -3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3 medjhol dates
1 TBSP agave nectar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 orange, peeled
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1/2 TBSP cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
pinch sea salt
In a large bowl combine the nuts and seeds. In your blender combine the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Add the liquid mixture to the large bowl and stir to coat the nuts and seeds. Spread the hempnola on two dehydrator trays lined with a Teflex sheet. Dehydrate at 110 degrees for 12 hours (or until dry and crunchy). Flip the hempnola half way through and removed the Teflex. You could definitely make this in your oven at a low temperature (200 degrees) for about a third of the time.
My favourite anti-inflammation Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 cup water
1 medjhol date
1 tsp maca (totally optional but great for supporting your adrenals)
thumb of fresh ginger
half a lemon, peeled
I love ginger so the spicy sweetness of this smoothie is something I look forward to. If you are not a huge fan of ginger I would suggest replacing it with another health-promoting spice like cinnamon.
So, it was a great run today. I’m always happy when I get the long runs done. It helps me to believe that I can achieve my goals and reminds me that my body is an amazing tool that I need to respect and challenge. However, it was freaking cold. It was -11 but -20 with the windchill (that is -4F). When I got home I couldn’t move the muscles in my face for about 15 minutes. The sun is shining now so I’m going to bundle up and visit the farmer’s market.
Walk: 1.5 hours
Run: 18 km (just 2 long runs left before the race)
Run Pace: 5:30 m/km (not quite on race pace but I had a few issues with mitts and earbuds along the way)
Fun?: Birthday dinner with Matt & Dan and visiting the new vegan restaurant at the farmer’s market (check it out if you live near the St. Lawrence Market