I was recently asked by my friends 14 year old daughter how to get enough protein at breakfast while on a plant strong diet. Here are the answers:
1. What is your typical breakfast?
I don’t believe in eating the same breakfast every day. First of all, that would be terribly boring, and second, the body benefits most from a wide variety of whole foods. The one constant for me is always fruit for energy and vitamins. I don’t drink coffee or any caffeine, so fruit provides my body with energy. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and healthy Omega fatty acids. I also love raw nuts, and my favorite way to enjoy them is in Hail Merry gRAWnola – sometimes I sprinkle it on cooked steel cut oats, other times I just eat it right out of my hand! Another favorite option is the tried and true smoothie. Each time I make them they vary, but always include: frozen banana, Bio-K probiotic drink, organic berries, raw gluten free grain based protein powder, sugar free cranberry juice, raw unfiltered local honey, and a tablespoon or two of organic greens powder.
2. What are some of your favorite protein options in the morning?
I really like raw almond butter, raw protein powder made from sprouted organic gluten-free grains, organic greens powder, organic pasture eggs, steel cut oatmeal, Bio-K Probiotic Drinks, and of course, Hail Merry gRAWnola.
3. Do you consider the above mentioned foods as having all the necessary parts to a balanced meal (i.e., fiber, carbohydrates, and protein?)
In order to maintain a proper glycemic balance it is important to eat a balanced meal with all of those – fiber, carbs, and protein. Luckily, nature made this fairly easy for us. By eating plants in the form of fruit and nuts we get fiber, carbohydrates, and protein. Eating fruit alone would throw the glycemic load off, so combining fresh fruit with nuts, nut butters, eggs, or oatmeal are ideal. A balanced meal is what allows the body to stay nourished with sustained energy until the next meal.
4. When making Hail Merry products, how do you factor in protein?
Hail Merry is always concerned with the amount of protein that our products contain. Our bodies need 10% of the calories to come from a variety of protein sources. This winter, we’ll be introducing a Goji Cherry Hemp gRAWnola. Hemp is a plant-based protein that includes all 10 amino acids needed to build muscle. There are few plants that contain all 10 amino acids, and hemp is one of them.
5. Which food group do you pay the most attention to when creating recipes for Hail Merry foods?
I don’t really focus on one food group more than another. It’s the blend or balance of food groups that is the most important.
6. Why are Hail Merry snacks so protein rich?
Because they contain lots of proteins from plants and nuts.
7. What is your main reasoning for choosing to make raw snacks?
Raw foods provide living enzymes, co-factors, and digestive enzymes that help our bodies absorb the nutrients and vitamins from our foods more efficiently. The digestive enzymes within raw food allow digestion to occur higher-up in the digestive tract, so we don’t have to wait for our bodies to manufacture these enzymes – this is typically why you feel so full after eating a heavy cooked meal. It’s important to eat raw foods at each meal. A 50/50 ratio of raw to cooked foods is great, but I strive for 70/30 or higher.
8. Can too much protein be a bad thing?
Yes! Animal protein, especially, can raise blood cholesterol levels and is very acidic for the body’s environment. Our bodies strive for a balance of alkalinity and acidity, and too much animal protein disrupts that balance.
9. Any words of encouragement?
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting author Marianne Williamson. I keep the following passage close to me, as it helps empower me to reach my goals.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”