• Cara-Lee Compton

Plant Based Protein

Updated: Feb 24, 2020

If you've recently seen the documentary on Netflix called Gamechangers, you're probably going to relate to what I am about to say. If you haven't seen it, you are going to relate to what I'm going to say anyway because WHO can possibly load 200 grams of protein a day (or less - I don't even know anymore).

Many of you might be thinking chicken, eggs, steak and cheese. The documentary I referred to earlier somewhat changed my point of view on meat equalling protein (it is also somewhere on Google, just type in Gamechangers).

What the documentary, or theory rather, says about protein is that we have gotten it wrong all along. Meat and dairy is not necessarily our main source of protein, in fact they go so far to say that it should not even be considered as any source of protein in our diets. Why? Sounds vegetarian right, maybe even vegan? Well, it's not. It merely promotes a diet that is as natural as possible - PLANT BASED. No meat, dairy, processed foods, overpriced vegan foods or sugar.

As per my character, I decided to first test this plant based diet myself before writing a thesis on it. I have been focussing on eating plant based meals throughout the week and then over the weekends I'll have a bit of freedom if there is a good old braai going. It's been tough, not that I actually missed eating meat throughout the week, but just finding the time to be creative with recipes and to properly meal-prep. Not consuming as much dairy has been a challenge. I love coffee and I NEED milk in my coffee - but I have managed to consume less coffee and in turn less milk - almond and soy milk are yet to win me over. Cheese and other dairy products have been cut off and that has a really good effect on my body

Eggs, now here is the real issue, eggs have been my main source of just food in general, so letting those babies go is hard (it's hard because I still find myself eating eggs). Then, there's satan itself, sugar! Sugar is and will always be the main culprit. My sweet tooth has only gotten worse over the years. I must however admit that focussing on plant based foods has had the effect of avoiding a lot of hidden sugar.

My 'feedback' on the plant based diet:

I obviously did not commit to it 100%, more like 90%, and I think in order to really see the great rewards the diet can offer you, you have to commit to it fully. I have however lost weight, actually very naturally. I tried to not see it as a 'diet' but more of a lifestyle adjustment. Eating more fruits and vegetables, and way more legumes than ever before, has only been advantageous for my body. Then again I have also not been eating enough, which explains my sugar cravings (quick energy). Eating a lot more foods in the plant based diet can actually fight fatigue and repair your muscles quicker after a workout. So, if you are interested in a healthier lifestyle, consider going plant based. Start off by focussing on eating big portions of fruit and vegetables and legumes like black beans, kidney beans and butter beans in your diet. Chickpeas are also a secret weapon in a high protein, low carb diet.

Remember, the goal here is not just to eat more natural foods but to get loads more protein into your body, without the fats, hormones and other unwanted things we unconsciously consume through meat. DON'T avoid carbohydrates - add whole grain pastas, rye bread or wild brown rice to your meals, and watch how you naturally lose weight, feel lighter and have more energy. More to follow on this protein-plant-plan.

Keep me in the loop of what you eat and how you feel - I would love to know what you think!