HealthIngredient 101UncategorizedWellness

Vegetarians and vegans are getting more recognition as of late with their specific dietary choices, but one of the most common questions that they are asked is, how do they get their protein? Protein is one of the building blocks for your body; they break down amino acids and help with cell growth and repair. Protein fills you up and keeps you feeling fuller longer than carbohydrates because they take longer to digest. On average, women should consume about 46 grams of protein a day, and men about 56. Those are baseline numbers, and they fluctuate depending on your diet and workout regime, but for the average person, these are a good estimate. While protein is often considered to just be found in meat, it can actually be found in a lot of other foods that are perfect for vegans and vegetarians. Here’s a short list of foods that can fulfill your protein intake for the day.

Green Peas

While a controversial food among toddlers, adults have found that green peas contain a fair amount of protein – about 8 grams of protein per cup, which is about the same as a cup of milk. Peas can be a side dish, added to a pasta sauce, or even blended into pesto.

Balsamic Pea Salad

Pea Ravioli with Basil Pesto

Nuts (and Most Seeds)

Nuts are high in both healthy fats and protein, which makes them a valuable part of any plant-based diet. Most nuts contain about 5 or 6 grams of protein per ounce. To put it in perspective, about 23 almonds is an ounce. Nuts as a snack are good, both as a form of protein and a way to avoid eating chips or candy. Adding peanut butter on your toast in the morning instead of slathering it with butter both reduces the amount of bad fats you’re consuming, and is a tasty way to start your day with some protein.

No-Bake Almond Joy Bars

Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls with Peanut Butter Sauce

Eggs

For the vegetarians, eggs are a fantastic form of protein. When boiled, there is about 6 grams of protein in them. Great to have during any meal – scrambled eggs for breakfast, egg salad sandwich for lunch, or a salad with egg toppings for dinner – eggs are a great way to get your protein because it can be prepared in so many different ways.

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Rice and Beans

Definitely the cheapest and easiest way to get protein, rice and beans in a meal is on par with the amount of protein in meat. There’s about 7 grams of protein per cup. Because it’s such a basic form of protein, it can be altered in so many different ways – adding lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, tofu, the list goes on. Many of those foods are also great forms of protein, all mixed into one bowl. There are also so many different variants for both rice and beans that there are thousands of different recipes that cover the simple ingredients list.

India Chickpea Stew

Red Beans and Rice

Seitan (pronounced say-tahn)

Seitan, sometimes referred to as “wheat meat” is made from wheat gluten (sorry gluten-free friends!) and has about 20 grams of protein per half cup. Seitan is chewier than tofu, and generally tastes like chicken. It can be used in any recipe that uses poultry because of its similar taste and texture.

Beef-Simmered Seitan Carnitas

Seitan Fajitas

Milk (soy or regular)

Milk is a staple in most people’s diets, whether it’s a tall, cold glass on its own, or in a bowl of cereal. Milk usually has about 8 grams of protein in a cup, both regular and soy. Be careful with soy milk: there is a controversy amongst soy milks, organic or not. There is conflicting research that regards its effects on cancer, whether it helps cause or prevents cancer from forming. Buying non-GMO, organic, unsweetened soy is suggested to avoid this controversy.

Additional Inspiration

Bembu

Spark People

One Green Planet

Greatist

Health.com

Protein is found in many different foods and can be consumed in so many various ways that it shouldn’t be a concern if you have the capability to do so. Doing the appropriate research should not be daunting whatsoever – in fact, it will surprise you how many common ingredients you probably already consume that contain protein. So don’t fear, vegans and vegetarians, there’s plenty of things to eat and more!
Image: Foodies Feed

SpotlightYouth Spotlight

When we met Andrew O’Neill at the Congressional Award Gold Ceremony in 2014, we were impressed by what he had accomplished to earn his Gold Medal and were interested in learning more about him. Inspired by combining technology and outdoor leadership, Andrew attended Green Mountain College and majored in Adventure Education and Youth Development and Camp Management.

Andrew has put to good use the skills he’s learned in various endeavors, whether he’s building websites and creating a food program, working as a camp manager, editing videos, or learning a new language. Andrew’s curiosity is limitless, and he explores his interests and follows his heart. Read on to learn more about the different projects Andrew is involved in, his top three tips for learning a new language, and the advice he’d give his younger self.

Name: Andrew O’Neill
Education:
Double Major in Adventure Education and Youth Development and Camp Management (YDCM) at Green Mountain College
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Carpe Juvenis: How do you define “Seizing Your Youth”?

Andrew O’Neill: Young adults have a tendency to be afraid to dream big. Seizing your youth means taking chances toward your current dreams at any age.

CJ: You double majored in Adventure Education and Youth Development and Camp Management (YDCM) at Green Mountain College. How did you decide what to study?

AO: I took a two week-long canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness, and I thought it would be cool to follow a career path similar to the guides on that trip. At the time, I knew I was highly interested in the realm of technology and computers as a potential career, but I did not like the thought of being stuck inside all the time at a computer. I was inspired by the life that the guides on the canoe trip enjoyed that I looked into schools that specialized in outdoor leadership.

CJ: What cause or issue do you care greatly about and why?

AO: I have strong feelings towards the practice of factory farming. As a lifelong vegetarian, I have continued to learn and become more passionate about the abuse of farm animals at these farms and the negative health and environmental issues that this practice is causing on the planet. The way we are treating the animals that we are eating, which we should not be at all in my opinion, has a direct influence on how we are treating each other as humans. I believe that the brutality of factory farm operations correlates to why there are so many horrible acts of war currently happening in our society. I am extremely passionate about this subject and have created a website, ameatfreemonth.org, which aims to provide anyone with a free healthy 30 day vegan eating program to help steer them away from the addictions of eating animal products.

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CJ: You earned the Congressional Award Gold Medal in 2014. How did you get involved with the Congressional Award and what was your biggest takeaway from the experience?

AO: My mother, who has been a long-time Girl Scout troop leader and an all around incredible person, found out about this program through a student she worked with at Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. Within less than a year, I had signed up and was already working toward the Bronze Certificate. Earning this medal has made me realize that I will always be interested in learning new skills and to never stop challenging myself. Participating in all four program areas has helped me to become a well-rounded person excited to guide future youth through the program.

CJ: That’s awesome! We completely agree and support the learning of new skills. You have been a camp counselor and camp manager at Hawthorne Valley Farm Camp – what did you learn from those experiences?

AO: As a camp counselor, I learned about the psychological and social challenges that can arise while working with youth. Often, I was around campers all day and even when exhausted, had to be careful with my words and actions so that I could set a good example for the campers to look up to. The following year, as a camp manager, I was pushed into new challenging roles that helped me to understand the different aspects of running a camp. The camp director was new the year I managed, so I was placed in a more challenging role being a support to the director. In this higher role, I wrote and submitted our entire camp safety manual, created a new scheduling system for the camp that I used to create the actual camp schedules each week. Additionally, I started and maintained a camp newsletter, served as a primary contact for parents during camp, and compiled a camp recipe book that has been in high demand for many years. Essentially, I now feel I have gained the skills necessary to open a camp of my own.

CJ: You are passionate about video editing and have produced promotional videos for a 3D printing shop in Vermont. What sparked this passion and how did you learn video editing skills?

AO: My passion for video editing goes back to when I was a kid. It all started when I was able to buy my first video camera and connect it to my father’s laptop. Around my senior year in high school, my parents gave me a Cannon HD camcorder, and my uncle bought me a laptop for college. This enabled me to begin working on small projects that explored new ways to edit videos. Ever since this experience, I have taken on more challenging projects that have pushed me to expand my editing skills. All of my video editing skills have been self-taught and all from the small and large projects I have completed over the years.

CJ: You taught yourself how to speak Spanish. What are your top three tips for learning a new language? Is there another language you plan on learning?

AO:

  1. Immerse yourself in a country where they only speak the language you are trying to learn.
  2. Read news articles or listen to songs of interest in the language.
  3. Most importantly, be consistent!

I do plan on learning Japanese and already have a computer program called Human Japanese that I plan on using.

Andrew 4

CJ: What is an area, either personal or professional, that you are working to improve in and how?

AO: I am working on improving my health by transitioning to a totally raw mostly fruit diet and practicing regular yoga. Additionally, I am reading books about the fruitarian diet, and journaling everyday to help myself reflect on my day-to-day life.

CJ: Having a loaded schedule can sometimes be overwhelming. What do you do when you’re having a bad day and need to unwind or reset?

AO: My trick is simple, I rely heavily on my ability to be optimistic and always be able to find the positive in any situation. Almost always I am able to pause and just do a simple reflection and feel better. Additionally, I will find myself eating something special that I don’t always eat, but that is still in line with my diet.

CJ: What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

AO: There is no time like now to do whatever your heart desires. Answers and opportunities can often be found simply by networking. Every person is a human so don’t be afraid to interact, reach out, and make new connections.

Andrew Oneill Qs

Image: Andrew O’Neill

CultureHealth

Thanksgiving is right around the corner – are you hosting friends? Helping family cook up a feast? Bringing a dish or two to a potluck?

Having just moved across the country and begun a new job that doesn’t afford me the time or moolah to jet back across the country on holiday, I’ll be spending my first Thanksgiving away from home. I’m lucky to have a group of friends here who will also be celebrating without family, but we’re not the most experienced chefs, and most of us have never hosted a Thanksgiving party.

Many of us are vegetarians and vegans, which means a little creativity is required to whip up a meatless meal worthy of celebrating on a day that’s known for its turkey, gravy and cheesy casseroles.

Below are recipes for an easy, last-minute, vegan Thanksgiving feast that won’t have you missing meat one bit:

Appetizer

Start off with a fresh, seasonal holiday salad.

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Holiday Salad with Cranberry Apple Orange Vinaigrette – from Oh She Glows

Sides

It’s not Thanksgiving without the green bean casserole.

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Vegan Green Bean Casserole – from Fat Free Vegan

Forget the gravy, make this delicious twist on mashed potatoes.

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Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Avocado Garlic Aioli – from Oh She Glows

 Stuffing

A delightful veggie twist on traditional stuffing.

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Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout and Bread Stuffing with Apples – from Food52

 Main Dish

 Simple, protein-packed and delicious.

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Quinoa stuffed sweet potatoes – From Veggie Dream Girl

 Dessert

 Easier than pie.

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Vegan Pumpkin Dessert Bars – from The Happy Housewife

 What? I didn’t say it was a healthy, low fat vegan Thanksgiving meal. It’s just animal product-less. And it’s super delicious – click each of the links above for the recipes! Happy, happy Thanksgiving!

What are you eating for Thanksgiving? Share below!

Image: The Happy Housewife

Health

When it comes to veganism and/or vegetarianism, there are endless misconceptions that people have toward those who adopt this diet and more often than not, they’re unfortunately negative ones. I know that I have experienced that classic deep sigh or eye roll when people find out I am a vegetarian, and I many times don’t see the need for it. For that reason, I hope that this piece helps you recognize that not all of these judgments apply.

Stereotypes

Two stereotypes that are very much present is that any given vegan or vegetarian is either an extremist animal rights activist or a tree hugging hippie. Not all vegans and/or vegetarians are animal rights activists trying to shove their beliefs down your throat. In fact, some may be indifferent as their choice of diet may be due to many different reasons ranging from the ethics of the meat industry to their personal health. And not all are hippies that cry out for peace, and one must realize that very different people adapt the “veg-head” lifestyle – people of all backgrounds, races, sizes, classes, personalities, and genders. For example, some vegan/ vegetarian celebrities include Pamela Anderson, Brad Pitt, Russell Brand, Mike Tyson, Bill Clinton, Andre 3000, and Ariana Grande. As you can see, veggies are all scattered all around!

Nutritional Deficiency

Another misconception that vegans and vegetarians experience is that all suffer from some sort of nutritional deficiency. When I first told my mother I had decided to stop consuming meat, she asked me to consume a protein shake a couple of times a week. It is important that people understand that there are many alternative ways of acquiring protein; meat is not the only source out there. For example, there are other foods that have a high and/or equivalent amount of protein to meat such as seitan, tofu, beans, quinoa, tempeh, chia seeds, spinach, nuts, and peas. These are all excellent sources of protein.

Another worry is attaining a sufficient amount of calcium. The famous “Got Milk?” commercial really sparked the belief that the only way to attain calcium is through milk. However, like protein, there are many other ways to attain calcium. For example, consuming collards, black-eyed peas, tofu, beans, lettuce, green peas, soy milk, oranges, and even almonds are all exceptional sources of calcium.

Iron deficiency is another big one. Other ways of attaining iron are by eating beans, dried fruits, iron-fortified foods, spinach, tofu, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, olives, peas, asparagus, coconut, berries, and arugula.

Hopefully you’re starting to get the idea! Veggies are basically superfoods and having a good amount of them can definitely call for a balanced diet with all of the necessary vitamins and minerals!

Carnophobia

The very last point I would like to bring to light is that not all vegans and vegetarians have carnophobia, aka they’re scared of meat. Many times I will experience friends who get a bit anxious when picking a restaurant because they want to make sure there are vegetarian options. Or other times, they are almost apologetic when eating meat in front of me. Personally, neither of these should be issues. Most restaurants now have vegetarian options and for my fellow vegans, salads are increasing in popularity. On the other hand, why not check out a veggie restaurant? Delicious and untried always make a fabulous combo!

There are many vegan and vegetarian misconceptions out there and sometimes they may not always be true. The reality of vegans and vegetarians may be very different from the common perceptions people have of them. For that reason, I invite you to always check out the facts of any situation before forming opinions.

Image: Lauren Jessen