Whenever I tell someone that I am vegan, they have lots of questions. This week, I am going to reveal the 5 most frequently asked questions that I get on a daily basis. They are really quite amusing!!!
1. What do you eat for breakfast?
I find this question hilarious, because it is almost guaranteed that the person asking this question is probably not eating eggs and bacon every morning. My response is usually to answer their question with the same question? “I eat the same things as you do”, is my next response. I eat cereal (raw of course); instead of milk I use a dairy free beverage. I might also have a spoon of nut butter or nut cheese on raw bread and some fruit, a chia cereal, chia pudding, or a smoothie. I can use dehydrated bananas to make crepes and sprouted oats for oatmeal. The options for breakfast are endless, and far more spontaneous and in my opinion more satisfying than the predictable North American coffee and muffin.
2. What does your husband eat?
My response to this is that Mario eats a raw vegan diet most of the time. He eats what I make at dinner mostly because he is very supportive, and making two meals is just not my style. He is truly a flexitarian. If there is meat at a party, he wont hesitate to eat it, however he usually feels ill afterwards. The nature of his job as a carpenter makes many people wonder how he is able to do without meat on most days and still perform. If anyone has seen mario work, they would soon realize that he is not lacking in nutrition. I do make sure that he eats more nuts and seeds, more complex carbohydrates and more fruit than I do, to keep his energy levels high and to make sure that he maintains his muscle mass. It is a misconception that you can’t gain muscle on a raw vegan diet. Most people assume that men only eat meat and potatoes, and if that is the case, then they don’t know what they are missing? Mario jokes around a lot about the food that we eat, and often claims to be smelling steak when he comes home, but when he is serious, he always tells people about how much he enjoys raw vegan life with me! Looking and feeling good together transfers to all aspects of your life, and what better way to do that than together!
3. Where do you get your protein?
Protein consumption for Vegans is cumulative throughout the day. 1 cup of kale has about 3 grams of protein. My 4 cups of kale and 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds in my salad for lunch provide me with at least 20 grams of protein, and that’s just lunch. Nuts and seeds are my primary sources of protein, as well as grains such as oat groats, and Kamut. Legumes provide another source of protein as well as healthy carbohydrates. Combining different plant sources of protein together creates a complete protein. Quinoa on its own is also a complete protein. Unless we are olympic athletes, we do not need that much protein per kg of body weight. The ratio is about 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight for the average person. I also always let others know that eating plant sources of protein is less acidic for our bodies and therefore our bodies can digest and utilize the amino acids for muscle repair a lot more efficiently. At the end of our conversation, I usually have people so intrigued and asking me where to buy hemp and chia seeds, and how to use them. I can talk about this subject for hours!!!!
4. How to do you get your energy?
Many people assume that protein provides energy. It is actually the opposite. Carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, and fats such as avocados, coconut, nuts and seeds provide lots of energy for my daily physical activities and energy for me to do my workouts each day of the week. I don’t feel as sluggish eating plant based foods as I used to feel after eating a meat and pasta dish. Have you ever had a big Thanksgiving dinner and felt like you wanted to sleep afterwards? This is because your body is reacting to the acidic food that you are eating (i.e., meat and dairy) and takes a longer time to digest in your body. The entire idea is that eating plant based foods takes your body a shorter time to digest and therefore your body will be energized and ready to go, even after having a big meal! I’m always on the go and I love life, so this really works for me!!!
5. Where do you get your calcium if you don’t drink milk?
I find this question hilarious, because most of the people that I know, who are not vegan, only drink milk in their coffee. This is such a small amount of dairy that they are not getting nearly enough calcium as they might think. The truth is that calcium can be found in many plant sources such as nuts and seeds (particularly unhulled sesame seeds, and almonds). Who doesn’t like some raw tahini in their life? 1 cup of Collard greens such as broccoli and kale have much more calcium than 1 cup of cow’s milk. When I go to the gym, I often get the comment, that I don’t look like a raw vegan. This is because I am not the stereotypical “toothpick” that most people think of when they see a vegan. Instead I have strength and lean muscle which I think is attributed to my nutritious plant based sport diet and lifestyle.
So, if you get any of these questions, I hope these answers help you to educate the world about the truth behind raw veganism!!