Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Review: Various Raw Vegan Protein Powders

I get asked a lot about the different raw and vegan protein powders on the market, so I thought I’d write a post reviewing them. As I wrote here about protein and pregnancy, I’m not a subscriber to the idea that we need a lot of protein in general. However, I do like the idea of pregnant women and kids getting more protein, as needed. Also, I am fine if athletes, or people working out intensely, like to consume extra protein. I wrote a post here about how my husband prefers higher protein in his raw vegan diet to help him maintain / gain muscle mass. As a pregnant woman, I don’t make a big deal of it daily, but I do keep a mental tally every few days and then reassess how I’m going to get a little extra in, if warranted. Eating a raw vegan diet naturally lends itself to a diet that is on the lower side of protein, which is fine and healthy in my opinion, in general. When you consume plant-strong protein, it’s high quality, not acidic, and furthermore, if it’s Raw, you don’t even need as much because it’s not denatured by heat.


Raw vegan protein powders are not typically as perfect as whole food sources of protein such as fresh organic greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, but they serve a purpose in getting you a sizable punch of protein quickly and efficiently. They can really come in handy because of that. There are also whole-food, cooked protein sources such as lentils, beans, grains which can be helpful in increasing the amount of protein one gets, again though… keep in mind that it’s believed cooked protein isn’t as easily assimilated as Raw protein. 


Let’s begin: the purpose of this post is to briefly review some different raw vegan protein powders we’ve tried, liked, and not liked so much. 



Hemp Protein Powder

I would have to say that one of my favorite protein powders for taste is plain ol’ Hemp Protein Powder. I like it because it doesn’t actually have much taste to it. Some say it has a likable “nutty” flavor. It’s a wonderful source of complete protein and fiber. If there was a downside of hemp protein powder, I’d say it’s the texture. It’s gritty, like sand. For this reason, I’m not a huge fan of just having it plain with water (which I do prefer with some other protein powders mentioned below). In general, the way I overcome the grit-factor is to blend it into fruit-filled smoothies or shakes. My favorite hemp protein smoothies combine bananas, water, hemp protein powder, hemp seeds, and then maybe cinnamon, or some greens, or whatever (links to more recipes below). I also like mango in place of the banana, or in addition to it. The banana and mango offer a real creaminess to the shake which helps carry the grittiness rather nicely, thereby making it pretty unnoticeable.


For the reasons of its superfood quality, complete protein, neutral taste, and the fact that certain other ingredients can get me past the sandy texture of it, this is the raw vegan protein powder that I actually look forward to consuming on a regular basis. One quarter cup of Manitoba Harvest’s hemp protein powder has about 11-15 grams of protein depending on whether you get the version with higher fiber or not. Here are some recipes using hemp protein powder that are big hits with my family, friends, and blog readers.
Cherry Chocolate Bomb Shake
Frozen Organic Banana Protein Shake


Brown Rice Protein Powder (Raw Vegan, Non GMO)

Another protein powder regularly consumed in our household is sprouted, raw vegan, brown rice protein powder. For this we buy Sun Warrior’s brand. This has a high protein content, and according to Sun Warrior, their brown rice protein is actually complete (they told me: Most rice proteins in the past used white polished rice. We’ve taken organic whole grain brown rice with the bran and the endosperm layers which raise the amino acid profile to make a complete protein. It’s bio-fermented with natural enzymes (no heat), stripping down the carbohydrate and sugar content, leaving 85% bio-available protein.


That’s great because, traditionally, rice protein powders are not a complete protein in terms of amino acid profile. The nice texture blends easily with water by simply shaking it up in a glass mason jar or BPA-Free shaker cup, but it does have a little bit of a chalky after taste – I’m OK with that. I think the chocolate flavor is a tad too sweet for blending into smoothies and shakes, so I actually prefer to just shake it up in water and drink it (yum). When I want to add Sun Warrior to smoothies, I use the Natural flavorThe texture is on the thin side for doing this, making it almost like just drinking water, so it’s easy to get down. A lot of people reach for this protein because it’s easy to digest. One scoop has about 15 grams of protein.

UPDATE: Here is some more information according to Sun Warrior’s staff and website: Sun Warrior has a 98% Correlation rate to Mothers Milk and a 98.2% digestion efficiency making it one of the highest digestibility and efficiency ratings of any other protein sources (compared to whey and soy).

Highest Net Protein Utilization score of any vegetable based protein and the highest ratio of amino acids converted to proteins. Sun Warrior is created with a Low Temperature natural Enzyme process that does not use any chemicals or acid hydrolysis (like most proteins do). Sun Warrior Protein is naturally rich in Vitamins and Minerals and contains high amounts of Antioxidants, Tocopherols, Tocotrienols and other essential nutrients — such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, iron and potassium. Using Sun Warrior Increases the efficacy and absorption of vitamins and minerals. There has been a direct correlation between the use of Sun Warrior Protein and the absorption of vitamins.  Weight Loss – Clinical studies in Japan have shown that by providing Rice Protein as a staple in a diet it can act as a weight control vehicle. This is especially because of superior absorption rates. Cholesterol – Clinical studies have shown promise that Sun Warrior has cholesterol lowering potential and the USDA is currently using Sun Warrior in trials to see if it may help control high blood pressure. Unlike the extraction processes of other proteins, our method of extraction uses neither chemicals nor acid hydrolysis. We only use Organic Enzymes during the process and our process is 100% Organic Compliant.

We also offer “Natural” which is not sweetened with Stevia. The Vanilla and Chocolate was designed for ease of use (mix with water and go)! Natural also goes good in soups and other non-sweet recipes.

RAW Protein Powder

Garden of Life has a raw vegan protein powder that is likable as well. The flavor is on the bland side, which is nice in my opinion, and the texture is pretty smooth. As such, I prefer to consume this powder shaken up with plain water and chugged down. I like rotating this into our raw vegan protein shake cycles because it contains a notable blend of proteins that I don’t get in the two protein powders mentioned above, or in my diet in general for that matter (at least not on a regular basis). For instance, it has: (all organic) sprouted brown rice protein, amaranth sprout, quinoa sprout, millet sprout, buckwheat sprout, garbanzo bean sprout, kidney bean sprout, lentil sprout, adzuki bean sprout, flax seed sprout, sunflower seed sprout, pumpkin seed sprout, chia seed sprout, and sesame seed sprout. Uniquely groovy, huh?  One scoop has about 18 grams of protein.


Pea Protein

This frequently gets mixed into my husband’sRaw Vegan Protein Grenades. It’s a complete source of protein that many people find easy to digest. I’m not sure how “raw” it is based on manufacturing, but it’s vegan. There aren’t any sources on the market that I know of touting the production of a sprouted or raw pea protein, like you find with the sprouted brown rice protein. The benefit of pea protein is the higher ratio of certain amino acids like lysine.


Vega Complete Meal Replacement
Vega is a great company with a number of worthy products. Their Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer smartly combines pea protein, hemp protein, and brown rice protein, plus other goodies like chlorella, fruit powder, maca, etc. However, I don’t care for the taste of it. I’ve tried all of their flavors and they are too sweet for me. They offer a natural flavor and to be honest, I can’t remember if I ever tried it. Also, as a pregnant woman, I’m unsure as to the safety of maca so I would avoid this even if I could get past the taste. Update: my friend, Gena (of ChoosingRaw), loves the Chai flavor and is always blogging about it. She actually has me interested in trying it again one of these days – We’ll see. ;)

Vega also offers a product, Whole Food Smoothie Infusion.This includes the following ingredients – Yellow pea protein, organic hemp protein, organic sprouted flax seeds, organic brown rice protein, organic green food blend (spirulina, organic wheat grass, organic alfalfa grass, organic barley grass, organic spinach, organic sprouted broccoli, organic kale, organic kelp, organic dulse), inulin (from chicory root), natural flavors, xanthan gum (from Vega’s website). This is good and each packet has 14 grams of protein. I made the smoothie pictured with 1 cup water, 1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen cherries, 1 packet Smoothie Infusion, and 1 tablespoon hemp seeds. Yield was 2 cups. 


I also enjoy their Vega Antioxidant EFA oil which has nothing to do with protein, I just thought I’d mention it because essential fatty acids are so important. It has some amazing ingredients in it including Organic hemp seed oil, organic flax seed oil, antioxidant oil blend (organic green tea seed oil, pomegranate seed oil, black cumin seed oil, black raspberry seed oil, blueberry seed oil and cranberry seed oil), organic pumpkin seed oil and organic coconut oil. I enjoy making salad dressings with this kick-butt antioxidant powered oil.


RAW Meal 
This is made by Garden of Life and let me tell you… it’s a doozy (i.e., not good – Hey, I keep it real on my blog). I was very excited to try it out when they sent me a sample because the list of ingredients was pretty impressive. However. It was horrifyingly disgusting for me to drink. I blended it with a banana and frozen blueberries. The weird thing is that the initial flavor seemed fine, but it had a soapy-vomit-like aftertaste. I was scared to drink beyond the first few sips. I can’t help but think there was maybe something wrong with the batch to cause this, but I don’t know. I’ve heard that Garden of Life is considering a reformulation, so they must be aware of it. There is coconut flour in it, and I wonder if that contributes to the “off” taste. I have thrown away entire raw vegan cheesecakes because of a bad coconut oil soapy aftertaste that just can’t really be detected until it’s mixed with other ingredients. Perhaps this is the culprit? Update: They changed the formula and sent me another jug to try. Although the horrifying taste of the past is no longer an issue, I still do not care for this product very much. I like what it has to offer as far as nutrition, but the taste is like drinking ground cardboard to me. I want to like it, really I do, Garden of Life, but I don’t. :(       (But, I love many of your other products!) :) 

ORGANIC Brown Rice Protein Powder (Raw, Vegan)

I was sent samples of Sprout Living’s EPIC Protein Powder (sprouted brown rice protein) that is CERTIFIED ORGANIC! It’s plain and I easily mix it with water and drink it down. I really like this stuff! They also sent me Sproutein but I haven’t tried it since it contains maca and I’m staying away from that while pregnant. UPDATE: They have new flavors too which are very good. Vanilla Lucuma (tasty!) and Chocolate Maca. 


Here is information taken straight from their website about Epic Protein:


Epic Protein starts with premium, organic whole grain brown rice which goes through a unique patent pending process.  Our steps involve sprouting and fermenting in interest of naturally increasing digestibility and protein content. At NO point do we EVER use chemicals, instead; a low temperature enzyme process is used, leaving a completely raw and organic product. The end result is a mostly neutral, semi-sweet, and silky smooth powder – fine enough to dissolve completely in liquid. 

 


Epic Protein is also: 
+ 100% hypoallergenic (decreased chance for allergic reaction)
+ 100% vegan (no animal products used at any time)
+ 100% raw (processed at low temperatures)
+ 100% certified organic (no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or chemicals)
+ 100% gluten-free
+ 98% correlated to mother’s milk (more than whey and soy)
+ 98.2% bio-available (more than whey and soy)
+ Over 80% protein content
+ Comprised of a complete, high-quality amino acid chain




Just one serving (28 grams) of our powder contains 23 grams of very high-quality protein, zero grams of fat, no sodium, and no sugar. Ideal for quick muscle recovery, muscle regeneration, and the development of lean body tissue.


How is it different than other rice protein powders?
+ 100% Sprouted/Fermented Brown Rice
+ NO carrageenan
+ NO xanathan gum
+ Silky Smooth
+ Less expensive ounce for ounce.

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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Raw Vegan "Protein Grenades" Help Keep My Husband Strong!

by Kristen Suzanne in hemp protein, sun warrior rice protein
How many of you have heard it before (especially from men)… “BUT, WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN WITH THAT DIET?”

Or… perhaps the #1 thing that deters men from trying a vegan diet: I’M AFRAID I’LL LOSE MY MUSCLE.”

Or… “MY TRAINER DOESN’T BELIEVE IT’S POSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN OR GROW MY MUSCLE ON A VEGAN DIET – LET ALONE A DIET THAT IS HIGH IN RAW FOODS!”


Well, let me tell you… YES, it can be done. My husband is living proof. Muscle isn’t reserved for only the meat-heads. Just look around in nature and see the massive strength in herbivorous animals such as horses, gorillas, buffalo, elephants, hippopotamus, and more. News Flash to the Doubting Omnivores…. yes, you can build muscle with the proper plant based foods and some work in the gym. Let me take a step further. I’m not just referring to a vegan diet with cooked proteins; this can be done with a High Raw (or All Raw), All Vegan diet. You don’t see elephants and horses grilling up their leaves or sauteeing their twigs, right?

So… how can it be done?
Well, let me share with you some details about my husband and his experience. My husband follows along with my raw vegan diet (we go back and forth between all raw and high raw). However, he wasn’t always a vegan (read about our beginnings here in my post To Date or Not to Date a Carnivore). But, he is now. His answer when people ask about the way he eats and whether he misses meat, “Are you kidding? My wife is a Raw Vegan chef. I live like a movie star… I look up from my computer when I’m working, and there is a plate full of amazing food! We want to live long healthy lives together, and this is the way to do it.”


But it took some convincing initially. When my husband first started looking into the plant-based diet with me, he did his own research (he’s very sciency). He did his own reading, not only into the health aspects of raw and vegan food, but he also seriously questioned whether he’d be able to maintain his muscle mass and strength on this diet. And not just maintain it, but actually he wanted to get bigger and stronger, despite being 38 at the time. It had always been hard for him to put on muscle. Prior to meeting me, through trial and error, he had figured out that, for his ectomorphic body type, he needed a lot of protein to add mass which he derived almost exclusively from whey protein shakes. So, I promised him we’d make it happen, one way or another with plenty or raw and vegan foods. If he needed protein, I’d give him protein. Only now he would be consuming clean, efficient, non-cancer-promoting protein. None of that nasty, acidic animal based protein that burns dirty and can make you tired… not to mention, ehem… unhealthy! Suffice it to say, he was excited… but with so few role models, understandably skeptical.

The verdict? Plants work!! His strength has increased, and he can maintain (or gain mass) based on his diet and workout routine. In fact, after an involuntary hiatus brought on by a shoulder injury, he is now bench-pressing his lifetime personal best, using only plants as food!

So, how does he do it specifically? It’s a pretty simple formula that works for him. Dedication. Working out. Extra protein (much of which is from protein shakes). He strength trains about 5 days a week. And… he’s in awesome shape.

When researching vegan proteins, I came across some excellent information in Brendan Brazier’s book, Thrive. In it, he describes how to get an optimal ratio of essential amino acids from plant sources. Specifically, a mixture of hemp protein, brown rice protein, and pea protein. Through the Vega product line, Brendan sells a protein powder blend that consisted of those proteins. (Update 8/17/11: I don’t care for the taste of the Whole Food Health Optimizer line from Vega, but we do like the Sport Performance and Shake & Go lines.) I decided to make my own blends and researched ways to make my own custom mixture of proteins using Brendan’s ideas to get me started.

Enter: Raw Vegan “Protein Grenades.” What are Raw Vegan Protein Grenades? They are mini glass mason filled jars filled with one pre-mixed shake’s worth of Raw Vegan protein powders. Just dump into a shaker cup, add water, and shake! Each Grenade is pre-mixed to contain an optimal amino acid profile — all from plant-based proteins. The recipe varies slightly from week to week, because I like to change it up for fun. Some of the different elements are included in the photo below (but I’m always trying new products so that photo doesn’t show it all), but you can get an idea of some of the goodies involved. Because there are some days when my husband drinks anywhere from 2 to 5 of these shakes (depending on what we’re doing, eating, or his workout routine and goals), I vary the ingredients accordingly. For example, if he is loading up and drinks 4-5 shakes in a day, then the amount of green powder and fruit powder will be about 1 teaspoon per Grenade. But if he only drinks 1-2 per day, then I increase the green powder and fruit powder in each one, so he ends up getting roughly the same amount of super mega phytonutrients. (I always make sure he gets a hellalotta nutrients in addition to protein.) 

Different Amounts For Different Goals: During periods when my husband is doing intense training and really getting lean, it can be common for him to drink up to 4-5 Raw Vegan Protein Grenades daily plus he’ll eat one meal, usually a huge organic salad loaded with veggies alongside a cooked vegan protein (beans, lentils, soy, or Gardein), or sometimes it’s an all-raw vegan dinner like lasagna, tacos, or zucchini pasta marinara. When gaining strength or mass isn’t his goal… meaning that he is in a maintenance phase without the intense training schedule, then he usually drinks 1-2 Protein Grenades a day, and eats about 2 meals which are moderate to high raw, plus snacks as he desires (some examples of snacks he likes: fresh green juice, green smoothies, sprouted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, sprouts, raisins, hemp seeds, prunes, fruit, etc). And, of course, there are some days where he skips the Grenades altogether, and his diet is filled with delicious raw and vegan whole foods. It varies based on his goals at the time, but the bottom line is that because of this super easy Grenade innovation, he can be very flexible yet consistently get plenty of protein.

The Assembly Line: To make life easy on myself, I make up a bunch of Raw Vegan Protein Grenades every few days. I do it in an assembly line fashion. It’s actually fun. If my husband has meetings outside of the home for the day, then he takes a bag of Grenades along with a shaker bottle and water, and he’s all set. Each Protein Grenade has roughly 40-45 grams of pure, raw, vegan, potent protein. If it’s true that raw vegan protein is assimilated better than cooked protein, then you can imagine how powerful these Grenades really are.


Here is a list of items that might be included (not all at once, although many make an appearance):

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Thursday, January 21st, 2010

All Raw Food Intake – Pregnancy Food Journal – Wednesday


Today is an ALL RAW DAY for this pregnant, eco-friendly mama! I started the day by taking the dog for a nice long walk. My midwife says that walking is the best exercise in prepping for birth. Therefore, I make it a point to walk 1-2 (usually it’s 2) miles 5-6 days a week. It’s also instrumental in helping keep my weight in check for a healthy pregnancy weight gain. So far so good! My weight is right on track.






All food is organic.

Green Juice (1 quart)
2 tomatoes, 1/3 bunch celery, 2 large cucumbers, small bunch swiss chard
It was really great. Look at all that GREEEEN!

I took the leftover pulp and made a small batch of Raw vegan crackers by adding ground flax meal, tamari, coconut vinegar, and orange zest. They are dehydrating in my Excalibur dehydrator now and they smell fantastic. I can’t wait to enjoy them tomorrow.


Gently Spiced Omega Protein Shake (3 cups)
I’ll post this recipe on January 28, so be sure to check back for it. It’s one of my new faves!




10 Raisins - Yummy little snack

Zippy Energy Soup (3 cups)
This is sooooo fresh and good. Love this recipe – I’ll be sharing it with you January 26, so come on back to get it. It’s nourishing and makes a perfect light lunch or snack. Mmmmm!

2 Small Raw Chocolates
Same as the other day. I dove into my freezer for 2 pieces of the Mint Chocolate Jazz. I’ve been asked many times now about my feelings regarding chocolate while trying to conceive and while pregnant. I am featuring this as a post on my blog on January 24th, so you can check it out then.

Large Fresh Salad w/ A Creamy Tangy Dressing
This salad had romaine, cabbage, red bell pepper, and it was topped with leftover dressing from the other day, a revised Light-n-Livey Tahini Parsley Dressing. Only this time, I took the left over dressing and blended 1/2 of an avocado into it. The result is a decadent creamy and tangy dressing. Avocado is especially great for pregnant mamas because it’s loaded with fiber, B-vitamins, folate, and healthy fats. Yum! Oh yeah, I had a pickle on the side… of course.

That’s it so far. I’ll probably get hungry later because I’m going to need more calories. If I do here is the plan…

Plain Protein Shake
1 cup water with 2 scoops Raw Vegan Sun Warrior Protein Powder. Shake it up. Drink it down.

Raisins and Walnuts
I’m really enjoying raisins the past 3 days which is unusual for me. I’ve always liked them but was never drawn to them like now. The walnuts give me an extra boost of protein and omegas.

Carrots
I love snacking on carrots because they have a little sweetness coupled with a lot of crunch. It’d be smart if I ate these with something that had some fat because the beta-carotene is better assimilated when in the presence of fat. Hhmmm… I know. I have leftover dressing from above, so I’ll dip them in that!

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Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

High Raw, All Vegan Food Intake – Pregnancy Food Journal – Monday

Here was my delicious day!


Kashi Organic Shredded Wheat w/ Raw Granola topped with Organic Rice Milk
I was famished when I woke up today and I wanted something QUICK! Monkey was hungry! So, I ran for a bowl of cereal. The Raw part was the granola, which was from the company Two Mom’s In The Raw (they now have their raw vegan granola available at Starbucks!) I like the granola for the most part but sometimes I get a funny taste in my mouth with it.

1 Quart fresh organic Greeeeen Juice
After the cereal, my body was craving something pure, fresh, Raw, and alkalizing. I made a juice with my Hurom juicer comprised of the following ingredients: cucumbers, kale, Swiss chard, lemon, and celery. It was fabulous. Green juice does a body GOOD!

2 small Raw Chocolates
About a year ago I made the Mint Chocolate Jazz recipe from my book, Kristen Suzanne’s Ultimate Raw Vegan Chocolate Recipes. I enjoyed 2 of them. They remind me exactly of York Peppermint Patties – only my recipe is healthy! I love having a freezer full of organic Raw vegan chocolates for those times you need a bite. Mmmmm! (I don’t eat a lot of Raw chocolate while pregnant, but a little bit here and there.)

Huge Salad with Light-n-Lively Tahini Parsley Dressing
My salad was seriously large. It was filled with organic romaine, carrot, and red bell pepper topped with a version of my Light-n-Lively Tahini Parsley Dressing from my book, Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Salads & Dressings – except that I used cilantro instead of parsley. Cilantro is a great herb that is full of nutrition and has the ability to help draw toxins (especially heavy metals) from the body.

Celery with fancy schmancy nut butters
In practicing to be a mommy, I went to the kitchen with the intent on making the kid-friendly Ants On A Log recipe. Instead, I ended up using Rejuvenative’s Raw Vegan Organic Almond Butter for two celery logs and their fancy schmancy Pecan Pie Butter (they sent me samples). I write fancy schmancy because the Pecan Pie Butter tastes unique and gourmet. It’s made from pecans, dates, almonds, cinnamon, cardamon, and nutmeg. I ended up liking the Pecan Pie Butter even more than the almond butter today. It was so yummy on the celery.

I made a quicky shake with 2 scoops of raw protein powder mixed with water. It filled my up nicely for a while.






2 cups organic Greeeeen Juice
I made extra juice when I made my morning batch and here is where I finished it off.




2 organic bananas & 1 small organic pickle
I love bananas… aren’t they like the perfect FAST snack. They’re sweet, nutritious, inexpensive, and did I say FAST? If you make sure that you keep a steady supply of these on your counter than you can do all sorts of things from eating them plain (did I mention what a FAST snack it is?) to blending them into smoothies, sauces, nut milks, desserts, and soups.

The pickle… well, I am pregnant. ;)

2 “Pretty High Raw” Tostadas (organic)
These were made from sprouted corn tortillas from Food for Life (they’re not raw but they’re pretty much minimally processed). I topped them with cooked black beans, (raw) fresh salsa, (raw) guacamole, (raw) lettuce, and (raw) Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce.

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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Protein During Pregnancy

Although I don’t normally subscribe to people getting lots of protein in their diets, there are two groups that I believe should get a little more – pregnant moms and growing children. How much is “a little more?” Well, that is a good question and I don’t really have an answer. But, here is how I’m handling it with my pregnancy (I’ll address growing children and protein when I have one). I’m not a midwife or a doctor or a nutritionist, so I’m taking in information from various experts I know and sources (including lots of books and online research with my MacBook), and I’m adding my own mama intuition to weave my own blanket of a plan.


I’ve been advised by some people (as well as what I’ve read in some natural childbirth books) that a pregnant mom will do well with a daily protein consumption of 75-90 grams a day (the higher range being extra recommended during the third trimester according to some experts – for baby brain development). Some of these books and experts support a vegetarian diet for pregnant moms, so I know that they “get it” at least to some degree. 75-90 grams a day is a bit high for me when I’m consuming mostly raw… unless I want to drink protein shakes with Raw sprouted brown rice powder. I do this on those days that I want to tip the scale higher for protein (it’s easy and quick). But, I don’t always want to rely on it for protein because whole food sources are healthier. On the days that I have cooked organic vegan protein such as beans, lentils, quinoa, organic tofu, etc… it’s easier to get a higher quantity. However, having one meal like that doesn’t always get my day’s total to 75 grams when the rest of my day is Raw. That being said, I also believe that Raw protein is better assimilated and better digested. Therefore, I probably don’t need as many grams as 75-90 most days since that recommended 75-90 grams is likely based on cooked protein recommendations (not much is written about pregnant moms and Raw vegan protein), and it probably takes more cooked protein to assimilate what I might get with a Raw diet. Hhmmm… but I don’t have the magic answer.

So… what makes me feel most comfortable is to have a mix. Some days I get higher protein with both Raw and cooked vegan protein sources. Some days I get whatever protein comes naturally with my Raw food intake. Plus! I consume various superfoods (I just love that word… makes me feel like a superhero, Wonder Woman – lol – I’m a kid at heart). Pretty much on a daily basis I have hemp foods. Did you know that a mere 2 tablespoons of Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds contain a whopping 11 grams of complete vegetarian protein? And, I also add Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder to some of my smoothies (2 heaping tablespoons give about 15 grams of complete vegetarian protein). Then, probably 3-5 days a week, I take spirulina tablets, wheat grass tablets, and chlorella tablets. Those pack a nice punch of protein.

So… what do you think about the protein debate with respect to children and pregnancy?

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Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Caravan of Dreams Dinner Date With Friends In New York & Saturday’s Raw Food Plan

The other night we met up with my good buddies Gena (of the awesome blog, Choosing Raw) and Cassie for some dinner at Caravan of Dreams (this restaurant is organic and vegan with plenty of Raw options). I kept my food Raw by having their delicious Avocado Coconut soup and a large, fresh salad that came with a delightfully spicy dressing that made my taste buds dance. My husband had a cooked vegan dish which was a burrito with seitan in it (very tasty). Gena and Cassie also kept it Raw with soup and salad. My salad came with nori strips which I asked for on the side. I agreed to try those – again. Try, I did. Twice. I just can’t do it. Ugh. Can’t stand eating sea veggies. I sure wish I could, but I can’t. I’ll stick to hiding dulse and kelp in my smoothies and raw soups instead of tossing it on salads where I actually have to bite into it. In the picture, that’s Gena on the left, me in the middle, and Cassie on the right.


Saturday’s Raw Vegan Food Plan
I have an awesome day of simple Raw food planned (read this post to learn how planning your Raw food for the day can motivate you to succeed with the Raw vegan lifestyle). It’s 9am and I have my list of food. I have a couple of goals with this list. First, I want to make sure I consume the fresh organic produce we bought the other day in a timely fashion. Second, since our embryo transfer is tomorrow, I think it’s smart to make this a day of really easy digestion and nutrient dense food. Sure, that’s usually how my diet is… but by making my food in the apartment and having most of it blended, I’m doing it more so (ensuring it’s all organic, all fresh, and all made with extra love energy).

I would like to find a place with organic wheat grass shots, too, if possible. I know, that last video showing my grimace doesn’t make it sound too appetizing when I think about it, but it’s so good for my body. And, once the embryo is transfered, it’s good for my monkey. I’m taking Amazing Grass wheat grass pills while I’m traveling but I’d like to get some fresh wheatgrass in, too. Ehem, I say I’d like to do it now, but ask me after I drink it.

1/2 quart filtered water with fresh squeezed organic lemon (let me just say here that everything I eat today is organic)
This is a great way for my body to get a little gently cleansing done in the morning after a night of sleep.

1 cup Raspberry Leaf Tea
I’m strengthening my uterus as much as possible by drinking this daily until the big day tomorrow!

Protein Shake (water, Sun Warrior’s Raw Rice Protein)
This is simple, easy, and I just chug it down quickly.

1 quart Green Smoothie (water, cilantro, spinach, fresh squeezed orange juice, bananas)
The vitamin C in the orange juice helps my body better assimilate the iron in the spinach. I can’t wait to drink this!


Garden Guacamole (with red leaf lettuce wraps)
This is the recipe I made the other day, only I made a bigger batch of it yesterday. I’m posting the recipe tomorrow, so be sure to check back. It’s fabulous.






Nutrient Soup (water, fresh lemon and lime juice, dinosaur kale, heirloom tomato, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, celery, avocado, salt)
I love making Raw soups like this. They’re super easy, really filling because of the fiber and the avocado, and they’re so nutritious.

If I’m hungry later tonight, I’ll have some Raw granola and Raw sunflower seed milk.

Have an awesome day and make it a point to eat more Raw Vegan today! Your body will thank you. The environment will thank you. The animals will thank you.

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Sunday, September 13th, 2009

High Raw Food For The Day – Pure Deliciousness

Today’s awesome High Raw food (all organic):


Organic Herbal Tea
My favorite brands of tea are Mountain Rose Herbs and Traditional Medicinals. Today I made a mixture of Raspberry Leaf, Nettle, and Alfalfa. Nice female tonic. Go girl!

Pretty & Jazzy Juice
This juice was so dang pretty, I didn’t want to drink it. I just wanted to stare at it. I made it with my Breville and it contained 2 oranges (peeled), 7 smallish/medium carrots, big ol’ knob of ginger. The orange and carrots made it pretty and the heavy ginger gave it some jazz. It was AWESOME! (I should have taken a picture of it.)

Big-Ass Protein Shake
Chocolate Sun Warrior Raw Sprouted Rice Protein (my favorite protein powder), Hemp Protein (awesome complete protein giving much needed essential fatty acids – Got Hemp?), dash of stevia powder, and Amazing Grass Wheat Grass Powder (I take this when I travel to ensure I’m getting plenty of alkalizing greens)

Handful of pumpkin seeds
These were soaked, sprouted and dehydrated. They’re a great source for iron and zinc. Yum! Zinc is important for fertility, especially male fertility!

Fresh Raw Zucchini & Cucumber Pasta

I spiralized zucchini and cucumber with my Benriner Turning Slicer (demonstrated toward the end of this video). I put it in a bowl and added fresh squeezed lemon juice, Himalayan crystal salt and black pepper. Then, I diced up red bell pepper and avocado (using the fruit scooper in this video to get all my avocado out), and threw that on top. Finally, I added fresh raw corn cut from the cob and tossed that in. My husband and I were loving up this fresh concoction. *NOTE: it’s best to cut and use the juice from lemons right before serving (when possible) because from the moment of cutting, you start to lose the precious vitamin C… like, by the minute.

Buckwheat and Fresh Veggies
I mixed up a little cooked buckwheat with a bunch of fresh raw veggies and non sweet fruit and topped it with a fantastic raw sauce mixture of tahini, tamari, ginger, and other awesome flavorings.

Dessert?
Ehem…. Chocolate Crunch Hazelnut Macaroons! (recipe here, book here)
I didn’t have hazelnuts, so I used a mixture of hemp seeds, (soaked, sprouted and dehydrated) sunflower seeds, and (soaked and dehydrated) walnuts. *TIP: I have a ready supply of these gems in my freezer so I can quickly grab one whenever I want. That’s one of the keys to succeeding with the raw vegan lifestyle. Have food on hand, already made, ready to eat. Trust me. When I’m going to a restaurant, I can grab my Raw dessert and stash it in my purse so when I get a craving for dessert, I can gobble up my secret treat. When I arrive home from a day of running errands, I like knowing that I can go to my countertop ready to eat snacks and enjoy a nutritious snack (things like garlic basil chia crisps, prunes, dates, sprouted / dehydrated sunflower and pumpkin seeds, goji berries, raisins, etc).

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Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Today’s Food Intake

by Kristen Suzanne in hemp protein, sun warrior rice protein

Here is list of what I’m eating today for Monkey and me. Everything is organic (of course). Can I just say AGAIN how happy I am to be pregnant. Oh joy joy joy!!!!! I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I can hardly contain my excitement… I just want to jump up and down all day (no worries, though, I’m not really doing any jumping).


Over the next week I plan on introducing you to my AWESOME doula, as well as my midwife, plus I will continue to write the foods I’m eating since many of you are interested in that. I also recorded a quick video about growing sprouts. Look for that this week or next. Oh, and I plan on sending out my email newsletter this week. If you’re not signed up yet, you can do so here. There will be plenty of goodies, including a couple of my latest recipes.


1.5 cups Raspberry Leaf Tea

2 cups watermelon

8 oz yellow lentil soup, 4 Tablespoons golden hummus, a lavash cracker, 1/2 cup quinoa
We went to lunch here and it was really good. I wanted to get an all Raw lunch, but they couldn’t serve us that in the limited 1/2 hour my mom and I had… so we chose things from the menu that we’re quick to get served (soup, hummus, quinoa). It’s very good food and I’m eager to go back for the Raw goodies.

1/2 quart Plant Blood (cucumber, cilantro, lime, carrot)
I used my Breville to make this quickly.

1/4 cup raisins

Large Protein Shake (Sun Warrior Rice Protein, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein, Amazing Grass Wheat Grass Powder, ground sprouted flax seeds, cinnamon) I have the vanilla flavor rice protein although that link shows you the chocolate. No chocolate for me while I’m pregnant.


Giant Salad: romaine lettuce, chopped red bell pepper and cucumber, sauerkraut, hemp seeds, and topped with left over Fresh Summer Hot Salsa and Elegant Guacamole (salsa and guac pictured here)

If I’m hungry later, I’ll probably snack on prunes and maybe have a glass of cucumber/carrot/spinach plant blood





Other items I had today:
5 tablets Sequel Naturals chlorella
8 tablets Pine’s Wheat Grass
New Chapter PreNatals
NuTru DHA
Jarrow B12

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Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Today’s Raw Food – Plus Video!

Today I had a high energy, organic, raw vegan food day. It’s been AWESOME and I feel on top of the world. Yowza!


Watermelon (3 1/2 cups)

Bleh Protein Smoothie
OK, this kind of tasted like crap. I winced the whole time I was drinking it. It had filtered water, raw rice protein powder (vanilla flavor, I like the chocolate much better), hemp protein powder, Amazing Grass wheat grass powder, and an orange (peeled). I chugged it down and was glad to be done with it. Bleh.

Watermelon (2 cups)
Remember! One of the main food combining rules (to always follow) is eating melons alone. So, I had this watermelon more than an hour after my protein shake (giving my shake time to digest and leave my stomach).


Fresh Green Juice (3 cups)
Vibrant, delicious, nutritious… this stuff made my cells dance all day long. Green juice, or as you know I love to call it, Plant Blood, is SO good for you!!! Today’s concoction had (all organic) dinosaur kale, celery, dandelion greens, oranges and apple. I used my good ol’ Green Star for this baby! That machine is amazing and is truly worth every penny.


Watermelon (3 cups)
What can I say? I LOVE WATERMELON!!!!!!!!!!!!

Plain Sauerkraut (1/2 cup), 3 Prunes
I made another batch of sauerkraut today but this time I made it with cabbage, carrots, and a little cayenne pepper. I shot some video of the process and will post it later this week. Stay tuned!

Giant Fresh Salad
Tonight’s salad was a big bowl filled with romaine lettuce, shredded carrot, diced avocado and a special dressing that I made using an ingredient I’ve not used before now. I will report back later about what it was. Know this, it was scrumptious!

Plain Sauerkraut (1/2 cup), 2 Prunes

I suspect I’ll get hungry later. If (when) I do, I plan on eating organic cherries and maybe the organic white peach I picked up at Whole Foods last night.

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Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Tuesday’s Raw Food Intake :)

It’s been a pretty lean day… I estimate that I took in about 1200 calories.


3 cups watermelon (I love watermelon!)

4 cups watermelon

1/2 cup raw organic sauerkraut from Gold Mine Natural Foods

Protein Shake (3 T Sun Warrior Raw Rice Protein Powder, 1 heaping T Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder, 2 cups water, dash cinnamon)

Salad (3 cups romaine lettuce, 1 red bell pepper, 1/4 cup sauerkraut, 1.5 T of Mustard Seed Dill Dressing – YUM! love that dressing – my husband was licking his bowl – will post recipe in the future)

Protein Shake (3 T Sun Warrior Raw Rice Protein Powder, 1 heaping T Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder, 2 cups water, dash cinnamon)

4 cups watermelon

Salad (4 cups romaine lettuce, 1/2 yellow bell pepper, 2 T sauerkraut – this time it was from my homemade batch!, 1.5 T of Mustard Seed Dill Dressing)
1/2 cup broccoli on the side

Small Protein Shake (2 T Sun Warrior Raw Rice Protein Powder, 2 cups water, dash cinnamon)

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