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Celebrate Meatless Monday Like an Olympian: High Protein without Soy

Posted Aug 06 2012 5:03pm

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In the introduction for Jannequin Bennett’s  book, Very Vegetarian , Carl Lewis wrote: “It’s a myth that muscles, strength and endurance require the consumption of large quantities of animal-based foods.” Lewis should know as he is the winner of 10 Olympic medals — 9 gold and 1 silver.

He is not the only Olympian to follow a vegetarian diet. Olympiads like Chris Campbell, Lizzie Armitstead, Surya Bonaly and Murray Rose, prove that vegan and vegetarian foods– which are typically better for your body and for the planet–can provide the necessary nutrients for muscle mass.

cahlingandreas.jpg  Andreas Cahling, Swedish body builder and Olympic gold ski jumper, is a prime example of a vegan that knows how to convert plant-proteins into strong muscles.

Meatless Monday is an opportunity to add more plant-based nutrients into your diet, even if you do not wish to completely commit to being a vegetarian or vegan like these Olympians.

Having a diet low in fat and filled with complete proteins may improve your overall health. The hormones found in meat and dairy are great for cell reproduction, but if you have cancer you may be proliferating the bad cells instead of the good.

Many vegans and vegetarians rely heavily on soy-based products such as soy milk and tofu. While these are great options for many people, it is not appropriate for chemotherapy patients because soy is very high in estrogen.

So, what’s a girl to do to be strong like an Olympian while still avoiding soy?

Here is my personal recipe for my favorite morning smoothie. It is low in fat and calories and surprisingly high in complete proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is completely vegan, gluten-free and beyond delicious.

Lana’s Soy-less Vegan Smoothie

1 cup - ice

1/2 banana

1/2 cup - blueberries

1 scoop - PlantFusion unflavored protein powder (21g of protein per serving!)

1 tbsp. - freeze dried goji berry powder

1 tbsp. - peanut butter (for less fat, I use defatted peanut butter powder like, PB2)

1/4 c - unsweetened almond milk or coconut water

1 tsp. - agave nectar (optional, I don’t typically use it)

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