Where do we get our protein after workouts?
This is a question so often laughed at among vegans, but it is an honest inquiry among non-vegans and one I don’t blame non-vegans for asking. In fact, I once wondered the same thing. We are taught by family, by advertisements, by teachers, by news that meat, dairy, and eggs are the best and, presumably, only sources for protein. However that is not the case. Not by a long shot.
Since going vegan back in March, I’ve actually been astounded by how easy it is to get protein into my diet, and, dare I say, easier than when I was eating meat. Things like quinoa, lentils, tempeh, sprouted breads, green leafy vegetables, and oats all contain very high amounts of protein. And for me, the very fact that I don’t have to cook and prepare each and every meal like I did before switching to veganism is huge. You can’t exactly eat very many raw animal products without some sort of bacterial or parasitic risk, so cooking is pretty much a necessity for every meal.
That being said, after I workout I am in absolutely no mood to prepare much of anything, even if it is a simple vegan meal. When you exercise strenuously, one of the first things you need to do immediately afterward is replenish the glucose and electrolytes your body burned up as fuel and consume protein to facilitate immediate muscle repair. The window of time this is needed varies on who you listen to, but I try to refuel no longer than 30-40 minutes post-workout.
One of the easiest and quickest ways for me to do this is a protein smoothie.
But first, finding a suitable protein as a vegan that is A.) free of preservatives and artificial colors and flavors and B.) doesn’t taste like absolute trash can be a challenge. Discovering MRM pretty much made my life in this regard. We were turned on to MRM by Natalie Hodson last year and since then, I have been consistently impressed by the quality of every one of their products that I’ve tried. The Veggie Elite line of protein is high quality and contains a very high protein content per serving (24g).
So, once I get home from the gym, this is what one of my smoothies looks like:
-1/2 cup of frozen fruit (preferably organic wild blueberries or organic mixed berries)
-1 huge handful of spinach (handfuls are suitable measurements, right?)
-1 scoop of MRM’s vanilla bean-flavored Veggie Elite protein
-1 cup of organic apple juice
-1 cup of water (I like my smoothies runny so I can just open up the hatch and pour it down my gullet. If you don’t, simply half the amount of apple juice and water.)
*Optional – Add 3-4 drops of lime essential oil if you want your taste buds to explode!