General nutrition

I thought I’d throw out some general nutrition tips and thoughts and experiences I’ve had, in a more general form than “lol this is wut i eat”.

First, on veganism. In the rare situation that people actually ask about what it’s like to eat vegan, it almost always follows a pretty standard form. It is an incredibly common question, “How on earth do you get enough protein as a vegan?!” (if the much less sophisticated question isn’t asked: “LOL what DO you eat?!?“).

The response to this is: believe me, I get so much protein. Sometimes too much. It’s ridiculously easy to get enough, whatever your lifestyle.

First of all, if you’re not doing some sort of musculo-skeletal (ie resistance) training or workout, your protein requirements aren’t even remotely as high as we’re often told needed. That is to say, if you’re a sedentary adult, your protein requirement will be about .4 grams per lb of body weight (source). You can find this information anywhere (even webmd talks about how this is a little bit HIGH).

You can ALSO easily find all the discussion on how eating too much excess protein leads invariably to obesity. Your body, the resourceful little bugger it is, knows (evolutionarily speaking) that protein is awesome. So it tries to save it. Except you don’t store it as protein, you store it as fat. Mmm.

Whereas if you’re an active adult, burning through the fuel and needing muscles to be rebuilt (some types of running, definitely weightlifting, intense yoga, climbing, hard biking, etc), this need DOUBLES. For active adult males, it goes up to ~.7 or .8 per lb of body weight.

MORAL OF THE STORY. Even as an incredibly active adult, (I, for example, weigh 180, and supposedly need 126 grams of protein a day), I get as much protein as I need with only a slight supplementation of my regular diet.

As my metabolism soars (as it has been the past couple weeks, as my week mileage has been steadily pushing over 30, and 2 days a week of strength-building activities), I’m just eating all the time. And everything I eat has at least some protein in it (with Top Ramen being the exception, ahem).

I don’t even think about “oh man I need more protein,” because I just listen to my body. After a hard yoga class, or working out in the gym, I crave protein, hard. The evening after a really long run? I crave a rich, heavy food.

Think about it this way: our bodies are these amazing, near-perfectly evolved mechanisms. Nature knows her shit, for sure. When my body needs a surplus of calories (like after yesterday, when I was running for two hours), or heavy, protein-rich food (like after any exercise where lots of muscle mass has been broken down and needs repair), my appetite follows suit.

This is the key to eating healthy. Just listen to your body! If your body is saying “dude we need more salad,” eat more salad. If it’s craving carbs, eat carbs. If it’s craving heavy, rich food, eat something higher in protein. The key difference here is knowing the difference between what your MOUTH craves, and what your BODY craves. Because they are oh my god so different.

So! Why do I drink Vega?

Well, I almost never eat breakfast. I’m just not hungry in the morning. Some people suggest that you should always eat breakfast (most important meal of….you get the point), while others suggest that you should just eat when you’re hungry. Your body knows best.

So I split the difference. And, as most of my stuff goes, I just experiment, and see how it works. Drinking a smoothie in the morning actually helps a lot. I feel better, stronger, for longer on my runs, it doesn’t drastically affect the rest of my appetite. And I can definitely use the extra protein, as every single run in minimalist shoes is, in essence, an hour+ calf workout.

This is getting too long.

TL;DR version: You don’t need a million grams of protein a day! Don’t over-eat protein, it becomes fat! Listen to your body’s food needs. If you listen carefully, you won’t be steered wrong. Find a BALANCE, and experiment with what works for you.

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