starrya

Choosing vegetarian "extra" protein(s)

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I've finished reading the book and am planning on starting mid-month, but I need to figure out what to do about protein. I eat some eggs, but I don't think eggs alone are going to be enough to get me through the 30 days.

 

So how to choose vegetarian proteins? I've read the book and website section, and here are a couple of thoughts.

 

It seems like (for elimination purposes) it makes the most sense to choose a limited type of additional protein. Like, not tofu AND yogurt AND legumes, but maybe one of those. Theoretically I could manage with only whey protein and eggs. (Although I realize that smoothies and shakes aren't encouraged, a protein shake every day or two combined with eggs would be enough protein.)

 

That said, my reason for trying Whole30 is to try to get my body used to burning fat. Because of a metabolic disorder, my body doesn't like to do that which results in low energy without frequently eating carbs and a difficult time losing weight. The idea is that the Whole30 will force my body to use fat as an energy source, and hopefully help me resist high sugar / high simple carb snacks as a way to keep my energy up after the 30 days are over.

 

I don't currently suspect any food sensitivities, though I haven't done an elimination diet so it's really hard to know.

 

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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Do you eat fish at all?  Whole30 can definitely be done with eggs only, there was a member that did at least one Whole30 with eggs as her only protein. Search the forum if you get a chance, you'll find her threads.

 

I would really, really discourage you from having protein shakes/smoothies, especially in light of your goals for Whole30.  Liquid food, especially that which is blended with sugar-heavy ingredients like lots of fruits, are going to prevent you from the very goals you set out.  Also, I doubt very much you will find a whey protein powder which doesn't contain any other off plan ingredients like sweeteners.

 

It's up to you what you choose to use.  From a strictly elimination standpoint, if you can do with just the eggs as protein (or fish if you consume it), you will end up with a full-body reset that will allow you to reintroduce the vegetarian protein sources and see how they affect you.  

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No, I don't eat fish. If I did, I wouldn't be worried about trying to do Whole30 with just eggs.

 

I'm not doubting that it is *possible* to do an egg only Whole30, but as someone who is generally active and lifts weights twice a week, I'm not sure the minimum protein is going to be enough. Eggs only have 6 grams of protein, so I'd have to eat 8 per day to get the minimum recommendation of 46g, which is already a pretty excessive number of eggs. If I find that 46g is not enough (likely because of my size and activity level), then what?

 

Also, I didn't say anything about fruit in my protein shakes, and I already have a protein powder without added sugar or artificial sweetener. That said, I realize that liquid food isn't ideal, which is why I'm asking this question.

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Whole30 does not abide by "grams of protein"  and its minimum recommendation is based on your hand size.  The reason being is that the SAD targets are cookie-cutter recommendations that do nothing to take into account the individual context of unique humans.  It also causes people to focus on a pre-determined number (calories, carb grams, protein grams, fat grams etc) rather than listening to their bodies.  Needs fluctuate and if we focussed on a specific number or even a number range, the need to meet that number drowns out all the other cues.

 

It sounds like you may need to eat to the top end of the template.  Eggs, when they are your sole protein, are as many as you can hold in one hand without dropping.  For most people, even smaller women, that is at least 3-4.  So more than likely if you were doing W30 with just eggs, you would be eating in the neighborhood of 9-12 of them before pre and post workout was taken into consideration.

 

Congrats on finding the protein powder with no other non-compliant ingredients, it's nearly a unicorn!  And yes, you didn't specifically say anything about blending it with fruits, that was a comment based on the most common use of protein powders.  If yours is unsweetened though, may I ask how you're planning on consuming it? In my experience unsweetened protein powders are ghastly if not masked somehow. 

 

To answer your question, we would still not recommend you drink meals.  The only thing that changes between an omnivorous Whole30 and a vegetarian one is that you can select whatever veggie protein sources you like.  The recommendations such as "no smoothies, don't drink your calories" still stands.

 

There aren't really any "for better results choose this" recommendations for vegetarian protein sources so unfortunately we can't really recommend whether you should stick with one, two, many or specific ones. In theory it makes sense to stick to just one other protein source but unfortunately if whatever you choose happens to irritate your gut or cause inflammation, all the reintroductions following that could be skewed.  That said, as an adult, you can do whatever you like so if that ends up being smoothies/protein shakes, you're welcome to it.   :)

 

Finally, if you haven't read it yet, here's a good article about the Veg Whole30.  It does outline the better choices within some of the vegetarian protein options but unfortunately doesn't make any recommendations about what you would be better off choosing.

 

http://whole30.com/2015/06/veg-whole30/

 

Best of luck!

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There aren't really any "for better results choose this" recommendations for vegetarian protein sources so unfortunately we can't really recommend whether you should stick with one, two, many or specific ones. In theory it makes sense to stick to just one other protein source but unfortunately if whatever you choose happens to irritate your gut or cause inflammation, all the reintroductions following that could be skewed.  That said, as an adult, you can do whatever you like so if that ends up being smoothies/protein shakes, you're welcome to it.   :)

 

Finally, if you haven't read it yet, here's a good article about the Veg Whole30.  It does outline the better choices within some of the vegetarian protein options but unfortunately doesn't make any recommendations about what you would be better off choosing.

 

http://whole30.com/2015/06/veg-whole30/

 

Best of luck!

 

I'm confused... isn't that article ""for better results choose this" recommendations for vegetarian protein" ? That appears to be exactly what it is. 

 

Also, I didn't come up with the idea of whey protein all on my own, it is suggested in that very article that you linked, which indeed I have already read, along with the book. A quote from the article:

 

"You could also use a whey protein powder from grass-fed, organic sources, which would provide the protein you need with fewer downsides than other dairy products (including cheese)."

 

I appreciate what you're saying - obviously if you don't eliminate something and have sensitivities to it you would have poor results and your reaction would skew reintroductions. That said, it's not only possible with vegetarian proteins! What if I have a sensitivity to eggs or nightshades? In that case I could do the original Whole30 and have all reintroductions skewed. (This very scenario with nightshades and FODMAPs is even mentioned in the book.)

 

It seems odd to me that the Whole30 purports to be "welcoming" to vegetarians, and makes modification suggestions, but then has a board filled with people trying to say that the very suggestions made in the book etc. are bad.

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Ha, yes, the article does list the proteins that are more favourable on the veg plan, what I meant was they are not going to tell you to pick one over the other, that's a personal choice.  Sorry I wasn't clear. Maybe that wasn't even your original question and I've muddied the waters.

 

And yes, of course people can have trouble with Whole30 approved items, it happens all the time and we recommend that people tweak their Whole30 as they go or to do another Whole30 without the offending items and see how they go.  That would be our recommendation to you as well.  For anyone, we would recommend that they keep going on Whole30 and not introduce any new foods while experiencing any inflammation or gut upset.  This can sometimes take longer than 30 days.  

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Hi - I was wondering if you could share the name/brand of your protein powder? I am a vegetarian but don't like a lot of eggs. I do eat fish, but am very active so have a hard time finding protein. I am almost finished my whole 30 and plan on keeping a lot of it going after Mondsy

Thanks

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Well I'm unsure how this all worked out for you but I did a whole30 actually closer to a whole60 with exclusively eggs. I personally think it's easier with fish and/or meat. I tried the type of yogurt compliant for vegetarians and though I like the variety it added, I felt better when I didn't have it. So it didn't even make it a week.

It went extremely well for me and I'm extremely active(at the time of my first round I average 25-30 miles a week running & lots of Pilates w/weight training once a week) and in my  late 30's.

The main things I tweaked that worked for me was adding lots of fat  & some potatoes EVERY meal. And pre & post meals were essential for me.

I'm doing another round now and might try some of the suggested protein sources-unsure yet. I'm lifting more now but training  for a 10 mile race and a half marathon so will listen to my body & adjust as needed.

HTH!

 

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