Vegans and Protein

November 17th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Hi there, for those of you who do not know, I am vegan.

Furthermore, I am also a geek, and an efficiency geek.   Part of the guidelines of those two prior statements is that I look for the best solutions to problems, and I look for ways in which they can be replicated with ease, with as little effort as possible, and consumable by all the masses.

It is with great pain I feel I have to write this post, but this is not the first time I’ve broached this particular subject, in fact I’ve touched on this subject in my personal and professional life hundreds if not thousands of times.

The particular subject in question is, Vegans, or those “trying” to go vegan (Whatever that means) and their lack of ability to get enough protein.

Let me start by providing you a little insight into my particular situation.

I went from Meat-eater, to Vegan over night.  I did not ease my way in to it over several years.  One day I was eating meat, and the next, I was not any longer – And I haven’t looked back since.    That was ~8 years ago I made that decision and change.   The core tenet which kept me from being vegan for so long? The lack of consumable vegan foods which weren’t all “Smoked”, “Bbq” or “Charcoaled” It would burn my mouth and left a bad taste all around.

The second part of my situation, is that immediately upon becoming a full-time vegan, instead of a full-time omni-vore, I had to stop myself from eating on a daily and regular basis.  Why? Because I was getting too much protein (This is contrary to what you may see a lot of others doing.  Most “vegans” claim they cannot get enough Protein)  This brings me to the very point of this all: What are you doing wrong if you have become vegan and are unable to get enough protein?

Now, don’t get me wrong, and I want to make this very clear.  If you aren’t getting enough protein and you are vegan – You are fundamentally doing something very wrong.

I don’t want to sugar coat this.  But there are a number of tenets of nutrition, with the first one being called

Portion sizing: When you eat food throughout a day, whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner.  There are portions of food which you need to account for.  You cannot wake up in the morning, eat 15lbs of pasta and say “I’m done for the day”.  First of all, that isn’t healthy and won’t provide you with the sufficient level of nutrients your body needs for long-term sustainability.

Portion Planning: Just because you are eating appropriate portions of food, doesn’t mean you have your planning down.   Let’s say you’re following “Crazy Persons New Diet Fad” which says, “Eat only beans and lentils and you’ll lose weight!”  While technically it may be true, if your body isn’t sustained to feel satisfied from eating purely lentils and beans all day long (Something I rarely eat), then your body will feel it is being deprived and starved.   When the body enters into starvation, it starts to store everything as fat.  Next thing you know, your ‘waist’ has grown instead of shrunk and now you’re blaming a “vegan diet”.    Any diet which doesn’t involve balance and doesn’t listen to your body, isn’t one worth trying.

Bringing me to the next most important:

Listen to your body: Once you’re off the hormones of beef and all of the additives found inside of most food, you’ll be able to “hear” your body.   You will find yourself having cravings for all different kinds of foods.  That is your body telling you “I need this, I want that”.   My body tends to tell me when I lack certain nutrients so I fulfill its particular requests.   While this can be easily said by the lack of certain nutrients and substances, the same can be said by the abundance of things.   Your body in short order will start to alert you when you’ve taken in too much protein, or fat-soluable minerals.

So you’re saying, “Hey, I’m vegan and I don’t get enough Protein”.

I have to ask, “Then what is it that you’re eating?”.  

Here are some particularly good sources of Protein, which don’t require you to change your diet considerably, or undergo any kind of major ‘changes’ to your life, let alone your budget.

Disclaimer: If you have a gluten allergy, a majority of these will not work for you.  Let me know if you are looking for sources of protein and are allergic to gluten and I can reach out to you separately. :) I particular seek out Gluten specific proteins because I like Gluten :))

Second Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with any of these food companies.  This is actual food that I eat, and I’m tired of hearing vegans “quit” because of the lack of “protein” options.

You’re on the Go? Need a snack and an influx of Protein?

Look to: Tofurky Jurky! (Available in Original and Peppered) – 12 Grams of Protein per 4 pieces.  That’s a “steak” worth of Protein in a single package, yet taking seconds to eat.

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Still on the go, and want something sweet?

Clif Bar has all the answers here.

As a convenience vegan, always on the go, I looked for the best in high quality/low cost bars to eat.  After trying them all, I’m drawn towards the “Clif Bar” and the “Luna bar” line.  Though, the Luna Bars I like are only available out of season. :)

A few specific bars from Clif that I eat are:

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And my favorite ones available (seasonally)

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So, wait a minute.  You’re telling me a bar, which you can get for $0.99 cents has 10 or more grams of protein in it?

Next thing you’re gonna say I can get a single Vegan bar covered in chocolate with 13 grams of protein!

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Hey, wait a minute.  I’m not always on the go, and I want something which isn’t just a bunch of candy bars to eat!   What options do I have to introduce into my regular meals?

Well, this is simply done without pictures! Get yourself some Tofu, some Seitan, or even eat some Pasta!  Pasta itself has loads of protein in it.  If you’re saying “I don’t want to eat carbs” then you’re effectively saying you are willing to throw all caution to the wind and ignore your body and its needs (The brain loves carbs!) But, to cut on carbs.. go with Seitan or Tofu then.

Here’s a simple way to give yourself a large volume of Protein with little effort.

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1 Cup of Pasta, a heaping of Pasta sauce to your choosing, and 1 cup of Garbanzo beans smashed.   The beans will mix with the sauce and become a thicker sauce.

All to the tune of an additiona 11.9 grams of protein just from the garbanzo beans alone.

 

 

 

Hey! I thought you said not to eat beans.

No, I didn’t say that.  I said that beans and lentils are not a staple in my diet, I come across them occasionally!  And you can too. :)

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One of the best ‘quick access’ protein sources that can be cooked are the new Boca Original Chik’n Nuggets.  There was some controversy around these (I’m sure you’ll find them on a google search) where they went from a vegan recipe, to a non-vegan recipe.  And now we’re back to the vegan recipe.   I particularly advise the bagged variety which offers 14g of protein per every ’4′ nuggets.   They’re soft, easily consumable, great tasting, and $2.69 a bag at my local Woodmans.

 

 

This is not the end-all, be-all list.   The options are endless and I’ve only barely touched the surface of how to get protein (Infact, too much protein) fairly easily and readily.

 

One last thing for the Spelt-inclined or general Pretzel lovers:

Newmans makes a line of Pretzels which are chock full of protein! (And spelt as well) 4/5 grams of protein per serving for around 30 grams per bag.  

 

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Like I said, this is not the definitive list of Protein sources out there for vegans.  There is a lot more than this, and a whole lot which cater specifically to particular allergies or needs, and even some to correspond to what I would refer to the “Crazy diets”

(Re: Crazy Diet is defined as a diet which cares more about what they’re telling you to do on paper, than to actually care for and listen to your body.  These fad diets tend to cause more trauma in the casual person than they do of help in the long-run).   As an efficiency and hard-core geek who will test things and get them down to a scientific level of replication, I would not encourage diets which are not founded in fact or reality.)

Good luck out there, but most importantly – If you’re not getting enough Protein – Tell me what it is that YOU eat, and that can be easily tracked and traced to make sure you’re not only living well, but a balanced and appropriate life.

Thanks

This post inspired by My So Called Vegan Diet: Week 2

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, Efficiency, Geek, Health, Informational, Vegan | Comments (59)

Twitter explains Deletions issue

November 14th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Today, Twitter offered an explanation of the Deletions issues a number of Twitter users have been experiencing: Updates on deletions

Status deletion has been re-enabled.

User restoration has also been re-enabled.

User deletion remains off as it still represents a significant problem for the stability of the service. In the past several months, we’ve had to turn off user deletion many times in order to keep things running smoothly. Each time we turned it back on, we’d hoped we had sufficiently patched the existing system to prevent it from being a problem.

We’ve now concluded that the user deletion system needs to be rewritten and we’ve started that effort. Until we finish, user deletion will remain off. There’s a number of places throughout the site where we will need to message this better. We’ll be making those changes as well.

Certainly, this is a concerning issue, only one of which plagues the frequent twitter users in the tweetosphere.   Without any knowledge of exactly how they’re handling the routines for handling user deletion, aging, and load experienced on the system I could only offer the briefest of a question of how it is being addressed with suggestions.

We’ll see if the Tweetosphere continues to suffer from Performance issues such as this, and the frequent Site Outages experienced throughout the week.  Always raising the question and concern of have they properly accounted for the scale of this volume and the user communities peaks and valleys for system load.

I’ll keep my eye on it, but here is your word from the Twitter itself! @cxi – Christopher Kusek

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Technology, Twitter | Comments (144)

Totally tagged on ABC7 (My Tweet Live on Air! :))

November 14th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

The other day on Twitter, ABC7 was looking for Feedback in the form of Tweets on our take on the Economic Bail out – Well, my voice was heard! (Well, my tweet was posted and read! ;))

So, for the whole of the twittersphere – Here is my little few moments and 140 characters or less on economic bailouts! (I come in at about 1:07 seconds)

@abc7 Govt modifying the bailout plan to take real action will be beneficial so long as it is not used to line pockets.

 

Thanks to all of you out in the twitterland, and you can certainly find me here on twitter

You can find the original link to this on ABC7′s website!

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Twitter | Comments (66)

Twitter to Charge Companies! (Says Bloomberg and Truemors!)

November 13th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

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I guess that’s right! According to Truemors, Blogit and this article here at Bloomberg.

Twitter may charge companies for access to its users so it doesn’t have to ask venture capitalists for more cash, said Williams, the company’s chief executive officer. As the value of Internet companies plunges this year, investors are asking for a bigger chunk of the startups they invest in.

“The VCs have the money, but they’ll just negotiate harder,” said Williams, who sold his previous venture, Blogger, to Google Inc. in 2003. “I want to manage things so I don’t have to raise money in 2009.”

So, be careful out there! Non-business folks you should be fine! But the reckoning may come (Can you fit extra ads in 140 characters? :))

Stay tuned for more Twitter-News as it comes up!

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Twitter | Comments (69)

Twitterank – What it is and what it isn’t

November 12th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

In the Twitter-Sphere, there has been controversy surrounding “Twitterank!” and its requirement of you entering your credentials.

This initially prompted this response and update from the Author of the tool:

Disclaimer

I’m not out to steal ur twitterz. Frankly, I wish I didn’t have to ask for your account info, but Twitter doesn’t offer APIs using any other authentication mechanism (according to the docs). So blame them. Read more about what I’ll do with your account info/data in the FAQ.

I will not store your password. I will only use it once to calculate your Twitterank.

However, that still did not stop these other blog posts:

Gullible Twitter users hand over their usernames and passwords – did you get your Twitterank yet?!

Is Twitterank Ranking Your Popularity Or Stealing Your Password?

And other ones.

I initially rebroadcasted (From a trusted source) the links to this very Data, however at the urging of a concerned Party – I took it up a notch and contacted Ryo of Twitterank directly.

He advised that they do not store passwords, nor is it being used as a phishing operation.

Though he does agree that people ought to be more careful about sharing their passwords.

Which brings us to the lesson for the day.  Twitter is a great phenomenon.  And it’s a good thig we have trusting well intentioned souls such as Ryo out there.  But remember.  Not everyone will be nice, and the next cool site (Which may not be trustworthy) could indeed be capturing your data, reselling your DM’s and any other number of things.

So do be careful out there.  At the moment I do retract initial concerns of Ryo himself causing any harm, but do be concerned with any Web Based App that you do not trust, as a mechanism for releasing your Twitter credentials, or any other credentials for that matter.

Thank you for your time, and if these details change, I’ll certainly be the first one to say “Doh! I’m an idiot!” :)

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Twitterank in any fashion, nor have I ever used its Services! However, I have changed my password just in case recently, so sorry @Guykawasaki I think I broke the auto-alltopper which would feed off of my account!

#Addition#

@axelator reminded me of this lesson – Wondering, Why is it we would do this? share our twitter credentials, trusting implicitly a site to do with one of our tools?

This is reminiscent of the early days of the Internet (late 80′s, early 90′s) which were Trust was implied.   A lot of you may not have thought that these credentials are indeed the keys to a kingdom, whether you meant them to or not.   Luckily, this was not intended with harm in mind.  But this is a wake up, this isn’t the first time, and certainly won’t be the last.

Be Careful out there.

Special Props to T_rank for this new blog to address the questions as well.

Also, think about your passwords – Sarah Evans makes it succinct here:

Do you share your password(s) freely?

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Technology, Twitter | Comments (9)

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