The Daily Beet

09 Apr Tuesdays With Jeff. Insights Into Your Health: How Much Protein Do We Really Need?

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First! Our two winners from last weeks giveaway: Camilla Blossom and “New Mexico Troyer”! Please e-mail: giveaway@engine2.com 

For all of you who did not win last weeks giveaway, good news! Jeff is offering a discount code on his amazing DVD “Burgers and Fries” . You can get $4.00 off his DVD. This is for a very limited time, so if you entered last weeks giveaway, be sure to pick up the discounted DVD today! 

And, if that wasn’t ENOUGH good news,  we are doing another giveaway today! This giveaway is for Jeff’s latest DVD “Fast Food: Shopping School” . Almost THREE hours of the information you need to become a rock-star, plant-strong shopper! Just leave a comment, and tell us what your favorite answer is when someone asks you “Where do you get your protein?” 🙂


How much protein do we need and do we need to focus on concentrated sources of protein (protein powders, bars, supplements, etc) to get in enough?

This question was posed to me in regard to someone who is 220 lbs and engaging in regular weightlifting several times a week for several hours and besides focusing on consuming high protein foods,  was adding in 100 grams of protein 2x a day.  In addition, they were curious as to what happens to any excess protein.

In general, according to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine,

“The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for both men and women is 0.80 g of good quality protein/kg body weight/d and is based on careful analysis of available nitrogen balance studies.”

So, for someone who is 220 lbs, 220 lbs is 100 kgs. 100 x .8 – 80 grams of protein/day.

For those who are involved in higher levels of strength training, they may need a little more, even up to 1.25 to 1.5 grams/kg as recommended in the American Dietitic Association position paper on the topic;

“Protein recommendations for endurance and strength-trained athletes range from 1.2 to 1.7 g/kg body weight per day.”

This would be the equivalent of 120 to 150 grams of total protein.

However, the key here, and one that is often overlooked, is to evaluate the amount of protein their regular diet is contributing.

Someone who weighs 220 lbs and is engaging in the level of activity mentioned, will need about 3000 calories per day or more. The average American diet is about 15-20% protein which means that from their diet alone, this person would be getting about 115 to 150 grams of protein.

And this is exactly what the ADA position papers says…

“These recommended protein intakes can generally be met through diet alone, without the use of protein or amino acid supplements.”

So, in the situation above, their regular diet alone would provide more than enough protein and no extra protein would need to be consumed. Adding in 100 grams of protein 2x a day would bring the total protein to 315 to 350 grams per day, which is way more than excessive.

As you can see, the focus on “getting enough” protein, even in athletes, is often misplaced, as most are getting in more than enough protein from their diet. This is where the focus should be, to get our protein, and all of our nutrients, from our regular diets. To do so, focus on high quality protein foods that are also low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol such as beans, lentils and peas.

Now, in regard to your question about what happens to the excess protein, the body does not store excess protein and therefore must eliminate it. Over time, excessive amounts of protein can potentially put a strain on the kidneys, liver and our bones. In addition, excess protein can raise the levels of a hormone called IGF-1, which can stimulate the growth rate of certain cancers.

So, I would consider the above situation protein overload and as we see, this person would easily get enough protein from their regular diet and that is where the focus should be.

In Health


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Jeff Novick
Jeff Novick

Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN is truly a unique dietitian and nutritionist. With over 24 years of experience in nutrition, health, fitness and natural living, he offers expert health advice distilled into powerful, easy-to-understand language on a variety of current topics.Novick’s insightful and humorous approach to nutrition and health has helped thousands worldwide make the transition to healthy living. He holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana State University in nutrition, with a minor in exercise science.Novick serves as Vice President for Executive Health Exams International and lectures at the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California and at the Engine 2 Immersion program in Austin, Texas. He is also the Director of Nutrition for the Meals for Health program, which is helping empower low-income families to achieve optimal health.For almost a decade, Novick served as the Director of Nutrition at the Pritikin Center in Aventura, Florida, and as Vice President of the Board of the Directors for the National Health Association (NHA). He also served as the Director of Health Education for the NHA and as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Health Sciences for Kaplan University.Novick has taught nutrition classes at Indiana State University, Indiana University Medical School, the University of Miami Medical School and the Florida Academy of Family Physicians. He regularly lectures at medical conferences across the country. While in Indiana, he created and taught the Nutrition Education Initiative, a preventive medicine curriculum for medical doctors, residents and medical students. In recognition of this groundbreaking project, Indiana’s governor awarded Novick the Indiana State Public Health Excellence in Health Science Award and Indiana State University awarded him the Graduate-of-the-Last-Decade Award.He has been interviewed by Newsday, Parade, Men’s Health, Shape, Women’s World and has appeared on Fox News, Discovery Health, the Today Show and other media outlets nationwide. He recently appeared in the documentary Processed People and the movie Fatboy, which won the Best Documentary award at the Fort Lauderdale and Queens Film Festivals.

  • Kyle Plattner
    Posted at 06:50h, 09 April

    The same place the animal on your plate did! Plants!

  • Patricia Zeigler
    Posted at 06:52h, 09 April

    Thank you for the protein article. I’m still new to eating vegan. I’m sticking with the least processed foods possible. I use the info I’ve gained from Fast Food Shopping School that I’ve gained from the excerpts available on-line. I would enjoy seeing the who;e video.

  • mary
    Posted at 07:34h, 09 April

    I get my protein from pleanty of green veggies. Would LOVE to have Jeffs newest dvd . I heard great reviews on it.

  • Amie Kotrla
    Posted at 08:11h, 09 April


  • Sharon
    Posted at 08:18h, 09 April

    I say….I get my protein from everything I eat!

  • Sue Lee R.
    Posted at 08:19h, 09 April

    Green veggies, beans, nuts and seeds.
    I would LOVE to view your DVD about being a better plant-strong shopper!

  • Plantstrong
    Posted at 08:21h, 09 April

    Would love the DVD! Get protein from fruits, veggies and whole grains!

  • Lindsay
    Posted at 08:21h, 09 April

    Where do [name any large herbivore] get theirs?

  • Jenna
    Posted at 08:23h, 09 April

    Straight from the source.

  • Laurie
    Posted at 08:25h, 09 April

    I get my protein the same place a stallion or a gorilla gets their protein. I eat a wide variety of plant foods and I don’t worry about it! I would share Jeff’s video in my coking classes.

  • Rileen
    Posted at 08:26h, 09 April

    “From almost everything I eat or drink” 🙂

  • Ginger Godwin
    Posted at 08:38h, 09 April

    Thanks for the info – My husband and I are new to the plant based diet 😀 After watching Forks over Knives we decided to change everything we were doing and the results are great! Who knew ditching caffeine would give you triple the energy!?! We have been trying a recipe a week using Quinoa for protein and have loved everything we have tried so far.. The Fast Food – Shopping School DVD would help us tremendously on our new journey 😀

  • foe
    Posted at 08:42h, 09 April

    All you did what quote what the ADA says and quoted RDA’s. You haven’t done any actual research. I could have wrote this article myself simply by cutting and pasting from any thousands of articles. Real knowledge comes from forming a hypothesis and years testing it.

    • friend
      Posted at 12:38h, 09 April

      Look up the WHO’s results of their hypothesis and years of testing and you’ll find that it matches the ADA numbers.

  • Carol Kenny
    Posted at 08:51h, 09 April

    I tell people there is protein in everything I eat. But unlike your sources of protein, meat and dairy, my sources don’t promote heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.

  • Margaret
    Posted at 08:54h, 09 April

    When I get asked that question, I tell them from nuts, beans, and that you actually get protein from almost every natural food we eat like fruits, vegetables, and grains.

  • Tanya C.
    Posted at 08:54h, 09 April

    Whole grains, beans, nuts and delicious fruits and veggies! (The same place that the animals we eat get their protein, as many have said.)

  • Kaitlin
    Posted at 09:19h, 09 April

    How do YOU avoid getting too much protein?

  • Winifred Wagyu
    Posted at 09:20h, 09 April

    From grass, obviously! And you should see my boyfriends! Kidding aside, my name is Ann and I happen to live on a cattle ranch. My mother, especially, worried so much about where I was getting protein when I switched to eating plants only. And there is, of course, the irony….that we have such easy access to meat, but choose plants, instead. I usually point out that Americans worry far too much about protein and ingest far too much. Even I was surprised to learn that it’s everywhere and how much better I feel getting protein from plant foods like leafy greens, nuts, beans, fruits, grains, and that wonderful array of veggies out there. All hail Kale!

  • Beverly
    Posted at 09:25h, 09 April

    I get my protein from almost everything I eat and then begin to list some great sources.

  • Pam Honthumb
    Posted at 09:27h, 09 April

    This is great information. I believe I do take in enough protein but often times I get no vegans telling me I have to eat meat to get the protein and this is why they can’t go plant strong. Some people think it is essential for them to eat plain spaghetti prior to running the marathon and to get plenty of protein. Now I can point them to this post.

  • Janet Young
    Posted at 09:40h, 09 April

    I get my protein from everything I eat, but especially beans, legumes and nuts/seeds,

  • Hannah Moore
    Posted at 09:57h, 09 April

    Plants have all the protein I need. I love one of Happy Herbivores suggested responses, “The same place your protein gets its protein.”

  • Vicky Miller
    Posted at 09:58h, 09 April

    Almost all plant foods have some protein in them. We eat a lot of beans and vegetables and some grains and seeds and nuts.

  • Pike
    Posted at 09:58h, 09 April

    I get my protein from plants!

  • louiseb
    Posted at 09:59h, 09 April

    I tell people there is protein in everything I eat, it is something I don’t worry about

  • Shelby Kuenzi
    Posted at 10:07h, 09 April

    I never realized that protein is practically in everything. If I eat a well balanced diet from all 4 food groups (fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes) I never have to worry!

  • Debbie Kuehnle
    Posted at 10:07h, 09 April

    When people ask me where I get my protein I use this as an opportunity to share how amazing my life has been since going Plant Strong and how much I love how I look and feel. By the time I am done, they forgot all about the protein question, lol

  • Debby
    Posted at 10:09h, 09 April

    Veggies, beans, quinoa, etc. You get the picture. Can’t wait for Tucson in a few weeks to see Jeff in person!

  • Debbie
    Posted at 10:09h, 09 April

    “I get all the protein I need from whole plant foods – how do YOU know you’re not getting too much?”

  • Susan H
    Posted at 10:18h, 09 April

    I get it from the food I eat. It’s much healthier to get protein from plants than from meat.

  • Gordilly
    Posted at 10:26h, 09 April

    How come nobody ever asks where the cow gets her protein?

  • Bisbd
    Posted at 10:30h, 09 April

    From the produce and grain isle in the grocery store! All the protien I need!

  • Melissa Mazurowski Martini
    Posted at 10:32h, 09 April

    I am trying to raise two young girls as plant-strong. I believe that protein from meat or dairy sources would be harmful to them. How do I make sure that they–as picky eaters–get enough protein, espeically since green foods are considered “yucky”?

    • JustMe
      Posted at 11:22h, 09 April

      Vegetarians always ask about getting enough protein. But I don’t know any nutrition expert who can plan a diet of natural foods resulting in a protein deficiency, so long as you’re not deficient in calories…it is practially impossible to get below nine percent in ordinary diets.-Nathan Pritikin

      Sooo…protein is found in all foods as amino acids. The body doesn’t care ask the source of the amino acids. Grains, beans, all vegetables, and fruits contain some amino acids. Your children will get enough if they aren’t eating junk. It’s our programming from propaganda that makes us worry so much about protein.

      My doctor was all up in arms about my protein intake. I went to Cron-o meter and entered a typical day’s foods. There was more than enough protein from a plant strong diet.

      Finally, you can put tons of extra vegetables into spaghetti sauce and soups with the addition of dehydrated vegetables. Even spinach and cabbage virtually disappear. I buy these by the bucket load from Harmony House and add them to almost everything in lue of vegetable broth. Then if they don’t like chunks in their food, puree everything. They can’t pick it out if they can’t see it.

    • Gina McLean
      Posted at 15:01h, 09 April

      I make smoothies for my kids and maybe take Melissa’s advice about putting it in sauces, soups, pancakes, etc. Good Luck. Trying to go gluten free and plant based with kids from 13-17 and it is a challenge. My 21 yr old is away at college and it is even harder to convince her of this diet. Though I hope that her preparation for an ND school interview will help.

  • fdzimmerman
    Posted at 11:05h, 09 April

    Almost everything in my plant strong diet provides ample protein. In fact, it would be hard to avoid protein on a (non-junk food) plant based diet.

  • Sheree
    Posted at 11:06h, 09 April

    Everyonealways asks so how do you get your protein. People animals are not the only thing with protein. Thanks for the great information Jeff!

  • Deb
    Posted at 11:10h, 09 April

    As a beginner on this journey, I use the proteins I am familiar with such as eggs and tofu. However, I am excited to see where this takes me and what my answer will be in 6 mo or a year from now. 🙂

  • Kelly Ramaciere
    Posted at 11:14h, 09 April

    “The same place your protein gets their protein.”

  • Lisa LaRocque McMahon
    Posted at 11:15h, 09 April

    The question or problem is how do you get 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight if you are an athlete and also need to keep calories in check. Difficult to get 100-120 grams that I need and want per day on a 1500-1800 calorie diet.

  • plainoldsarah
    Posted at 11:34h, 09 April

    potatoes. and a whole bunch of other plants.

  • Christine in MN
    Posted at 11:59h, 09 April

    Everything I eat-put it all together and I’ve got plenty of protein!

  • Angela W.
    Posted at 11:59h, 09 April

    I recently watched McDougall’s introductory remarks to the March 2013 Advanced Study Weekend. http://www.drmcdougall.com/video/mcdougalls_mentors.htm. He talks about two of his mentors, Dr. Denis Burkitt and Nathan Pritikin, and shows excepts of video interviews with each of these two men. Pritikin says in his video that even a skilled dietician would have an extremely difficult (if not impossible?) time developing a diet with insufficient protein.

  • Jane Smith
    Posted at 12:13h, 09 April

    From plants! Where do you get your fiber?

  • WriterMs
    Posted at 12:34h, 09 April

    I know it is not scientific nor a real answer, but I like to mention that bulls seem to be able to build protein-rich bodies on a vegetarian diet. It provides a memorable “visual” (strong as a bull). If someone seems truly interested, I do share more info.

  • Bonnie W
    Posted at 12:35h, 09 April

    From Greens and Grains.

  • Fran
    Posted at 13:23h, 09 April

    Greens, greens, greens!!!

  • JB in Chicago
    Posted at 13:45h, 09 April

    Why have another animal ‘Pre-Chew’ your Vegetables? Plenty of Protein in Plants. My family and I have been Plant-Strong for over 18 months. Cholesterol has dropped, my wife and I have lost over 50 lbs. (combined), and our kids love it!

  • Kris Lesperance
    Posted at 13:45h, 09 April

    I’m an outrigger canoe paddler, and became a vegan about 4 years ago. No problem building muscle during the season, despite my age and gender (50, female). The only loss was that which occurred when I discovered I no longer needed Ibuprofen, at all!

  • Lauren Gladstone
    Posted at 13:47h, 09 April

    I tell people I get everything I need from the gumball machine! Then I tell them from plant based foods.

  • Larry Bard
    Posted at 13:47h, 09 April

    I like to tell people I have cut out the protein middleman (the cow, chicken, fish….) and get my protein right from the source. Why go retail when you can go wholesale. BAM!

  • Georgia Ann Gibbs Carl
    Posted at 13:48h, 09 April

    Plant based foods give me more than enough protein!

  • Pam
    Posted at 13:48h, 09 April

    My answer is, from real food. (That is, plants!)

  • Brenda McGinn
    Posted at 14:02h, 09 April

    First, thank you for all you do and share and teach- your work is not only saving lives but also impacting the quality of our lives! I say to our extended family of naysayers- We get our protein in the same places you do– just different aisles!!

  • Abe
    Posted at 14:11h, 09 April

    Frustrated. I’ve struggled with my weight on an Esselstyn diet (now 26+% body fat and have gained 12lbs just this year despite being very active – ran marathon, bike 50+ miles, train for tris). I am now working with a plant-based nutritionist who says I am too focused on grains (too many raw oats), veggies and fruits and am not getting enough protein or fat. She is recommending I add protein and fat via protein powder, seeds, nuts, peanut butter, hummus, seitan, wheat roast, etc. every time I eat .

  • 1jazzy30
    Posted at 14:18h, 09 April

    I’m new to a plant based diet so I I have to remind myself that following the diet will provide enough protein for me.

  • Dawn Martin
    Posted at 14:20h, 09 April

    I get most of my protein from the beans, whole grains and veggies I eat on a regular basis. However, I have some challenges. I have had gastric bypass and do not absorb as much as the “normal” person. In addition, I am now pregnant. SO, I DO supplement my diet with Sunwarrior Warrior blend which is 100% plant based protein supplement. I just do one shake a day which is just 17g of protein. The only reason I even did this was because my doctor said the baby wasn’t gaining weight properly and she told me to eat more protein. She wanted me to supplement with Carnation instant breakfast. 2 problems w/ that.. dairy & sugar! So, this is working well! I use the chocolate w/ almond milk & half a banana for sweetness. Went back a month later for a check up and baby is growing just fine now! YAY PLANT BASED PROTEIN!!!

  • Ramona Kennon
    Posted at 14:27h, 09 April

    I am printing out the formula for determining protein requirements. I am sooo sick of answering this question every time my being plant based comes up in discussion. I love the eye rolling when I tell people I get my protein from plants. Thanks for this Jeff..

  • Jen4Ever4Always
    Posted at 14:31h, 09 April

    “Protein? What’s protein?”

  • Angela English
    Posted at 19:23h, 09 April

    Plants, grains, beans, nuts, tofu, seitan, pretty much from everything I eat!

  • Kathy G
    Posted at 19:58h, 09 April

    This was a really good article. I calculated what both my husband and I need for protein. Happy to see that I get plenty from my plant based diet.

  • Ann Bright Jenson
    Posted at 20:31h, 09 April

    Same place you do….the food I eat.

  • Mmc
    Posted at 21:33h, 09 April

    I like to respond with “Beans and greens and nuts and seeds and tofu and oatmeal…i like to get my protein without cholesterol. Hey, did you know broccoli is 34% protein?”

  • Julie Gambino
    Posted at 21:59h, 09 April

    I have been whole food plant strong for a mere five weeks, so perhaps I’ve been lucky, but I haven’t encountered this question yet. Perhaps that is because everyone I have encountered is so focused on wanting to know the “secret” for why I am glowing! Once they see how much energy I have and how positive my mood is they want to know more. Then when they learn that in only four weeks my total cholesterol dropped 19 points and I’ve lost 14 pounds, they’re more interested in the learning the how and more open to the why. Educate don’t berate!

  • Shari
    Posted at 22:23h, 09 April

    My fiance and i have had a discussion about protein several times. I am a vegetarian and working more toward vegan while he is a devout carnivore. I am working to change his views about plant-based diets but he’s quite resistant. While he supports my being a vegetarian he surprised me when i told him I was working toward veganism he begged me not to do it telling me that vegans smell bad and it would make me sick siting Steve Jobs as his basis for both those claims. He said it was Steve’s diet that killed him and he was known to not take showers for days (what that has to do with his diet I’m not sure). It’s amazing the ideas people have about those who live on a plant-based diet. for me it saved my life. About 9 years ago I had an accident which cause a birth defect I had to be a problem. I had to have 7 surgeries in 6 months, almost died and ballooned up to 307 pounds. My doctors had me on several narcotics and i was still going to the E.R. several times a month with migraines. My doctors told me there was nothing else that could be done for me. I was advised to live on narcotics and go on disability and just accept that I would always be like that and never improve. I refused to live like that and started doing my own research into pain triggers. To make a long story short, I became a vegetarian and got away form processed food (though I cheat sometimes), Today I do not take any prescription medicines, haven’t been to a hospital for my condition since I became a vegetarian and I’ve dropped about 80 pounds and working my to losing another 40. I was so happy with my health change i have gone back to school to become a dietitian and help other people find their way out of pain the way I did. The world needs more people like Jeff Novick and I hope to one day be one of them!

    • sukijones94
      Posted at 14:15h, 11 April

      what a fantastic story! you look fabulous! isn’t it wonderful when you take control of your health and your life? being plant strong is the way to go. i’m in my third year and love it, something clicked one day and i never looked back. i wish the best for you!

    • sukijones94
      Posted at 14:17h, 11 April

      i keep thinking how it would be even more rewarding and so much easier if your partner was on the same path as you…

  • Lisa DesRochers
    Posted at 23:20h, 09 April

    Yhea- that’s a myth- based on my healthy weight, I only need 47 grams a day. I can easly get that from veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, & rice/quinoa. I tracked my diet for a week using one of the online programs and averaged 55-65 grams a day…

  • Scott Haas
    Posted at 00:20h, 10 April

    My best response when someone asks me where I get my protein? “The same place the cows get theirs silly.” It does make them think and if they still don’t get it I ask them how many carnivore cows they ever met. Then I go back to chewing my cud.

  • Duke
    Posted at 01:47h, 10 April


    I get everything you said above. But if the entire weightlifting world focuses on eating high protein and lifting heavy weights to bulk up and get strong. What is going on there? Are they all wrong? or is something else going on?

    If high/excess protein increases IGF-1, and IGF-1 leads to increased growth in all cells in the body, isn’t that what the weightlifter wants? Is the high protein actually stimulating growth hormone like effects? So its not the protein helping to gain muscle, its the IGF-1?

    From Wikipedia:

    IGF-1 then stimulates systemic body growth, and has growth-promoting effects on almost every cell in the body, especially skeletal muscle, cartilage, bone, liver, kidney, nerves, skin, hematopoietic cell, and lungs.

    Maybe Dr. Greger answers part of this question for me here:

    But then what is “systemic body growth” referring to?
    If IGF-1 doesn’t help build bigger muscles, could it just be that people who are dedicated enough to eat 2 protein shakes a day are the ones most dedicated to working out the hardest? Thus most often get the biggest results?

    Are high protein efforts futile, and elevated IGF-1 irrelevant to muscle gain, and only lead to liver stress and promotion of cancer growth?
    Also, I’m not sure how much high exercise benefits can counteract meat consumption detriments.

    I’ve been plant based for a year. Trying to convince Paleo/Crossfit friends that its not the animal protein helping them make gains.

  • Alison Chu
    Posted at 04:34h, 10 April

    Where do I get my protein? Where do I not get my protein? Grains, salads, potatoes, beans, veg…I am plant based and proud. When I get asked this, I really want to look at some people and say…Where do you get your fat? But that would be too snarky. I keep my preaching to myself.

  • sheila zipfel
    Posted at 06:39h, 10 April

    My answer……. my kidneys are thanking me for not overloading them with excess protein.

  • Ceil Hook
    Posted at 07:07h, 10 April

    I tell everyone, KALE (leafy greens), tofu, tempeh…! Then I try to get them to watch a food documentary, or read a book, about plant-based diets. For health and environmental reasons, plant-based diets are becoming a necessity.

  • Jamie Wicker Langston
    Posted at 07:25h, 10 April

    Thanks, Jeff, for breaking it down by the numbers.

  • Marina
    Posted at 08:32h, 10 April

    Broccoli! 🙂

  • Kelsey Chute
    Posted at 08:57h, 10 April

    From where your protein gets it’s protein!

  • Susie O'Brien
    Posted at 09:17h, 10 April

    I’m going to start using the one I’ve seen here “From where your protein gets its protein”. Love it

  • me2sweet4thee
    Posted at 10:25h, 10 April

    I tell them, “GTS.” Which means Google That Sh*t.

  • Yvonne Gaskin
    Posted at 10:25h, 10 April

    So far only my family has asked me that question so… I say I am probably not getting enough and will die soon but at least I am losing weight (I’ve lost 90) and will look good in the coffin which you know will make my mother happy. They just nod and smile (because, well, they know). I then email an old newsletter from Dr. McDougall that shows that all of my new favorite foods have tons of protein and more than I could possibly every need in a day. http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/apr/protein.htm

    So far I haven’t had too much resistance from people I know – I’ve lost 90 lbs and a typical lunch is a large (and I mean large plate) of salad (preferably spinach with mandarin oranges and red onions) OR a big (and I mean large) bowl of Mary McDougall’s potato chowder, plus a starch like potato, corn on the cob, Mary McDougall’s Baja Vegetable Wraps, Lentils Tacos, the list is endless. Most people at that point are pretty intrigued, especially if they try the food.

  • Texas Tim
    Posted at 10:51h, 10 April

    I usually glare at them and tell them I get my protein from people that constantly ask that question 😉

  • two wheelin mom
    Posted at 12:07h, 10 April

    From the best “LIFE STYLE” ( not diet) that there is!! All of the nice leafy greens, nuts, fruits, grains and mock meats!! More than you can even imagine

  • Caroline
    Posted at 13:34h, 10 April

    I usually say, “from beans and legumes” but I have also said, “the same place as elephants and giraffes do – from plants.”

  • Ellen Morshedi
    Posted at 16:53h, 10 April

    Prior to becoming a vegan 1.5 yrs ago I tried a high protein low carb diet, the results were 8 kidney stones, we Americans consume way too much protein. I am so much happier and healthier now!

  • Cindy Sparks McVay
    Posted at 16:57h, 10 April

    I usually just say – I get more than enough protein. But, I LOVE the quote below, “The same place your protein gets its protein.” That’s awesome! I’m completely going to say that from now on. 🙂 I’m really new to a plant based way of living, and have had my ups and downs. But, I keep coming back. And coming back. And coming back. It just feels right to me. Also – as a side note – it would be really awesome if the videos could be made available digitally – iTunes or Amazon. Would love to be able to stream this to the television or tablet. BTW – thank you! You do an amazing job – I am lucky I’ve found you and this whole community of plant based eaters! I think it’s why I can keep coming back!

  • Kyle
    Posted at 17:03h, 10 April

    I usually answer, from the same types foods the animals you eat get theirs.

  • Scott Beavers
    Posted at 17:09h, 10 April

    Jeff, as usual you are the best!

  • Barbara W.
    Posted at 17:23h, 10 April

    Beans and rice, ‘course! B-)

  • Kyle Onda Brown
    Posted at 17:48h, 10 April

    Great info. I weight lift (strength training) and run regularly. The trainer at my gym has suggested (politely) a few times that I should buy protein supplements. In addition to suggesting a diet heavy in lean animal protein. I am continuing with my move to a plant based diet and have not experienced any problems with performance. I seem to be getting enough protein through beans, rice, quinoa, etc, etc, etc.

  • Connie Leathers
    Posted at 18:02h, 10 April

    The same place elephants and gorillas get theirs…plants! 🙂

  • nvrgvp
    Posted at 18:39h, 10 April

    First of all: Thank you for all that you do
    and your conviction and tenacity….My answer? “People like me are dying of heart disease and diabetes trying to get protein from animal products…”

  • Pete
    Posted at 18:55h, 10 April

    Beans, nuts, seeds, and veggies

  • john
    Posted at 19:19h, 10 April

    i answer “food”.

  • Martha
    Posted at 19:33h, 10 April

    ALL PLANTS have some protein, so eating a variety of plants meets all a person’s need for protein, which most Americans eat too much of anyway. Yes, beans and whole grains are good sources. But so is broccoli!

  • CoachBJ
    Posted at 19:40h, 10 April

    Just plug into cronometer and see the numbers, it’s so simple!

  • Kirsten
    Posted at 19:42h, 10 April

    I get my protein from plants! Whole grains, beans, plants and fruits…simple!

  • Mary Malloy
    Posted at 20:50h, 10 April

    Where do you get your vitamins?

  • srowden
    Posted at 22:38h, 10 April

    Thank you for the information. My answer to this question is usually “beans and greens.”

  • Teddy Sanchez
    Posted at 00:21h, 11 April

    I get my protein from almonds, beans, quinoa, and whole grains.

  • Janet Hough
    Posted at 08:08h, 11 April

    Love the gorilla image; truly makes the point!

  • Bill Wessner
    Posted at 09:46h, 11 April

    So much ignorance and apathy about nutrition

  • janew129
    Posted at 10:53h, 11 April

    I say “you’d be surprised how little protein you need and I get it all from lentils and beans…there is protein in a potato”…at which point they either want to know why I am looking so good and where they can watch “Forks over

  • Ruth Mizell Dunn
    Posted at 12:06h, 11 April

    Just learning and I am so excited to change my health and future. I am doing great when I am home or at work. But spending days with family is still a bit of a challenge. One of my concerns has been whether I am getting enough protein. Thank you for the info.

  • Michael
    Posted at 17:42h, 11 April

    My favorite answer is to direct them to the plant-based professionals
    who have the information for the protein question and all their other
    misgivings about a plant-based diet. I think the more I can inform
    those I care about, the more likely they are to feel empowered to make
    changes to improve and maintain their health. Thanks, Jeff and Engine

  • Melody
    Posted at 17:42h, 11 April

    I tell them I get first class protein from plants, just like elephants and gorillas.

  • Bob
    Posted at 18:04h, 11 April

    I find the “Herbivore” t-shirts help address this question quite a bit. Rhinos make a very plant strong point.

  • Tina Pagnano Vassil
    Posted at 18:17h, 11 April

    Another beans & greens girl here!

  • Rick
    Posted at 01:50h, 12 April

    Now I can tell them that right answer: that I can get all the protein I
    need from whole foods, as long as I am not eating an all fruit diet.
    Thanks, Jeff!

  • Maryanne
    Posted at 05:02h, 12 April

    I used to tell them I get my protein from beans, but now I know that
    all whole plant foods provide me with the protein that I need in the
    right proportions. Thank you for the valuable lesson.

  • Dlee
    Posted at 07:56h, 12 April

    I go out with a big club stalking plants! Just like the caveman, and those weak Gorillas and Orangutans, Elephants etc. and most of the plant eating kingdom. Ha!

  • Renee DeMan
    Posted at 15:08h, 12 April

    I get a bunch of crazy looks from my friends when they ask about my protein (and I say the same places animals too, plants!). You can see the puzzled looked on their face and then the ‘oh, i never thought of it that way’! I love Jeff’s posts, blog and newsletters!!

  • Marylyn
    Posted at 18:41h, 14 April

    I get my protein from oats, legumes, veggies and more! Loved, loved, loved Jeff’s presentation at the immersion program at the Esseltyn family farm in 2012. I strongly encourage everyone to attend!!

  • Carry
    Posted at 11:49h, 15 April

    “Do you remember where Pop-Eye got his protein? I prefer fresh spinach to canned, but it seems to be working really well! Oh, and I also get protein from beans, nuts, whole grains, fruit (yes fruit!), and other veggies. It’s amazing how much protein gets packed in your diet, when you focus on eating whole plant foods.”

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