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Thank you this is actually VERY helpful. I'm excited to venture out and try a more meat-free lifestyle. :)
My favorite sources of protein are beans, eggs, and nuts (esp peanut butter). I find them to be an easy addition to my lifestyle.
I would not worry about "complete protein." I have read in two vegetarian books (The Female Vegetarian and The Vegetarian Times Beginner's Guide to Being a Vegetarian) that it was not necessary. One book mentioned that this was based on Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe, she later changed her position on protein completion in the 20th Anniversary Ed. The research does not support that you need to have a "complete protein." It is the idea that for instance rice and beans make a complete protein. They, and foods similar, are staples in many cultures, because they are a nutritionally dense and filling food.
As long as you are eating a balanced diet, you're good to go. Getting all of your amino acids through out the day should be fine, instead of stressing over getting it all in one meal. Eating should not be stressful. I would recommend doing some research on what foods have the nutrients you are looking for and incorporating them into your diet. I was wondering this myself and read the two books I mentioned. I hope this helps.
I know a lot of vegetarians might get angry at this but... I think quinoa is a really poor source of protein. Yes, it has all of the amino acids humans need, but it's in really small amounts! You can actually get more protein for fewer calories by eating oatmeal prepared with milk.
As for getting complete proteins... it's really not all that complicated. The combinations that we've come to enjoy over the past several hundreds and thousands of years -- beans with corn, pasta with cheese, peanut butter with bread -- all give us the right nutrition we need. And if you don't get a combination that's complete at one meal, chances are you have still ingested all 11 aminos that day... so it's not like your muscles will fall off if one meal isn't a "complete protein."
And a note about iron -- red meat is the only meat that is high in iron! It's red because that meat, when it was a muscle, did a lot of work that required a lot of iron-rich blood. So meats like beef and lamb or fish like tuna are the best kinds to eat if you're low in iron. If the amount of fat or the farming practices worry you, venison and buffalo are great alternatives to beef. And, of course, there's always the extravagantly expensive organic, grass-fed beef, depending on your budget and location.
"If you don't take care of your body, where will you live?"
"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everybody would do it. It's the hard that makes it great."
Well... sorry to say I'm not all that familiar wtih the science behind what you're asking about. I just try to make sure I'm getting enough protein each day, and I'm in good health, so I'm assuming it's not a problem.
As for how I made the switch, it's been a gradual thing for me. I quit eating meat (other than fish) years ago and ate that way for 2 years. Then, due to iron/protein issues, I went back to eating meat. Now I basically eat everything except red meat. Maybe I'll cut out other meats as time goes by, but for now, this is working for me. It has never been hard for me to "give up" meat. I don't miss it at all.
A complete protein or whole protein is a protein that contains all of the essential amino acids.
All animal proteins are complete, including red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy. Vegetarians will be happy to know that complete proteins can also be obtained through certain plants, such as soy, spirulina, hemp seed, amaranth, buckwheat, and my fave quinoa.
Foods can be combined to make complete proteins like pairing beans with rice or corn. There are other combinations as well. Beans and seeds, beans and nuts, and beans and grains will form a complete protein. When you eat hummus and pita bread, nut butter on whole grain bread, pasta with beans, veggie burgers on bread, split pea soup with whole grain bread, and tortillas with refried beans, you are eating complete proteins.
( I googled it)
Weight loss is accomplished with the mind.
A person who wants something WILL find a way....a person who doesn't will find an excuse.
Which do you prefer?
The pain of self discipline?....or...the pain of self regret?
Does anyone have good resources for complete protein combination? I am thinking of trying to be more meat-free, but I don't want to short change good dietary habits because of ignorance.
Also, what did you do to facilitate a switch over?