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My close friend, Trey, recently adopted a plant-based diet. This choice shocked his southern friends and family. And, after the jokes and taunts subsided, everyone had the same question: “Where will you get your protein?”

This is a very common question for vegans. I must get asked three times a day! And the answer is so simple… plants! We live in a protein-obsessed society. And our current perceptions of how the body metabolizes protein are outdated and inaccurate. Plants contain all twenty amino acids but are not considered “complete” because they are low in at least one. When eating a balanced vegan diet, the combination of plant foods provides more than enough of each amino acids for the body to produce protein.

Not only does a plant-based diet provide more than enough protein, the protein is much more efficiently created and used by the body. Think about this: When you eat a “complete” protein from an animal, your body must first break down that protein into the amino acids, and then rebuild from there. It is this waste of energy that contributes to sickness and premature aging.

Plant-based proteins are also more effective for building body mass. There are many raw-vegan supplements that are incredibly high in protein. Spirulina, a blue-green microalgae, contains chlorophyll and a unique protein that is especially easy to digest. There are also recent studies that indicate steroids found in vegetables from the Brassica family (kale, collards, cabbage etc.) actually strengthen muscle tissue.

Now armed with this updated information about vegan protein, Trey is better equipped to answer those inevitable questions and, most importantly, is enjoying marked differences in his overall health.

Here is Nikki’s and my favorite protein shake below. Not only will it help you build muscle and improve endurance, it is extraordinarily cleansing!



½ cup walnuts

1 cup water

3 pitted dates

1 medium banana

1 TB raw Spirulina powder



1. Place all ingredients in high-powered blender and puree.


photo credits: hugh forte, lukasz wierzbowski, pauline mak

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