Protein for Athletes, and Lentils (August 8, 2011)
I am an athlete and I need to make sure I get enough protein after my morning workout. I have been using a vegan protein powder in my morning smoothie. I have green juice before the gym, and a protein smoothie afterward. Is this okay?
The idea that the body must consume protein before or after intense physical exertion is outdated by any standard. The body runs best when it is powerfully conducting the Life Force Energy which comes from clean, open pathways (created by a diet high in water- containing fruits and vegetables and a regimen dedicated to the removal of intestinal obstruction), not dense proteins (either of the vegan or non-vegan variety). Your power does not come from what you put in your body right before or after a work out but by the steady state of a clean-celled system, systematically consuming high-life-force-foods with great eliminations. Most people are not used to the power that comes from such lightness of being. In the beginning, when they are transitioning away from old protein/workout paradigms, they can mistake missing their “false fire” of stimulating proteins for weakness. That is just a phase and if you stick with the clean-celled paradigm that will pass and you will tap into the power of a swiftly conducting system.
Natalia and I work with athletes all the time and know a number of world-class athletes who are dedicated to this approach because it has made them more powerful, agile and strong! It’s the full picture of your diet and internal systems that matter, not whether you have protein right after your workout. That idea, while very commonly held, comes from old school gym mythology.
In fact, over time many detoxers find it somewhat miserable to exercise with a full system that is giving much of the body’s energy to the digestion process instead of the movement at hand and wouldn’t dream of putting anything but water containing fruits or avocado salads into the body after a big work out. Heavier foods may be enjoyed like raw granola, baked sweet potatoes, fish, raw goat or sheep cheeses and eggs as part of the daily intake but do not feel there is a special post-workout protein formula that will make you stronger (unless it is a raw organic egg yoke and vegetable juice concoction which many clean-celled athletes swear by (but there’s always the risk of samonella so be cautious with that one and note that the egg whites should be discarded).
Many of the vegan powders on the market, including the raw powders, are comprised mainly of brown rice or oat protein. For an individual who is using a yeast-conscious approach to food like the one outlined in Detox4Women, this will not help you achieve your goals and as an athlete is will only make you puffier. Rice powder is dead, dense, and will stick in the system. It is yeast feeding and is certainly not a health generator. If you are still excited about having protein in the early half of the day before lunch (after green juice!!) my top three suggestions are:
1. Leafy greens are the most easily assimilated protein source for the body. A blueberry-spinach smoothie would be a wonderful option if you feel you would like more than green juice.
2. Raw egg smoothies are also relatively light and will give the body and easy to digest protein option. I love mine blended with baby spinach, vanilla, ice, and stevia (again, note the above egg warning/instructions).
3. For an even more substantial protein smoothie option try blending banana and raw sesame tahini or raw almond butter for a nut and seed based protein. This will move through the body at a slower speed than the other two options as it is more dense, but it will not directly feed a yeasted system nor weight the system down too early in the day.
Explore the difference between true energy that originates in a clean healthy body and the stimulation of taking in dense substances of a slightly addictive nature (like starchy grains). Please be cautious also when reading anything that feels gimmicky or marketed. The truth is that nothing can be gained from a dead dry powder.
I have Detox4Women and I notice you do not mention Lentils. I love lentils with millet. Are they ok to eat on your cleanse? Love your thoughts!!
Thank you for your email. I am so glad you are enjoying the Detox4Women lifestyle.
Lentils can have a place in your lifestyle if you are eating them and still progressing because lentils are the smallest of the legumes, and therefore much easier on the system than beans or peas. Legumes are not included in Detox4Women because they are mostly starchy and hard to digest.
Lentils combine best with raw and cooked vegetables, like a lentil soup after a large raw avocado salad. The next best option is to combine them with a clean cooked starch, like millet, quinoa, or buckwheat just as you have been doing.
Lentils should always be eaten after or with a raw salad so that they are less dense when moving through the system. Have your salad first, and then enjoy! Or try making a chilled lentil salad to top your raw green salad for added texture and flavor:
• 2 cups cooked lentils
• juice of 2 lemons
• 1/2 cup chopped parsley
• 1 smalled chopped red onion
• 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
• 1 chopped beafsteak tomato
• dash of chili powder
• dash of cumin
• stevia to taste
• sea salt to taste
Mix ingredients and refrigerate until chilled, then top a large raw green salad with avocado if desired.
I hope this helps, and please feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.