By Brett Franciosi

“Wait, but where do you get your protein?”

Whether you’ve been vegan for years, are new to the cruelty-free club, or even just considering adopting the lifestyle, chances are you’ve heard the question above more times than you can count. 

The truth about protein, one of the three macronutrients, is that it can come from a variety of sources within your diet. 

Those sources include the ones you may be more familiar with such as tofu, tempeh and seitan. However, we can actually receive these essential grams of protein from some very unlikely sources such as pumpkin seeds, almonds, brussel sprouts and lentils. 

There is so much misunderstood information regarding nutrition and more specifically, protein. Here are two huge reasons why plants have all the protein we need.

  1. Nutrient Dense – This means that these sources of protein are far more than just protein. These additional protein sources consist of healthy fats, complex carbs, vitamins and minerals. This makes them nutrient dense because of the amount of essential nutrients that the body will receive from these food sources and not just the grams of protein. 

  2. Amino Acids – You may have heard of these by their abbreviation, BCAA’s. There are hundreds of Amino Acids that food contains but there are 9 Essential Amino Acids that the human body can not produce on its own. This means we must receive them from our nutrition. These 9 essential amino acids can be found in a variety of foods, such as the ones I listed above. The best part is that you do NOT need to consume all 9 of these amino acids at each meal. Your body is actually able to receive these essential amino acids throughout the day when our diet consists of multiple different protein sources.

This means that with a well balanced vegan diet you can not only get enough protein but also ensure that you’re consuming nutrient dense foods that also consist of those essential amino acids.

Now that you have a foolproof response to the famous protein question, please allow me to introduce myself. 

My name is Brett Franciosi and I have been practicing a vegan lifestyle for roughly two and a half years. I am a certified personal trainer and certified vegan nutrition coach, focused on helping people live their healthiest life! 

Adopting a vegan diet comes with many questions and critiques surrounding nutrition. The goal of my partnership with The VeganZine is to help debunk vegan nutrition myths, provide nutrition tips, and address any questions that you, the VeganZine readers, may have. 

Should I be taking supplements? Am I getting enough B12? What happens if I’m not? Is soy really that bad for me? 

Throughout my career as a fitness professional, I have worked with hundreds of individuals to help them develop healthy lifestyle habits. My hope is that BFit Nutrition will serve as a tool to help you do the same. I can be reached via email – bfranfitness@gmail.com or on all forms of social media at @bfranfitness. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, or future topics you hope to read about!   

I encourage you to check back each week as we uncover the truth about a healthy, vegan diet!

Brett is a certified personal trainer and certified vegan nutrition coach based out of Central Massachusetts. As a vegan athlete and fitness professional, Brett emphasizes the importance of a well rounded vegan diet and contributes most of his and his clients success to that approach. If you or someone you know is struggling with a vegan diet or are interested in transitioning to a vegan diet please contact him at bfranfitness@gmail.com.