NMP#49: Protein From Plants with Heather Nicholds

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But where do you get your protein? That’s the number one question most vegans hear. And today, Heather Nicholds has a very simple answer: Get your protein from plants! That’s the title of her new book and that’s what we’re talking about; getting protein from plants. Join me in other provocative discussions about plant-based living, including this discussion with Robin Schaper on Saying Goodbye to Meat. You may also like this lively discussion with Julie Piatt on This Cheese is Nuts: Making Plant-Based Cheeses.

But where do you get your protein? That’s the number one question most vegans hear. And today, Heather Nicholds has a very simple answer: Get your protein from plants! That’s the title of her new book and that’s what we’re talking about; getting protein from plants.

Today I’m talking with Heather Nicholds, author of the book author of the book Protein from Plants.

If you’re vegan, then I bet you recognize this conversation:

Becky: Would you like a hamburger?
You: No thanks. I don’t eat meat.
Becky: Are you vegetarian?
You: Well, actually I’m vegan.
Becky: Wow. So you don’t eat cheese?
You: Nope.
Becky: Or eggs?
You: Nope.
Becky: How about fish?
You: I don’t eat meat, including fish.
Becky: But where do you get your protein?

It’s the question every vegan hears at some point in the conversation when it turns to diet.

Of course, you may not be vegan, but you’re veg-curious. And that means you might have been tempted to ask the question yourself…if I go vegan, where will I get my protein?

If either scenario above fits you, then you will love today’s discussion.

How to Get Protein from Plants

Heather took a deep dive into the topic of nutrition by becoming a holistic nutritionist. Then she realized she wanted to learn more and went deeper into the specific topic of protein and how we can get it from plants.

Does that sound counter-intuitive? That we can get protein from plants?

If so, then just think a minute about some of the biggest, strongest animals on the planet. Like elephants and cows and apes. Guess what? They get most of their protein from, you guessed it, plants.

So if they can get protein from plants, then you know we can too. Heather explains that it’s not hard to get protein from plants, but there are a couple of things you need to know. We go into those things more specifically during today’s episode.

Heather also dispels some of the myths around plant-based protein. We talk about protein powders. And we talk about the right amount of protein needed for your diet to feel your best.

How much protein do you need in your diet? The range that Heather suggests is 10 – 20% and she talks about how there is no scientific proof for going higher than this. I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about super high protein diets, but Heather says there is no scientific evidence to the health benefits of this. In fact, Dr. Greger of the site Nutrition Facts corroborates this claim, in his video The Great Protein Myth. He talks about how human breast milk is the perfect food for humans and if we look at human milk, it has the lowest protein concentrate of any animal in the world, less than 1% protein by weight. He suggests the idea amount of protein is your ideal weight in pounds multiple by four and then divided by ten. For a 150 pound adult, that would be 60 grams of protein per day.

Heather and I also talk about healthy living on a plant-based diet. For example, what you eat can help your body heal from disease, such as cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and more.

Personal Accountability

We also talk about something that’s been on my mind so much lately. It’s so easy to feel discouraged about the way things seem to be going in the wrong direction these days. I’m talking about politics and the decisions being made and the environment and more. But then I remind myself, I don’t have control over those things, except through the power of my vote and I definitely do vote and you can be that my vote is always going to the people who are making a difference for the environment and for the people, the hard working people in this country.

But then there is one more thing I can do too. I can be personally accountable for my own life. You know, for example the way I eat has a big impact on the environment. So that ’s one of the reasons I’m vegan. It’s good on the environment. Going vegan lightens your carbon impact and it does make a difference. Shawn and I started a compost bin in our backyard too. Figure out the things that you can do personally to make a difference in this world. This kind of mentality takes us away from feeling like victims and helps us be apart of the change for the good in this world.

As you may be able to tell, this was a positive discussion with Heather and I really enjoyed it and think you will too.

So let’s get straight to it. Here’s today’s feature interview with Heather Nicholds.

Health + Happiness,


Show Notes — Protein from Plants

There are several resources discussed on today’s episode on the Protein from Plants. Here they are:

Check out the other Namely Marly Podcast episodes.

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That’s it for today’s podcast. As always, thanks so much for joining in the discussion!

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