How many times do I have to answer the question, “If you’re a vegan, then how do you eat enough protein?” Oh my gosh! This kills me every time I get asked it.

Since when did we start believing that the only way we can reach our daily protein requirements is by eating a steak at every meal? Since when have we evolved into egg eating, protein-shake guzzling, and animal-meat crazy carnivores? What did we do as a species before protein powders and an endless supply of factory farmed meat was available for us to consume?

Imagine the protein-deficient crisis our ancestors must have been in if we did require as much protein as we devour in modern-day America.

So, first off, vegetables, seeds, beans, lentils, rice, etc. all have protein. Do you remember Popeye from the cartoon, “Popeye the Sailor Man?” Does anyone remember what he used to fuel up on before he needed to save Olive Oil and knock Brutus out? Well, I’ll tell ya, he never whipped out a protein shake or a bucket of chicken. He fueled up on spinach. The old cartoons had it right.

Let me explain that we are what we eat and we are that which we eat eats. Each time you go up higher in the food chain you lose much of the energy that is in your fuel source. Plants, who are directly converting the energy from the sun into chemical energy for us, is our greatest source of energy!

Think about what the biggest and strongest animals on the planet eat. Elephants, bison, and mountain goats are all herbivores. Now, these grass-loving friends are an example that even just “vegan food” is enough protein and energy to build some pretty impressive muscles.

Even some Olympic athletes and football stars have found the vegan way an incredible asset in increasing their strength, stamina, and endurance profiles. Not only does it pay off in the realm of health-related benefits, but I also heard that going vegan pays dividends in making you look good too.