- Where do you get your protein?
This is the inevitable first question you will get when eating a Whole-food, Plant-based diet. The answer is where don't I get my protein from, as that one is much harder to answer! The easy and quick answer is you should have zero issue fulfilling your protein needs if you eat a variety of plant based foods. Just a few sources are: Lentils, Black Beans, Brown Rice, Kale, Spinach, Quinoa, Broccoli, Avocado....the list goes on and on!
- Where do you get your calcium?
See protein answer! This is probably the second question you will get. I could get into the science of why the typical American diet requires so much calcium but I will leave that explanation to the experts (see Resources tab - Forks Over Knives or Engine 2 Diet). Non-Dairy milks are an excellent source of calcium as are many vegetables. Who would have thought!
- Where do you get your ______ ?
See previous answers, the only exception is B12, for that see below!
- What about B12?
I highly recommend reading Rip Esselstyn's book "My Beef With Meat," as it has an excellent chapter on B12. It is available for purchase on the engine2diet.com website or very likely for rent at your library. B12 is not available in plants and you must find a source of it elsewhere. Non-dairy milk and nutritional yeast are fortified with it, or it can be taken as a supplement. There are ways that herbivores & other primates, such as gorillas, in nature fulfill their B12 needs as a side effect to not cleaning off their food, but trust me you don't want to go there. Just read Rip's book for a much better explanation.
- Are you Vegan? Isn't Vegan and Whole-food, Plant-based the same thing?
No we are not vegan in the true sense of the word. Vegans refrain from eating or using any product that comes from animals. There are a couple of really important notes about the differences:
- Just because you eat a vegan diet doesn't mean you eat healthy! Vegan diets can include processed foods and oils. Many of the cheese alternatives are laden with oils and ingredients you cannot pronounce. You can be a vegan and eat healthy, or eat unhealthy! The difference is with a Whole-food, Plant-Based diet you leave out all the processed foods and oils. Another way to put it is not all vegans eat a Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet, but by default if you are eating a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet you are eating vegan!
- The second important note is the use of animal products in general. For us we are trying hard to eliminate using animal products for ethical, environmental and sustainability reason. Note I said trying, as we are not perfect. For example I'd be willing to bet that a pair of someones shoes in our house has leather in them somewhere. My views have changed though where in the past it was not a consideration at all, but now, given good alternatives I will use non-animal based products as much as possible.