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  • Writer's pictureGreens and Beans

Plant-based power

Updated: Jan 5, 2020

- Keeping fit on a plant-based diet.

Jed and James often spend hours at a time thinking about life's big existential questions. Is there a higher power? What was the purpose of the Night King in season 8 of Game of Thrones? Is there an afterlife? Which bean do we most closely resemble? We'll we've figured it out (just the bean question...).

James is a broad bean. His immense physical form makes him stand out from any crowd. This bean bangs weights 24/7 and is best served on a warm bruschetta with sautéed tomatoes, capers and rocket side-salad.

Jed is a runner bean. His long legs and light frame are ideal for long-distance and cross-country running. His presence is always enjoyable, but especially in a plant-based mac n cheese topped with panko bread crumbs.

If you haven't guessed it yet (wouldn't blame you), this article is about keeping fit and living an active life on a plant-based diet. In particular, this article challenges the misconception that plant-based ladies and gentlemen don't get enough protein.

First, let's talk facts:

- According to the British Nutrition Foundation the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is “set at 0.75g of protein per kilogram bodyweight per day for adults”.[1] For example, if you're a 80kg broad bean you'll need 60g of protein each day.

- A recent survey from the National Diet and Nutritional Survey has found that people regularly consume amounts of protein in excess of their RNI – the region of 75-100 grams.[2] Whilst eating more protein than your RNI guideline isn't harmful,[3] it is unnecessary - despite what your local gym user might say.

- Some of the world's best athletes have adopted a fully plant-based diet. We're talking Lewis Hamilton (five-time F1 World Champion), Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic (thirty-nine Grand Slam titles shared between them), David Haye (former world cruiserweight and heavyweight boxing champion), and Chris Hemsworth (whilst not strictly an athlete, he is a literal Norse god).

It's absolutely possible to get enough protein on a plant-based diet. Take a look at some of our protein-rich recipes; such as roasted chickpeas, sweetheart tofu, and refried beans.

But what about on the go? Is it still hard to source enough protein? Well, just take a peak at one of James' go-to meal-deals from Co-op (£3.50). #ratemymealdeal

Falafel & Tabbouleh Salad - 13.75g of protein

Carrot and humous dip - 4g of protein

Innocent Super Smoothie - 2.16g of protein

Total amount of protein - 19.91g

That's almost a third of an 80kg broad bean boy's daily protein NRI. Not bad for a quick, cheap and easy meal-deal!

Plant-based power is doing the things you love (sport, hiking, vigorous dish-washing...) using energy generated by environmentally kind foods (don't forget the holy trinity: beans, pulses and peas). We can all tap into our plant-based power supplies, even for just a few days a week, with minimal effort and no concerns about getting enough protein.

Popeye, after all, got swoll from chugging cans of spinach.


Picture of Popeye: Dornicke [CC BY-SA 4.0]


Picture of broad beans: Karuojisan from Japan [CC BY-SA 3.0] (

Picture of runner beans: Simon Thomas [CC BY-SA 4.0](

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