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Guest blog: Uma part 3 – Protein deficiency

Here’s Umas third part on her road to change. I just want to bring to attention a very real problem a lot of vegetarians have in terms of overeating on carbs and having a huge lack or protein in their diet. For a start, we’re not all the same and our needs of macronutrient portions differ depending on genetics and our activities. Some of us need more amounts of protein and fat than others, so if you’re on the end of the scale where you do need more fat and protein than the average person and you’re a vegetarian, this is a big challenge. After testing, Uma is one of those people.

Interestingly, those who have a lack of protein in their diet are often the ones who crave sugar and higher GI carbs as the bodies emergency tactic to drive more nutrients into the muscle to prevent breakdown (and it’s one hell of a craving!). That’s a huge subject but I’ll write a different blog about that.

So for the Vegetarians out there that need decent complete protein sources, two of the best are:


Amount Per 100 grams
Calories 368
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6 g 9%
Saturated fat 0.7 g 3%
Polyunsaturated fat 3.3 g
Monounsaturated fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 5 mg 0%
Potassium 563 mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 64 g 21%
Dietary fiber 7 g 28%
Protein 14 g 28%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 4% Iron 25%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 25%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 49%

Chicken egg:

Amount Per 100 grams
Calories 155
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11 g 16%
Saturated fat 3.3 g 16%
Polyunsaturated fat 1.4 g
Monounsaturated fat 4.1 g
Cholesterol 373 mg 124%
Sodium 124 mg 5%
Potassium 126 mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 1.1 g 0%
Dietary fiber 0 g 0%
Sugar 1.1 g
Protein 13 g 26%
Vitamin A 10% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 5% Iron 6%
Vitamin D 21% Vitamin B-6 5%
Vitamin B-12 18% Magnesium 2%

Remember though, that just because some plant protein sources contain larger amounts of protein, it doesn’t mean that they don’t contain a lot of carbs either. If you’re looking to lose fat, bare that in mind as many mistake a high protein vegetable food to be just full of protein and that is far from it in most cases!


Here’s Uma:

Week 2:

July 5th:

And so begins Week 2 of blogging:

Weight: 128.7 lbs (Down 1.3 – though this could just be water.

Today in lieu of going to another 4th of July BBQ, we went to an amazing Indian buffet, where restraint won out. No naan, paratha, or anything bread based. The meal was enough food for a full day, so dinner was a skimpy side salad.

However, as I think through this blog, an accurate, exacting food diary seems to make sense. If it gets too boring, I will jazz it up.


July 6th

Food Diary:


Protein Shake: 1.5 scoops whey protein, 1.5c almond milk, 1 banana, ½ avocado, large tablespoon of Peanut Butter. Blended with ice cubes.

Coffee with milk



2 Summer tofu rolls: rice paper wrapper, lettuce, cucumber, carrots, tofu slice

Tofu stir fry with rice noodles


Salad from Chopd: Lettuce, lentils, carrots, broccoli, mozzarella, corn, balsalmic vinagrette


10 a.m.

This morning Rupert and I had a frank discussion about … protein, or rather the lack thereof in my diet. Truth be told as a vegetarian (read: emerging pescatarian), protein is not high on my priority list. But as I repeatedly get this lecture (from the afore-mentioned), I am willing to give it a try, at least for this week.

My first meal of the day was a protein shake based on whey and peanut butter.

3:21 p.m.

Mmm… chocolate. Today is the first day that I am satiating strong cravings with blogging. I would REALLY love a molten piece of dark chocolate right now. Instead, I am drinking water, and writing about it. I will have a gluten free avocado chocolate cookie tonight, but that is still 5 hours away. The good news about our office is that it is quite hard to snack as there is nothing immediately available. Probably best to keep it that way.

Lunch was protein packed, full of tofu and other good things. Vietnamese food is a good option for vegetarians as you can get tofu in everything. (Rupert, before I get a lecture on the dangers of soy, don’t worry, I know. Only once or twice a week) 🙂

4 p.m:

The strategy worked. Craving gone.

4:30 p.m.

Gluten free, natural sugar (read: molasses and honey) peanut butter cookie eaten. Not homemade, alas, so I can’t entirely triangulate the recipe. But, alas, I need to report that it served as an immediate mood lifter. Hmm…

I am going to make more dark avocado cookies tonight because at least then I’ll know what’s in them.


Made cookies this evening: gluten free, refined sugar free. Divine.


July 7th:


2 scrambled eggs with onions, mushrooms, roast tomatoes


Snack: Homemade chocolate cookie; 1 bite of chocolate cake.


Pilpel: Falafel, salad, hummus

Good start to the day: pure protein breakfast. Today is a fast day, so lunch will be my last meal till tomorrow. I like these days. It makes me feel in control. For anyone who is interested in intermittent fasting, check out Eat.Stop.Eat, a book by a slightly odd Canadian dude. His ideas, nevertheless are sound, and I have found it really useful!

5:15 p.m.

First hunger pangs setting in. Just entering the Fasted State.

9:22 p.m.

Still fasting. It’s best to go to bed earlier when fasting.

11 p.m.

Disaster. I had dinner. I usually go to bed at 9, which makes the 24 hour fast much more manageable. But today I didn’t make it. I was tempted to delete all the above information and make no reference to fasting, but the whole point of this blog is to chronicle (authentically) my health and fitness journey. Thus with a twinge of embarrassment, I’ll tell you what I had for dinner.


  • ½ cup gluten free pasta with sundried tomato sauce (left over’s from fiancee’s dinner)
  • 2 corn tortillas, 1 handful of cheese, 1 tbsp sour cream ,1 tbsp mild salsa
  • Homemade avocado cookie, homemade protein ball

One more thing, as he is monitoring this blog, please meet Diarmo, my fiancee

July 8th:


2 scoops protein powder, skim milk (out of almond milk :(), TBSP peanut butter,


Pillau Rice; Masala Paneer


Dinner tonight was at Tibits, an amazing German vegan buffet restaurant. Filled plate with loads of good greens, tempeh, and some gluten free quiche.


2 of my amazing chocolate avocado cookies. I’m rather obsessed with them. I think I need to ease off.

July 9th: The day I trained for a marathon… or rather ate like I did

6:30 p.m.


Bah! Today was a pure carb day – gluten free but Pure Carbs. It was the day of the tube strike, so I pretty much just pottered around the general vicinity of Primrose Hill, and ate :

Breakfast: Gluten free corn muffin (made with cornmeal, not wheat)

Snack: Mandarin orange

Lunch: 3 corn tacos with cactus and Oaxaca cheese: amazing, but pure carbs

Snack: avocado chocolate cookies.

Dinner: Steamed “pie” of shiitake, tempeh & edamame, chickpea pastry, spinach, creamy almond, cashew, mustard & poppy seed sauc

All Gluten free, but not particularly protein-laden

Friday July 10th:

This year, I have the uncomfortable feeling that every day is Friday. Time is REALLY flying. It’s been a busy and interesting day, so have not had time to eat much.


Skyr Icelandic yogurt

Gluten free museli with soya milk

No Lunch:


1 homemade chocolate avocado cookie

1 rice cake


Chinese food: vegetarian lettuce wraps, white rice, tofu main

Fruit for dessert

Not bad, though didn’t quite have time to get to the gym this morning.

July 11th


Spectacularly beautiful day today, which is making me rethink the decision to go to Fierce Grace hot yoga at 9. Will snooze for a few more minutes.

8:57 a.m.

Ok. Running out the door; fortunately FG is only a 1 minute walk.

11:25 a.m.

Turns out there was no need to run; heat was broken at the FG studio, so class started late. Very glad to have dragged self out of bed. Busy social calendar today, so glad to have taken some meditative me time.

Breakfast: (Rupert will be pleased)

Spinach, Avocado,  Scrambled Eggs, and Tomato. (surprisingly very edible)   Ruperts note: I am! lol More breakfasts like this please 😉

Snack: (Rupert will be displeased, but it’s 25 degrees out).

Nano scoop of stracciatella gelato on Portobello road.  Why? Because I wanted it. And everyone around me was eating one. And… that is all. No excuse really.

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