Want to shed those unwanted pounds? Get your protein on because skinny tastes better than anything you can eat.

Whirr, the high-powered blender kicked in with a flip of its switch just as LJ walked into the sunlit kitchen.

“Good morning, sweetheart. I’m making a smoothie for breakfast. Would you like one?”

“That depends on what you’re putting in it.”

“Well, Mr. Grouch, I have almond milk, spinach, banana, and chia seeds. I’m also adding some vegan powder to boost the protein content.”

“Sorry, I am tired this morning, but that sounds good. Why are you using vegan protein powder?”

“It’s okay; some mornings are a rough start. Hopefully, this smoothie will help with your energy level. I’m using vegan, also known as plant-based protein powder, because we are lactose intolerant, and it’s more environmentally friendly and cruelty-free.”

“Okay, remind me again, does it have the same benefits as animal-based protein for weight loss? Because, as you know, I’m determined to maintain a healthy weight.”

“Yes, it does,” she quipped. “Protein helps with weight loss in many ways, regardless of the source. For example, it reduces hunger and appetite by affecting the hormones that regulate our feelings of fullness.

Protein also increases metabolism and calorie burning by having a higher thermic effect than carbs or fat. That means our body uses more energy to digest and metabolize protein.”

“Got it, so protein helps us eat less and burn more calories. What else does it do?

“Eating the right amount of protein daily helps preserve muscle mass and prevents metabolic slowdown during weight loss and aging. You know how we tend to lose some muscle and fat when we lose weight? That can make our metabolism slower and make it harder to keep the weight off. But by eating enough protein, we can prevent that and maintain our muscle mass and metabolic rate.

By supporting your muscles, protein improves body composition and your health. Eating more protein before and after workouts helps you lose more fat and less muscle, resulting in a leaner and healthier body shape.

Protein also has many other benefits for your health, such as lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, improving muscle density, and reducing inflammation.”

LJ sipped his smoothie. “That makes sense. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so we want to keep it as much as possible. I’m glad to know protein helps with overall health, especially blood pressure. How much protein do we need to eat to get these benefits?”

“Well, that depends on age, weight, activity level, and goals. However, most experts recommend eating between 0.8 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. For us that would be around 2.3 to 4.5 ounces of protein daily. Good examples are one 3-ounce salmon, one cup of plain Greek yogurt, or one cup of cooked lentils.”

“If I’m only eating vegan protein, does that mean I have to eat a lot of beans and tofu?”

“LJ, you are so funny. Many vegan protein sources support weight loss and overall health and are easy to include besides beans and tofu. There are other types of soy and many varieties of beans, also chickpeas, quinoa, nuts, seeds, and grains. To boost intake, we can also use vegan protein supplements, such as whey, casein, pea, rice, or hemp protein powders. The key is to eat various plant-based foods that provide all the essential amino acids and protein your body needs.

“I see. So, I can get enough protein from plants without compromising my health or the environment. That works! All this talk about protein is making me hungry. Good thing I’ve got this delish smoothie.”

Annie clicked his glass. “You’re welcome.”


Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.

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