My Thoughts on Hemp, Not to Smoke, but to Eat!

My Thoughts on Hemp, Not to Smoke, but to Eat!

What a cool discovery, hemp seeds.  Yeah, they have been great in my cereal and salads.  Why is this such a big deal?  Well, I’ve been playing with vegan diets over the last several months and I still hear about how I may be missing out on the much needed “protein” in my diet.  That’s started me on a discovery journey.  I’ve been doing so much research on the whole protein deficiency scare for vegetarians and vegans.  Here’s a few things thehardrunner has learned about hemp seeds, other plant foods and the misnomers of a plant central diet. 

I now understand the difference between complete protein and incomplete proteins.  Foods with complete proteins contain all the essential amino acids (in proper proportion) our bodies require to form protein.  This is found in most animal meats, but most richly in the animal’s organs, like the liver.  Foods with incomplete proteins are lacking the full proportion required in one or more amino acids.  Thus even a veggie that has an incomplete protein possesses some of all the amino acids, but may not have a full amount required for our bodies.


The good news is that the human body knows how to combine foods and obtain the required amount of each amino to form the protein it needs.  Further, the foods don’t need to come all at once.  A combo of beans and rice, for example, can be consumed at once or over two or three meals in your day.  If you have rice at lunch and beans at dinner, you have armed your body to get what it needs to build a protein.


You can indeed get complete proteins from vegetables.  I was reading an article by a woman who claimed she returned to eating meat after she “learned” she wasn’t getting complete proteins from a plant only diet.  After a short look on the net, I found out just how wrong she was.  And this person has a published book!  Really?  A short list of plant foods with complete proteins:  quinoa, soybeans, spirulina, chia, and hemp seed.  All these foods are pretty easy for most Americans to buy in a grocery store.  Shucks, I bought my bag of hemp seeds at my local Costco.  And Hemp seed has 10 grams/serving of protein and is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acid.  I’ve been adding about two tablespoons to my cereal this week and it’s been great.  Soy bean was a pleasant surprise to me because I eat them all the time as edamame.  But, soy beans are on my very short list of veggies that I look for organic as often as possible.  Too much to go into the whys in this note, but look for my rant on that later.  Run a quick youtube search on “gmo soy beans” to get a hint.




All this doesn’t mean that I’m a vegan now.  I do, however, enjoy eating like one most of the time.  I still love fish, shrimp and the occasional hamburger as a sort of treat.  I’m just free to go without the meat and know that I’m not missing out on anything essential.


I’ve also been humbled a bit by what I’ve learned.  I once thought those non-meat eating folks were a little weird and were missing out on so much.  Now I’m learning that this land is rich and abundant with plenty of healthy eating options for us, including meat eaters and non-meat eaters.  To each his own, I guess.


I’ve lost 30 pounds this year on a mostly non-meat diet, so I’ll stick with it for a little while.  Never, never stop running.

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