The Power of À la carte

You like your steak. How’s that for an understatement? I know; we can have your Prime Rib when we pry it from your cold, horseradish-daubed fingers. Not to worry—no one is going to take your meat away.

But is every instance of your Cow Enthusiasm® worth fighting over? Au jus aside, there are times you just want to throw a quick helping of protein at your muscle mass, or at your exercise-depleted bod. If that protein dose isn’t going to be a sizzling slab of muscle fiber, does it have to be a cow at all?


A 2013 double-blind study found that whole grain brown rice protein yields the same results in muscle mass building, exercise recovery, and strength increase as a cow milk-based whey protein product. And without the gas-producing lactose, incidental manufacturing additives, and dairy industry risk of hormonal mission-creep. When combined with other plants—like peas and hemp, notably—brown rice protein will launch your rocket just as surely as conflicted cow powder; and then some.

Now, culturally, one doesn’t immediately think of brown rice when considering a protein boost. One is more likely to imagine the Brontosaurus Burger that tips over Fred Flintstone’s car at the paleo drive-through. But you don’t need a Bronto Burger. The amino acid Leucine—the potent “branched amino acid” that turns 98-pound weaklings into muscle-swaddled demigods (approximately)—is manifestly present in whole grain brown rice. 48 grams of whole grain brown rice protein a day and you’ve boarded the plane to Jack LaLanne. So to Speak.

So…here’s a message to our carnivore pals and gals as they continue to circle the wagons.

Chill, Jack and Jill.

Your Prime Rib isn’t under siege—though you may want to ease up on the ketchup there, sport. Moving to a plant-based protein supplement doesn’t mean you have to weep in the presence of bacon (though joyous weeping in that setting is not uncommon). No one is asking you to throw your arms around a tree or give up steak. Switching to a plant-based protein supplement solution just means you’re choosing a single efficiency that rocks your health. Self-improvement doesn’t have to be a religious conversion. All or Nothing wrecks the party. Plant-based iron-pumping is a half-measure, yeah. Welcome to the power of À la carte.

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