Knowledge Base > Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Eric Wynkoop - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, January 02, 2024 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Eric Wynkoop in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to co… Read More.



I'm new to the Whole food plant-based diet. Instead of eating meat, what is a good protein source to eat?

— Maria Miller


You know, consistently a, a good source of, uh, the amino acids that make up proteins is gonna be, uh, beans and, and, you know, legumes and, uh, you know, other, other members of, uh, of that, uh, that group of foods. And, uh, there are many, many to choose from, you know, whether it's garbanzo beans or black beans or, or mung beans or something else. Um, folks around the world historically have, um, those that are plant-based, uh, have reached for the, these, these beans, uh, peas, you know, legumes, uh, that come in a pod, right? Um, in some fashion or another. Um, and, uh, you know, in fact, what, uh, you will often see, uh, is a meal arrangement where, um, you've got some sort of a bean preparation, you know, along with a, a grain, whatever the local staple food is. It could be a, a whole grain. Uh, very often it's milled into a flour, and then something is made right? It could be a, a flatbread that's unleavened. Uh, it may be a leavened bread, it could be a noodle. Uh, and so you've, you've got these two categories of foods that, that are often served together, you know, at least historically. Uh, and then you've got a secondary vegetable or, you know, other preparations that, uh, round out the meal. Um, but this is, uh, a very common eating pattern still today, uh, throughout the world. And, um, uh, you know, just to give an example, if we were to look at, um, you know, a, a common, maybe a stereotypical meal, uh, from India, uh, of d which is, uh, you know, sied, um, legume preparation and bot or rice, uh, you, you'll sometimes find the, a similar bean preparation that's paired with, um, chapati, uh, or roti, which are, uh, wheat based, um, flat breads. And, um, you know, in a place like, uh, Mexico, you'll come across, uh, beans of some sort, um, that might be paired with corn tortillas. And so these are examples of, uh, you know, how these staples, uh, are, are represented around, uh, the world. And, um, uh, keep in mind that, uh, protein, right, our body synthesizes protein, protein, um, from the foods we eat, uh, and what we're, what, what our body is taking in are the amino acids, uh, which form the building blocks of protein for our bodies. And so, you know, we can get these various sensory amino acids from, um, different foods, uh, across the meal and, and across the day of consumption. Okay? Um, so while meat, right? And, um, you know, meat products, animal dried products like eggs, um, provide what's called a complete protein, all of the essential amino acids. Um, there are, there's a relatively small subset of plant foods that do, hence it's important to eat a variety of foods, uh, when we're subsisting on a plant-based diet. Okay? That's, um, always, uh, the guideline, that's always the advice. Um, and not to mention the variation tastes good as well. So, uh, you know, the, the only folks that I can think of, um, that either I've met or I've studied through case studies that are plant-based and have, uh, suffered some, um, you know, ill health in terms of, uh, malnutrition, it was due to an unusually narrow diet, uh, that they were eating. Um, now I'm not talking about folks that have some special health condition. I'm talking about most of the people most of the time, okay? And, um, you know, you have nuts and seeds as well that are a good source of those, um, amino acids that, uh, go into, uh, protein synthesis, uh, in our bodies. Okay? And, uh, but start out with, uh, with a category of beans and legumes and peas, and, uh, think about nuts as well. Be careful of the high fat content of nuts and seeds, however, uh, and then add lots of other things to your table so you are getting a full array of nutrients.
Eric Wynkoop

Eric Wynkoop

Director of Culinary Instruction