Worried about heavy metals in your plant based protein?

So you thought you were making the healthy choice by switching from whey protein to plant based protein. You’ve seen the major brands on the shelves for years: Vega, Sunwarrior, Garden of Life, etc. You read how whey protein contains high levels of cholesterol and trace amounts of who knows what’s in the cows. You wanted a healthy clean option so you finally gave one of the major plant based protein brands a shot.

Well, bad news for you, it turns out that the major plant based protein brands that you see in major store chains have their own health hazards to worry about….HEAVY METAL CONTAMINATION.

In March of 2018, Consumer Reports released an alarming article talking about high levels of heavy metal contamination (arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury) in popular protein powders. They referenced a major study done by the Clean Label Project in which 134 of the best selling protein powders were tested and examined for quality in many facets. The major facet looked at was heavy metals. Out of the 134 tested, the major plant based brands: Vega, Sunwarrior, and Garden of Life were rated the absolute worst due to heavy metal contamination.

Below is the link to the Consumer Reports article:


Clean Label Project study link:


Let me tell you why this is no surprise to a supplement industry insider like myself. I will also tell you why our plant based protein is different from the major brands and is free of heavy metal contamination. Vega, Sunwarrior, and Garden of Life, amongst other major plant based brands source the majority their protein ingredients from China. In fact, 90% of the
supplement industry’s pea protein supply is from China. Very little pea protein ingredients are produced from seed to final powder here in America. The ones that are made in the USA are more than TWICE as expensive.

The major companies, especially the ones owned by massive publicly traded corporations (Vega owned by White Wave Foods, Garden of Life owned by Nestle) with greedy share holders, will cut costs to maximize profit by any means necessary.

But it says it’s organic….??

It doesn’t matter if plants are grown organically. If grown in a polluted region where the ground, water, and air are contaminated with heavy metals, the crop will be as
well. Then the crop gets processed into protein powder, and these contaminants are not extracted.

Speaking of “organic”, Chinese companies are notorious for falsifying documents to get the USDA Organic rating on their spec sheets. But that is a whole other blog post.

People ask me if our protein is 100% organic and are shocked when I say “We are proudly not 100% organic” for the aforementioned reason above. Because most “organic” stuff you see on the market is from China and most likely contains heavy metals and might not even be entirely organic. I feel more comfortable with my 69-year-old mother using Real Pro Life Nutrition’s protein as opposed to a company like Orgain.

What makes Real Pro Life Nutrition’s premium plant based protein powder different? Completely clean, healthy, and safe?

We DO NOT use any protein ingredients from China. The pea protein we use is called Puris. It is the ONLY eco friendly and 100% USA manufactured pea protein in
the world. Our brown rice protein and potato proteins are manufactured in the USA and The Netherlands.

Not only do we use better ingredients, we rigorously test for heavy metals in our protein. Our manufacturing facility is the only facility in the world (besides Chevron) that possesses an Agilent ICPMS detection technology. It can detect heavy metals down to the parts per TRILLION. To put that in perspective, most companies only test down to the parts per million, if they test at all.

In conclusion, you should still use a plant based protein over a whey protein product. Just don’t buy the major brands. We’re a boutique company that takes pride in putting people before profits by using the best ingredients in the world, no matter the cost.

Do You Need A Protein Powder?

When it comes to exercise and fitness on a plant-based diet, the question I get asked all the time is: Do you NEED a protein powder? The answer is short and sweet, no. No you do not need a protein powder to build a strong sexy body, male or female, on a vegan diet. When I say, “need”, I mean “must have”.


However, another question arises. SHOULD you use a protein powder on a plant-based diet to assist with building muscle and strength? The answer is: it all depends.


I am a firm believer in whole food nutrition. Your macronutrients and micronutrients, when ever possible, should come from whole food sources and not supplements. A protein powder is a nutritional supplement. Meaning that it is meant to “supplement” your daily needs if you aren’t getting enough through your whole foods diet.


Your fitness goals and level/type of physical activity will determine how much protein you need per day. It will also determine your overall macronutrient ratio and portions each day (protein grams: carbs grams: fat grams).


There are a couple of reasons why a protein powder can help assist you in achieving a lean, strong, and sexy body as a vegan. The first reason is convenience. Whether you’re on the go and need something fast or you just don’t feel like preparing a full meal to get your protein, a protein shake is a great option. Another reason is you can make protein absolutely delicious! I personally love making fruit and veggie protein smoothies in my blender. Just throw some of your favorite fruits and veggies in there with a scoop of protein powder and some water and BOOM, you have a lean source of protein with the micronutrients of the fruits in veggies and it tastes great!


However, the most important reason why a protein powder can assist you in your fitness and physique goals is the ability to tailor your macros. Again, when I say, “tailor your macros”, I am talking about the ability to adjust your ratio and portions of protein, carbs, and fats.


On a vegan whole food diet, my favorite protein sources are lentils, split peas, black beans, and a very small few of the imitation meat products out there. I am not a fan of any soy protein products. Aside from some of the really good imitation meat products out there, the aforementioned protein sources aren’t pure protein. Lentils, split peas, and beans typically have a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of protein to carbs. That of course means that for every 1 gram of protein, you get 2-3 grams of carbs. And that’s just your protein source, not to mention the source of pure carbs on your plate such as brown rice or a sweet potato.


Certain nuts and seeds have protein but come with a lot of poly and mono unsaturated fats, which may or may not be what you want at certain times.


Depending on whether you’re trying to really lean down or just maintain your current body fat percentage, you need to keep these ratios and portions in mind. If you’re trying to lean down and achieve muscle tone, you want to keep the protein a bit high and keep the carbs a bit moderate (to varying degrees depending on your goals). If you’re lifting and doing cardio and really trying to shred down and lean out, I would recommend a macro ratio of 1:1 protein to carbs or a 1:2 to be moderate.


That means that some meals you might want just pure protein and minimal carbs and fats. A protein powder is a great solution for that. Another example of convenience is if you have a veggie wrap or some meal that is primarily just carbs (in macronutrients) and you want to balance it out with protein, a protein shake works.


Being that I am an avid weight lifter, I like to get in 1gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. I also like to keep my protein to carbs ratio at around 1:2 and 1:3. So I get plenty of protein through lentils, black beans, split peas, and imitation meats, but when I want to really tailor my macros for a pure protein meal or for my post workout “meal” immediately after lifting weights, a vegan protein powder is my “go to” option. I also love making protein smoothies in my blender. It is a great way to cram a bunch of green vegetables in along with some fruit and get all of the micronutrient benefits as well as protein in a quick, easy, and delicious solution.


Pay attention to the nutrition facts labels on all food that you consume so you know your macronutrient intake in grams. I see posts all the time on Instagram under #VeganProtein and it is basically a bowl of carbs. It’ll be a salad with some quinoa sprinkled on top or something. Quinoa, for example, has approximately a 1:5 protein to carbs ratio. It should be used as a your carb source, not your protein source. And don’t get me started on broccoli (reference my previous blog post on that).


The point is…No, you do not NEED a protein powder to achieve a strong sexy body on a plant based diet. However, using a protein powder definitely has its benefits in assisting you with your health and fitness goals. I hope this blog post was helpful. If you have any questions in regards to this topic, feel free to email us through our website on the Contact page. Thank you for reading this blog post.

Busting Vegan Protein Myths Vol 1

Below is a meme most of you have probably seen floating around the internet from vegan forums to Instagram and various social media platforms. It is basically telling people that there is more protein in broccoli than in beef. In this blog I am going to explain this farce, clarify the truth, and make sure our vegan community is no longer misled on legitimate sources of plant based whole food protein.

First I want to address the numbers from the meme above. Based on actual nutrition facts labels of actual broccoli and beef found in my local grocery store (which will be displayed further down this blog post), the numbers in this meme aren’t even accurate. Instead of Beef having 6.4 grams of protein per 100 calories, the real number is 13.3 grams of protein per 100 calories. Instead of Broccoli having 11.1 grams of protein per 100 calories, the real number is 10 grams of protein per 100 calories.

Now let me tell you why assessing protein content (or any other macro nutrient) in a food based off of calories is absolutely silly. I have been on the forums and seen tons of people talk about broccoli and other greens as a good source of dietary protein based on calories or as a “percentage of calories”. Broccoli and other greens are not calorie dense at all when you consider their overall mass. Which means to get a comparable number of calories to beef, you need a way bigger mass of broccoli than beef. A typical serving, 1 cup as you can see below, is 85 grams of broccoli. Of that 85 gram serving, it only has 30 calories. Since there are 3 grams of protein per serving, that means 12 of those calories are from protein (4 calories per 1 gram of protein). If you divide 12 by 30, you get 40%. Is broccoli 40% protein? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

To find out whether a food is a good source of dietary protein, you need to think in terms of grams. As you can see above, 85 grams of broccoli gets you 3 grams of protein. Divide 3 by 85 and you get 3.5%. Broccoli is only 3.5% protein by weight. Is food that is only 3.5% protein a good and efficient source of dietary protein? I would say no.

Below are pictures of lean beef strips that I took in my local grocery store. The nutrition facts are very typical and accurate when talking about lean beef (leanness of beef always varies).

As you can see above, for the same 85 gram serving size, you get 16 grams of protein in beef as opposed to the 3 grams of protein in the broccoli. When you divide 16 by 85, this beef is 18.8% protein by weight as opposed to broccoli at 3.5%.

I hope this cleared up for everyone that sees that “beef vs. broccoli” meme or is told that greens have more protein than beef (or other lean meats). I am of course not discounting broccoli one bit in regards to nutritional value.

Broccoli along with other greens are great sources of vital micro nutrients. Broccoli is a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folate, and dietary fiber amongst many other things. You should eat green vegetables as much as possible. However, they are NOT an efficient way to get good dietary protein.

My favorite plant based whole food protein sources are black beans, lentils, split peas, and some of the imitation meats out there. There are a ton of great plant based protein sources out there, just make sure to always look at the nutrition facts on your food and do the math. I hope this helps. There will be more blogs to come that address whole food plant based protein sources, diets, and nutrition. Thank you for reading.


Click here to view my blog

Welcome and thank you for checking out my blog. My first entry will be an introduction and explain the purpose of this blog as well as provide some insight as to the topics of future blog posts.


I want to first introduce myself and briefly talk about my background and experience. My name is Andrew Brindle and I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan and have resided in Vegas for 4 years. I have been heavily involved in the fitness and nutrition industry for over 15 years. I am an avid weight lifter, runner, and jiu jitsu/submission wrestling competitor. I have tried pretty much every fad diet, supplement, and workout. Through trials and tribulations, a lot of reading and research, and more trials and tribulations to test results on myself, I know what works and what doesn’t work. I know what is hype and what is real when it comes to fitness and nutrition. There is a ton of fluff and BS within this multi-billion dollar industry and my blog is aimed at helping you navigate through it all. With an unbiased opinion, my blog posts will cut through all of the crap and make sense of things to help you improve your health and fitness. Yes, those can be two completely different things! I will dive deeper into that topic in future blog posts.

I will be covering everything from exercise to nutrition. The focus will be on vegan or plant based diets and supplements. Depending on your goals, I will be talking about what exercises, diets, foods, and supplements work and why. A big part of this blog will be clearing up misconceptions on nutrition, whole foods as well as supplements. I want to make sure you’re educated enough to know exactly what you’re purchasing, what it will do for you, and why. I also want to make sure you’re not wasting money on health food products and supplements that are all hype and BS. There are literally 1000’s of products out there that are garbage.

So there, a little forecast of what is to come from this blog. I look forward to providing valuable information that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals and hopefully save you money as well. I look forward to answering questions and comments you may have about the blog posts. See you next time!

Not all protein is created equal!!!

Despite what most people think, “protein is protein”, is FALSE. Not all protein is created equal, especially in the plant based protein supplement industry. This blog post is going to break down the key components that make up a high quality protein supplement and explain what to look for and the calculations to make in order to make sure you’re purchasing a high quality protein supplement.

First, let’s talk about amino acid profiles. I am sure most of you have heard of AAP’s but just incase you haven’t, I will briefly explain them right now. An AAP shows the 18 amino acids typically listed in your protein and shows the abundance of each amino acid (usually in miligrams) in each scoop or serving of protein powder. Here is an example of an AAP:


Different amino acids serve different purposes and there or also different categories of amino acids. The main categories you may have heard of are Non Essential, Essential, and Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s). Non Essential amino acids are amino acids that can be synthesized or produced by the human body. Essential amino acids are amino acids that cannot be produced by the human body and must be consumed in your diet. There are 9 Essential amino acids : Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine. BCAA’s are amino acids that have an aliphatic side chain with a “branch” (a central carbon atom bound to three or more carbon atoms). Enough of the crazy science talk, here’s what you need to know about BCAA’s. There are 3 of them: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. They are essential amino acids so they must be consumed in your diet or through supplementation. They are arguably the most important to muscle recovery and building. They are also not as abundant in plant based protein products as they are in other non vegan sources (one reason a lot of bodybuilders have always preferred whey protein) but they can be added to any protein blend. Glutamine is also a very important amino acid just like BCAA’s that is pertinant to muscle recovery and building. There are BCAA and Glutamine supplements out there but ideally you want to get them in your protein powder. An ideal amount of BCAA’s and Glutamine per serving is 1500mg of Isoleucine, 3000mg of Leucine, and 1500mg of Valine alongside 5000mg of Glutamine. As you will see in the products listed further down this blog post, most products don’t reach those numbers.

Now let’s talk about protein concentration. When I say “protein concentration” I am referring to the amount of actual powder it takes to achieve a certain amount of actual protein. Example: Serving size is 30gms and each serving contains 21gms of actual protein. 21gms/30gms=70% protein by weight. Protein concentration is arguably the most important factor to consider when choosing a quality protein product. The reason I say this is because any company can list an amino acid profile based off a certain amount of protein such as 25gms and compare almost identically to another product’s amino acid profile based off 25gms of protein. It doesn’t tell the whole story. Example: Product A and Product B both contain 25gms of actual protein per serving and have similar amino acid profiles listed. However, Product A’s serving size is 30gms of powder and Product B’s serving size is 40gms of powder. This means that Product A is 70% protein by weight and Product B is 63% protein by weight. If they came in the same size/weighted jug, were priced identically, and you flipped a coin and chose Product B you just got ripped off. Moral of the story, always look at the nutrition facts to compare serving size, the amount of servings, and the amount of protein in each serving. Most of the top plant based products have a relatively balanced and “complete” amino acid profile so the most important thing is to check protein concentration! The biggest company in the plant based industry just pulled a fast one on people introducing their “new and improved” formula but if you look at the numbers, they actually made their product weaker and are ripping you off! Keep reading to find out what I am talking about.

Listed below are some of the leading plant based protein product’s nutrition facts and amino acid profiles for you to compare. As you will find, the current best plant based products are around 70% protein by weight. Real Pro Life Nutrition is aiming to be closer to 80%.







Now onto the industry leader that just came out with their “new and improved” formula that they claim offers more protein and costs you less.


Vega was recently purchased by WhiteWave Foods for $550 million in cash. WhiteWave is public traded on the stock exchange. It’s no surprise that a publicly traded company would pinch pennies anywhere they can to maximize profit for their shareholders. So here’s the deal on their “new and improved” Vega Sport formula. The original Vega Sport protein blend was made up of pea, sacha inchi, sprouted brown rice, and alfalfa protein. The new formula took out brown rice and sacha inchi protein and replaced those ingredients with pumpkin seed and sunflower seed protein. Currently, pea protein and brown rice protein are some of the best purest plant based protein forms raw. Taking out brown rice protein and replacing it with pumpkin and sunflower seed is a mistake. But don’t take my word for it, lets look at the numbers. The original formula contains roughly 25 servings, serving size of 34grams, delivering 26grams of protein per serving, and roughly 5000mg of BCAA’s and 5000mg of Glutamine. That means the original formula is roughly 76% (26/34) protein by weight. With a total protein amount per jug of roughly 650grams of protein (25servingsX26grams per serving). The NEW Vega Sport promises 30grams of protein per serving, 6000mg of BCAA’s, and 6000mg of Glutamine!! Wow sounds great right?? WRONG. All they did was increase the serving size from 34grams of powder to 41-43grams of powder (depending on the flavor). A Vega representative told me there are only 19-20 servings per jug! Their serving size went up 20% but protein per serving only went up 15%. The new total protein per jug is only 600grams (20servingsX30grams of protein). Original Vega Sport-650gms vs NEW Vega Sport-600gms. For virtually the same price (depending on where you buy it), you’re getting roughly 8% (650/600=108) LESS PROTEIN! Here is the nutrition facts label of the NEW Vega Sport that you can see on their website.


Thank you for reading this super long blog post. I hope you found it informative and valuable when it comes to making your next purchase of protein. If you have any questions or need advice feel free to hit us up through email or on our Instagram @RealProLifeNutrition. Thanks again for reading!