“Where do you get your protein?”
This is something I’m asked a lot because I don’t consume animal products, including dairy and eggs.
It seems like a recent trend for people to be eating more plant-based, even if they do consume animals and animal byproducts.
The word ‘protein’ is synonymous with meat. Rest assured, there are plenty of non-meat proteins out there. If you are looking to reduce meat consumption or you’re just curious about non-meat proteins, read on.
First thing’s first: most people are unaware of actual protein needs. The general recommendation is .8 – 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. To figure your weight in kilograms, divide your body weight by 2.2. For instance, 106/2.2 = 48 kg. Technically, my body does not require more than 48 grams of protein.
If you are eating enough calories to fuel your body, you are getting enough protein. I consume considerably more than the RDA because of my high activity level. Active people usually add more protein to their diet than the RDA.
Below are protein sources that help me. Both whole food and packaged foods are included because I believe balance is healthy. Also, these sources include carb and fat, but as part of a well-rounded diet, these allow me to achieve my protein goal.
- protein plus peanut flour – check the macros. Amazing! This is similar to PB2, but unsweetened and way better macros. Better taste, in my opinion.
- spinach and other leafy greens
- protein powder – Vega, About Time Ve, Veggie Elite, PlantFusion, and SAN Raw Fusion are my favorites. These don’t taste like sawdust as vegan powders usually do.
- cream of wheat
- protein milk
- sugar snap peas and green peas
- stir fry vegetables – I buy the packaged mixes with snow peas, broccoli and cauliflower
- nuts and nut butters – high fat content, but also has some protein
- Special K protein cereal
- protein bars – D’s Naturals No Cow bars, Pro Base bars, and Clif Builders bars are my favorites
- faux meats – Gardein, Beyond Meat, and MorningStar have great products
- beans – decent amount of carb, but filling, healthy and fiber-filled
- SimplyProtein chips
- Lenny and Larry’s cookies – high carb content, but for a treat it still has protein. Be aware the 4 oz. cookies are two servings in one cookie.
- Primal Strips meatless vegan jerky
- TVP – mix it in with your oatmeal before cooking. Instant protein boost!
- About Time brownie mix – another treat food, but good macros. Warning: must love cinnamon to try this!
- Dry roasted edamame
- black bean pasta – 25 grams protein per serving!
- coconut flour
- nutritional yeast
This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but there are a lot of good choices here. If you have any great plant protein sources, I’d love to know what they are.