By Jeff Millet
We all need protein. Meat is one of my favorite things to eat.
Especially Bacon and Hamburgers. Combine Them... even better :)
But what if you don't like eating meat all the time?
I have a few clients that are vegan, so it makes me think about non meat
protein sources and what are the best choices for these clients.
Protein is a major muscle-building source, and foods that are high
in protein leave you satisfied for longer than high carbohydrate foods.
Eating protein will help boost your metabolism, burn more calories,
and help you repair damaged muscle faster.
I think it is a good idea for everyone, vegan and no vegans alike,
to add in a variety of protein sources.
I even from time to time implement meat less mondays,
just to give my digestive system a break. It also makes you get creative
to get your protein in for the day.
Here is a list of the main non meat protein sources I recommend.
1. Quinoa - 8 grams / protein / cup
This grain originates in South America and has more protein than rice.
It can be used as a side to vegetables, mixed into oatmeal or chia seeds,or
added into scrambled eggs. It is also a great source of potassium,
phosphorous, and magnesium.
2. Nuts - 1/4 cup of almonds = 8 grams / protein
These are dense in fat and calories, but adding a handful a day is a
great way to increase health without weight gain. Crush them up
and add them to salads, oatmeal, and yogurt.
My favorite nut snack is almonds. I keep some in the front of my pantry.
This way when I get that urge to graze and go to the pantry, they are the first
thing I see. One handful is enough most times to curb my bored /salt craving.
3. Seeds - Chia seeds have 5 grams / protein / oz
Seeds can provide carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants.
Chia seeds are a favorite of mine. They contain omega 3 fatty acids, are
rich in fiber, and are a good addition to oatmeal, quinoa, or a smoothie.
4. Beans - 41 grams / protein / cup
Beans are packed with fiber and have protein as well. They can be served
warm or cold in salads or as a stand alone. I enjoy making a cold 3 bean salad.
Add olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, salt and pepper, and some scallions.
5. Spirulina (seaweed) - 5 grams / protein / tblespn
Spirulina is 70 % complete protein. Beef is only 22 %.
It is also high in vital amino acids and minerals, such as iron.
The best way to get this in to your diet is to buy it in powder form
and put it into a smoothie.
Try adding some of these non meat based protein sources to your weekly diet.
It is good for your body to get a variety of different foods and nutrients.
I know personally I can get bored eating the same old chicken , rice, and
vegetable dinner all the time. Its fun to mix it up and add something fresh.
Here is a quick list of some of some vegan proteins and their values.
Food / Protein
Spirulina 5 grams / tblespn
Beans 41 grams / cup
Quinoa 8 grams / cup
Almonds 32 grams / cup
Chia Seeds 5 grams / ounce
Cashews 22 grams / cup
Tofu 20 grams / cup
Peas 8 grams / cup
Spinach 1 gram / cup
Broccoli 2.6 grams / cup
Mushrooms 2.5 grams / cup
Mix in these, non meat based protein sources, into your diet for extra protein with out the
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