Plant based ways to consume protein

As a vegetarian (and sometimes vegan) I often get asked how I can maintain enough protein in my diet, especially for intense workouts. I have been running marathons and working out for quite some time now and have actually never had a problem or needed to eat meat in order to feel strong enough to push through my workouts. You do need to eat more food than the carnivore though, especially if you are also abstaining from grains and dairy. Meat, dairy and refined grains take a long time to digest whereas plant based foods do not. This means you get hungry faster and need more food, more often.

Here’s the short list of some of my go to plant based alternative sources of protein.
· Tofu
· Tempeh
· Seitan
· Edamame
· Non-dairy milks
· Beans
· Dark green leafy veggies
· Nuts & nut butters
· Wheat germ
· Buckwheat
· Lentils
· Quinoa
· Seeds like hemp, sunflower, chia, flax, sesame, pumpkin
· Peas
· Mushrooms
· Even sun dried tomatoes!

And finally if you really feel the need to get even more protein in, there are some great vegan protein powders on the market. Whip up a fruit smoothie or oatmeal and simply add a scoop of protein powder to the mix et voila!

The best plan is to have 4-5 servings of protein per day. Spread them out over the whole day and you will find that this will keep you strong, alert and energetic. Even if you have no plans to become a vegetarian, including 1 meatless meal or meatless day per week is very beneficial to your health. It gives the body a chance to alkalize and restore itself in a more gentle way. Try it out!

Jennifer Florence

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