Vegan Protein? Huh?!
“You are vegan?! Where do you get your protein?” I get asked this question at least once a day. It is a pure myth that one needs to eat meat to get protein. There are many delicious and healthful vegetarian and vegan foods that provide ample amounts of protein to get even a super athlete through the day: full of energy and feeling strong. Every body is different, and not every body requires a ton of protein, but as I prefer to be extremely active, my (very individual as all bodies are) body does need quite a bit. Here is how I get that protein:
I make smoothies with Pea Protein (25g per serving!) using brands like Olympian Labs or Z Natural Foods: I will mix the powder with berries or tropical fruit, bananas and almond milk, or with nut butter, bananas and almond milk (you can also throw cocoa powder in there – it’s like a milk shake.) Sunwarrior and Vega both make protein powders that you can mix alone with water, juice or almond milk or blend into your smoothie: they come in flavors like chocolate, vanilla, berry, etc. and are delicious (bonus: Vega One also contains vegan probiotics!)
I eat a lot of beans (black, pinto, kidney, chickpeas or lentils – highest protein), quinoa, tofu and tempeh (tempeh is available without soy if you are averse) and lots of leafy greens, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds. One of my favorite cold weather or rainy day meals is to roast in-season vegetables with fresh ground spices and pair them with quinoa, tempeh and beans. Or for warmer weather, I like to steam the vegetables and drizzle tahini on top. Adding hummus or tahini (or any nut butter, for that matter!) to anything is a great way to bump up protein and make everything taste great!
For when I am on the go, I love vegan protein bars. Here are some that I recommend on MindBodyGreen. For those concerned about “cleaner” options: Clif’s new Kit’s Organic line, Lara Bars, and Raw Revolution are all great options.
This is only scratching the very tip of the giant mountain of vegan protein options out there. Be creative, be inspired: eat to feel good and strong! What is your favorite protein-filled vegan meal or snack? I’d love to know! Hope this helps get you started!