Updated: Dec 6, 2019
How do you get protein if you don't eat meat? If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that... it would probably be enough to buy a small island! But it is exactly a really good question.. so I am dedicating a whole blog post about how vegans NEED protein. I watch a lot of vegan influencers on Instagram and YouTube. Though they are beautiful and their meals look fantastic.. However, it is very carb based. Smoothie bowls, potatoes, avocados all yummy and good for you in reason. I worry they are not getting enough protein. Protein is vital to the body. Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair muscle tissues. Protein is a macro nutrient, which means your body needs a large amount of it daily. The other two macros are fat and CARBS (yes you still need carbs). It is all about a balancing act. You don't want too much of one and not enough of others. So below are a few ways to fuel your body with protein. Great for vegans and people who are wanting to cut back on meat.
These are few ways to add protein into your diet. Vegan or not!
Tofu: Tofu is soy protein made of mashed soy beans. Looks like a wet spongy white block. Tofu can be grilled, baked, deep fried, sautéed or eaten raw. It has a really subtle flavor so goes well with most dishes. I usually replace anything that would call for chicken. egg or pork with Tofu. Usually contains about 60-70 calories per serving and contains around 10 grams of protein.
Seitan: Seitan is made from cooked wheat gluten. Which, unfortunely makes this NOT gluten free. It comes in all kinds of forms which makes it super versatile. Grounded "meat", strips, filets, sausages and burgers just to name a few. One of the biggest benefits that it is soy free for people who are watching their soy intake. It usually contains anywhere between 15-25 grams of protein and 100-250 calories per serving.
Chickpeas: Can be found dry or canned. Provides an excellent source of protein coming in at 10 grams per serving. Usually around 200 calories per serving. Great in tacos or salads!
Pumpkin seeds: These are great go to snack for me! I eat them with a little bit sea salt! They can also be called pepita seeds. Around 160 calories and 9 grams of protein per serving.
Black Beans: Can be found dry or canned. Black beans go well in Mexican dishes or casseroles. Also, I make a killer black bean burger. 160 calories and 9 grams of protein per serving.
Protein Powders: Protein powders are a great way to add protein to your day without going over board on calories or carbs. I personally have a protein shake every morning to start my day off right. You can also make muffins, waffles and pancakes with protein powder as well.
Non Diary Milks: Soy milk and flax milk are my go tos. There are many different brands out there. Just make sure to look at the nutrition facts and make sure you are getting over 7 grams of protein.
Soy Protein Burgers: Pretty self explanatory. Vegans can still enjoy and mouthwatering juicy burger. Calories and protein per serving vary from brand to brand. Check out some of my favorites below!
These are just some of the ways I get protein daily. Of course there are many more protein packed foods that you can purchase such as protein pasta, protein bars, peanuts, peas, almonds, pinto beans, chia seeds, and tempeh.
Below are some of my favorite brands of everything listed below. Feel free to dig in.
Soy Protein Burgers: Some of my favorites
--Boca Burgers 13grams protein 110 cal 7grams carb. These can be purchased basically anywhere. Walmart, Kroger and Publix
--Vegan Flame Grilled Soy Protein Burger- 15grams protein 100 cal 6grams carb. This is an Aldi's brand only found at Aldi's
Seitan: My favorite sources of Protein
--Sweet Hearth Chipotle Style Seitan Strips- 25grams protein, 180cal, 12grams carb
You can find this at Whole Foods and Sprouts. Great for fajitas or salads.
--The Behive Nashville Seitan Chorizo - 19grams protein, 110cal, 4 carbs Locally made in my home town! You can find this at Whole Foods. Works well with any meal that you add ground meat.
--Field Roast Vegetarian Italian sausage- 25grams protein, 220cal, 13 carbs. I have seen these at Walmart, Kroger and Whole Foods! So good in pasta!
Herbalife Nutrition offers a wide arrange of whey, soy and pea protein. As a distributor I am a little biased. Check out my website for more info. Use code "insta5" for a little discount at check out. www.toreemoore.goherbalife.com
Non Diary Milks:
Good Karma Flax Seed Milk Protein- 8grams protein, 60 calories, 1gram carb. Free of soy and diary.