Typically when I think of protein sources immediately I am thinking meats and dairy. When you walk into a gym or supplement store you see Whey protein all over the place, but this is not the only sources to be able to hit your protein intake goals. For me, I have a dairy allergy so whey protein is out of the question and I have chosen to follow a vegan diet for a few months now. I would like to share with you all the great sources I have discovered which allows me to get protein on a plant based diet and hit over 200 grams of protein daily.
With a large transition to plant based diets in today’s day and age there are so many substitutes being created for meat products. With Companies like Beyond and Impossible meat starting the trend it seems just as easy to get protein and the taste of a meat dish you enjoy without harming any animals in the process. From my experience lately going out to restaurants and super markets you can find these products fairly easy. For comparison:
Beyond meat Beef (4oz):
- 250 calories
- 20 grams of protein
- 18 grams of fat
- 284 calories
- 20 grams of protein
- 21 grams of fat
Tofu and tempeh are great non-animal protein sources. They can be added to nearly any meal for a healthy protein boost without the saturated fat found in animal proteins. I tend to only go for organic in these products which I can discuss in a later article but feel free to do your own research. I recently tried ChickenLess chicken tenders(Tofu based) that I bought from Trader Joe’s and cooked in the air frier and they were very comparable to real chicken. I am not saying they are identical and yes I was able to tell what I was eating was not real chicken but it tasted delicious and a great alternative to get in some protein .
- Tofu (serving size ½ cup) — 10 g protein, 88 calories
- Tempeh (serving size 1 cup) — 31 g protein, 320 calories
Nuts about Nuts
Who doesn’t love some nuts? Such a simple snack to grab on the go and eat by itself or mix up in a trail mix. With so many different types of nuts it shouldn’t be hard to find some that you enjoy. Here is a breakdown of some of the best options out there
- Almonds – 6.4 g protein, 155 calories
- Peanuts – 7 g protein, 160 calories
- Sunflower seeds – 6.4 g protein, 173 calories
- Pumpkin seeds – 9 g protein, 180 calories
- Pistachios – 5.5 g protein, 155 calories
I like to make a nice trail mix for the day with some dried fruits and an assortment of nuts. My current mix is almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberry, dried blueberry and raisins. For me I struggle to gain weight so this helps pack in some extra calories as well as hitting my fats and protein. I evenly distribute all the above and put in 1/4 cup each totaling about 1000 calories and 40 grams of protein. It is such a great combo and I just snack on it throughout the work day.
A big source for me is throwing some protein powder in my morning smoothie as well as mixing more up with water after a good workout. Vegan protein comes in all different flavors and brands so its hard to pick what works best for you. I will do a in depth review of my favorites soon and link it here but for now I will just focus on the benefits. One serving can typically yield between 20-30 grams of protein and is very cost effective if you are trying to hit your macros and get protein on a plant based diet.
Protein powder is very essential when going plant based or having a dairy allergy as you are going to eliminate some common protein sources so supplementing with a protein shake or two throughout the day is a great alternative. Some other great ways to enjoy protein powder is making some protein pancakes or mix it in with oatmeal. Here is a great recipe that I have used for making protein pancakes:
- 2 scoops(2og each) vanilla plant protein of your choice
- 1 large very ripe banana
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. oil
Start your Blenders!
If you are not shaking up your shaker bottle full of protein already what are you waiting for? All jokes aside just make sure you know how much protein intake your body needs per day and try out some of these awesome foods or recipes to spice up the variety and enjoy growing those muscles while eating delicious macro-nutrient dense foods!