The number one question a vegetarian or vegan person gets asked is “Where do you get your protein?” The average meat eater assumes that if a person doesn’t eat meat then their diet is protein void. Goodness knows that the meat and dairy organizations have done an excellent job to perpetuate this myth. People in the fitness can be even worse. When I decided to compete, I had others tell me that I was going to HAVE to eat meat. Eight shows and twelve trophies and medals later, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t the case. So what are some non-animal sources of protein?
Here are 8 vegan sources to try:
1. Veggies: Mum was right, you should be eating your veggies and for several different reasons including their protein content. One cup of French beans has about 13 grams, cooked spinach has about 5 grams of protein as does two cups of raw kale which is the base for many of my salads. Oh, and one cup of peas? 8 grams.
2. Beans. They really are the magical fruit. With one cup of pinto, kidney or black beans, you’ll get about 13-15 grams of protein, a full belly and heart-healthy fiber.
3. Hemp. A half cup of hemp powder will provide over 20 get & 30 grams (approx3tbsp) of hemp powder in your smoothie and get give you just over 10 grams of protein.
4. Quinoa. I use quinoa as a staple. It can be used in place of oatmeal, wheat, rice etc. and at 8-10g of protein per cup it is an excellent option.
5. Lentils. With lentils, you can make rice dishes, veggie burgers, casseroles and more. One cup cooked delivers a whopping 18 grams of protein!
6. Nut Butter & Nuts. A cup of almonds are yummy and provides 30g of protein along with almost 40% of your daily calcium requirements. Eat up your peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butter. A couple of tablespoons of any one of these will get you 5-10 grams of protein.
7. Tofu. A half cup has 10g of protein. I’m not a fan of tofu but many do, which is why I included it.
8. Tempeh. One cup of tempeh packs approximately 30 grams of protein! Marinate and cook to get a variety of flavours. One of my fave tempeh marinades is coconut curry… yum!