Once upon a time I was a vegetarian for 4 years. Looking back on it, it’s pretty surprising I fared as well as I did in the protein department considering I was nowhere near being well-versed in nutrition. The only thing going for me was that I really liked vegetables. In hopes to save you some struggles that I faced, here are easy ways to incorporate more protein into your vegan/vegetarian, or even just overall diet.
- Plants. Yes, they have protein! Every single one; in fact, they need it to survive in various ways. Eat as wide a variety as you can stomach, for some have amino acids and other nutrients that others may lack. Fun fact: avocado is a fruit relatively high in protein and can be used in a multitude of ways.
- Whole Grains. Their main claim to fame may be complex carbs, but they also have protein. That is, as long as you are not taking the processed route (which I know you aren’t!), so that means brown and whole wheat over white. Try amaranth, barley, quinoa and farro on for size, too.
- Nuts & Butters. Peanut butter is probably a no-brainer, but nuts on their own can sometimes be overlooked. Snacking on peanuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios, walnuts, etc is a great habit to get into. You can incorporate them into meals (stir fry, salads) as well as blending them into a creamy nut butter.
- Seeds. Same tune as nuts (they both happen to be a great source of amino acids, too) where they are overlooked but oh so delicious and beneficial. Try out quinoa & hemp (complete proteins), chia, flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and the plethora of seeds that exist out there.
- Beans, Legumes, Lentils. The best part about these is that they won’t hurt your wallet but they are a nutritional powerhouse. Peas are also included in this category. I would recommend taking the fresh and dried route over canned, because you never really know what may be happening during the canning process. Plus, you get more bang for your buck when you buy a bag of beans. *Try saying that 10 times fast!*
- Miscellaneous. As always, there are supplements out there to aid you in the protein department, but I really think if you incorporate the above mentioned items into your diet regularly, you should be on the right track. If you really feel the urge though – or if you are highly active – brown rice protein is a good one that does not include whey, and there are a few powders out there that combine various plants high in protein.
Th-th-that’s all for me today, folks. I’ve got some econometrics homework calling my name and some other nonsense to do. Before that though, I think I will treat myself to some Thai food because I can 🙂 Peace, love, and all things pretty.
Happy Monday! I’m currently posted up in bed after a busy day at work and enjoying the sunshine. It’s finally feeling like spring = happiness. I even treated myself to a tasty Eggs Benedict at the Breakfast Nook II while studying for the GRE’s this morning in celebration of the sun.
I have this recipe for a breakfast salad I have been meaning to share (and make myself again), so without further ado, here she is:
– 1 medium sized sweet potato, diced
– 2 hardboiled eggs
– ½ small red onion, diced
– 5 strips of bacon, diced
– 1 avocado, diced (or mushed, depending on preference)
– fresh squeezed lemon juice
1. Boil eggs – 10 minutes will yield hard eggs.
2. While eggs are boiling, cook bacon in coconut oil.
3. After 5 minutes of cooking bacon, add your sweet potato and onion.
4. Cook until the sweet potato is a light gold.
5. Once eggs are cooked, peel and dice them.
6. Add avocado and lemon juice; mix ingredients together.
7. Divulge 😉
Simple stuff, right? It’s a fantastic way to start your day since it has the macro-nutrients (protein, fats, carbohydrates) your body needs along with some colorful micro-nutrients, too!
My go-to breakfast that I make virtually every morning is 2 eggs over easy with cheese on some sort of bread that has either avocado, hummus or fresh salsa spread on it. I also add ketchup and hot sauce because I like the taste and we can’t always eat perfectly. This is quick and easy, but I think tomorrow since I have the day off I will get a little crazy and make this salad instead. Anyone have any good staple meals you eat to break your fast?
Until next time!
Sweet potatoes are root vegetables that are often overlooked. Sometimes, you may come across sweet potato fries, but that is about as mainstream as these guys get.
Well, hopefully that is about to change! I stumbled upon a recipe for Sweet Potato Pancakes not too long ago, and thought it would be a fun and easy recipe to share with all of you. A different weekend breakfast project, perhaps?
Sweet Potato Pancakes Yield: 4-5 servings
Ingredients: For Pancakes
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 scoop protein powder (ideally, Vanilla)
- 4 oz cooked sweet potato, skin off
- 1/8 c oats
- 1/8 c unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 scoop protein powder (ideally, Vanilla)
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 tbsp almond butter
- In a blender, mix pancake ingredients. Batter will be thick.
- Pour out 4-5 pancakes on a hot griddle – medium to low heat.
- Mix frosting ingredients and heat in microwave for 5-10 seconds.
- Melt 1/2 tbsp of almond butter and pour on pancakes for final touch.
Not so bad, right? RIGHT. I recommend all of you at least try this. It can’t hurt, and with 30 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 322 calories and 6 grams of fat, these pancakes are healthy, delicious and a heck of a lot better for you than the ordinary pancakes. Let me know how it goes if you take the leap!
x’s and o’s as always.