Where Do You Get Your Protein?


Don’t worry, this blog isn’t going to reiterate the benefits protein intake has on your body - because you already know all of that right?! That being said, I’m about to share some incredible information that will blow your mind!

Ready for it?

YOU DON’T NEED TO EAT ANIMAL PRODUCTS TO GET YOUR PROTEIN!

Boom. I just blew your mind right? If so, you must be one of those enlightened individuals who are beginning to look at their food intake a little differently.

These days, most of us know that your daily dose of protein doesn't have to be a choice between chicken, beef, or fish. However, beyond eating eggs or heavily processed soy imitators, a lot of us are stumped when it comes to finding alternatives to meat.

Plant-based foods can be just as potent sources of the essential macronutrient and they require little to no prep time to make. This is good to know when the struggle to avoid factory-farmed foods is a real concern - not only for animal rights… but also your health. 

Here are some of my favorite and completely plant-based protein options:

Lentils/Beans
All varieties are full of protein and because of their near perfect one-to-one ratio of protein to fiber, a bowl of these legumes leave you feeling just as satisfied as a piece of animal protein (one cooked cup of kidney beans contains 15g of protein). Worried about indigestion? Rinse thoroughly or soak beans and lentils to eliminate the starchy coating and reduce the risk of bloating.

Quinoa
Quinoa, a vegan’s best friend, this seed is the superstar of the plant-protein world. But just because you’ve keep hearing about it doesn’t mean you should consider it a thing of the past. Due to its unique texture, quinoa is ideal for replacing meat in certain dishes. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and all nine essential amino acids, so it deserves to take center stage in any meal. Throw it into winter chili instead of ground beef or form it into patties for falafel or quinoa burgers.

Chia Seeds
You can soak these tiny seeds in almond milk to make a simple chia pudding breakfast, or add them to smoothies, oats, and anything else you can think of for an extra kick of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Throwing in a single ounce of chia seeds will add about 5 grams of protein to any meal or snack.


Hemp Hearts
These little guys are the seeds found at the top of the hemp plant, and they taste a little nutty with the consistency of sunflower seeds or pine nuts. Although they won’t get you high… they will provide approximately 10g of protein per 2 tablespoons. Their delicate flavor makes them an excellent addition to any dish that needs a protein pick-me-up.

 Flax Seeds

Flax is a whole grain that is filled with numerous nutrients including a good amount of protein (approx 6 grams per 3 tablespoons) and a high level of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients.



Spirulina
A tablespoon of spirulina has 4 grams of protein, and a cup contains a whopping 64 grams—twice as much as a cup of chicken! But let’s be real, you’re probably not dumping this dried, green, seaweed by the cup-full into your morning smoothie. Stick to two to three tablespoons for a hearty dose of protein in addition to many more nutrients than most animal products.


Powder Supplements
Looking to swap your dairy-filled protein shake with a plant based option? My two favorite brands are Sun Warrior - Warrior Blend, and Genuine Health - Fermented Vegan Protein Powder. Mix with almond milk and you’re good to go!


 
Armed with seven vegan protein options, you're totally prepared to take your Meatless Monday game up a notch and start applying these recipes on a daily basis!

Dr. Craig McNamee
Co-Founder of Catalyst Health
Chiropractor
Strength & Conditioning Specialist 

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