One of the most common questions we’re asked is how we get protein without eating meat. In case you didn’t already know this, we’ve been pescatarian for over three years. Actually, maybe four? It’s hard to remember the exact date we stopped eating meat. It was something we had always thought about but never actually went through with. We eventually decided we wanted to make a health change and give it up. Since we still do eat seafood, the change wasn’t all that bad. In retrospect, it was pretty easy. We actually didn’t eat that much meat — mainly just chicken. But since the lifestyle change, we’ve seen huge improvements in our health. Still, we are constantly questioned about our protein levels. We realize it usually comes from a lack of food knowledge. We decided it was time to share a bit more with you guys.
Lentils and Beans. These are two amazing sources for plant-based proteins. We incorporate both of these into our daily diet. 1 cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein and 1 cup of cooked beans contains 15 grams protein. That’s a lot! We like to throw these in salads, tacos — pretty much everything. We also like to eat them on their own with a little dressing.
Tofu. This is something we make weekly. This is a great alternative to meat and a really good source of protein. Not only do we add it to stir fry but also a ton of other recipes. We love to crumble it up and use it as a “ground meat” for tacos. It’s also really good fried. Honestly, the options are endless.
Plant-based protein powder. This is a great way to ensure you are meeting your daily protein requirement. We personally love the vegan protein powder by Sprouts and Vega. The brands we use contain 20 grams of protein. Plant-based protein is more easily metabolized by your body, therefore you are getting more of the benefits. Both are really good! We tend to add protein powder to almond milk once we finish a workout but also use it if we need some extra protein during the day.
Whole Grains. This is another great source of protein. Whether it’s quinoa, rice, or pasta, all are a great way to feel full. Since Mike is allergic to gluten, we eat Banza’s pasta because it’s made with chickpeas. Even if you do eat meat, you should give this pasta a try!
Nuts. We try to incorporate a variety of nuts into our diet. We especially love almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pistachios. All of these are great sources of protein. If we’re feeling hungry throughout the day, we’ll grab a handful. Plus, they keep us feeling full.
Fake Meat. Yes, that’s what we call it. From veggie burgers to “chicken cutlets”, there are a ton of these on the market. As much as we love these, we do have to be careful. Depending on the brand, there can be a lot of additives and sodium. We are pretty strict about reading the back of the box. Of the ones we’ve found, we tend to eat them no more than once a week for health reasons.
Protein Bars. We eat a variety of bars in our diet. We especially love RXBARS, Oatmega, Kind, and thinkthin to name a few. All of these contain a ton of protein!
Since we do eat fish, salmon is another great source of protein. We also eat a ton of vegetables. Overall, we really try our best to eat as much of a plant-based diet as possible. It’s helped our health in so many ways. Our energy levels have increased and overall, we just feel healthier. We don’t see ourselves going back anytime soon.
Until next time…