“You don’t eat meat?!”
“How do you get protein?”
These are two questions that I get asked on a regular basis. I’m not sure why it’s difficult for people to comprehend. Maybe because I’m still fat. But meat isn’t necessarily unhealthy so that’s not the reason I stopped eating it. Find the reason here. For the record, I’m still fat because I eat a bunch of other bad things like ice cream pints (in one sitting), buttery homemade pizza dough and cheesy pasta to name a few.
Back to the topic at hand (protein sources, not my fat), there are a bunch of places to get protein besides animals. Meat, poultry and seafood just happen to be the easiest thing to grab and turning them into multiple meals takes pretty much no thought. I’ll admit that I definitely have to be more intentional about getting enough protein but it’s not hard like you might think :-.)
Here are some things you can eat for protein besides meat/poultry/seafood.
Eggs: of course. I eat eggs almost every single day for breakfast and I like them in my salads as well. The eggs in my fridge now have 7 grams of protein each. In my world they’re usually scrambled with cheese or boiled. But they can also be made into a fritatta or muffins to have as breakfast on the go. And let’s not forget deviled eggs! One of my favorite cookout foods, yum.
Greek yogurt: plain Greek yogurt to be exact. Flavored varieties are usually sugar packed. I usually add my own toppings like fresh fruit, granola or honey. I also add this to my fruit smoothies. I eat a fat free Greek yogurt that has 23 grams of protein in one cup!
Legumes: beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas are always in my pantry. I like to make split pea soup and will add carrots and potatoes to make it hearty. I love breakfast burritos and usually add black beans to them. If you’re in the mood for chili you can’t go wrong with adding a variety of beans in.
Hummus: technically this is a legume since it’s made from chickpeas, but I felt like it deserved its own little paragraph :-.) I put hummus in my breakfast burritos as a substitute for sour cream. It’s also good on crackers but when I’m trying to cut back on carbs I eat hummus with cucumber slices. So good!
Vitamins: in my opinion everyone should be taking a daily multivitamin. It’s a good backup for whatever nutrients we aren’t getting in our diets.
Quinoa: this grain is super easy to cook and can be tossed in just about any meal. I’ve put it in salads (seriously what can’t go in a salad) and soups. Quinoa salad is delish too – add tomatoes, cilantro, black beans, onions or whatever your taste buds desire.
Sunflower seeds: What a past time! I can remember the times I ate these during school and even on the bus home. Who cares if they were prohibited? Anyway these are a good topping or just fine alone. Cracking open that shell makes all the fun but consider buying kernels to cut back on sodium.
Shakes/powders: this is a method that I use sparingly because it’s man made. I do have a meal replacement powder that I keep on hand that claims to be non GMO, plant based and includes only a tiny amount of sugar. Two scoops of it has 22 grams of protein. Sheesh. This is another ingredient that I add to my smoothies for days that I’m on the go.
And there you have it! Maybe one day I can actually plate a meal in a way that’s photo worthy and show off some of my meals. Until then, you’ll just have to imagine or look on one of those fancy recipe blogs!
Are you considering cutting back on your meat consumption? Or are you a true carnivore unto death?
Until next time…