“But how do you get your protein?” the dreaded question all vegos and vegans alike can relate to. It’s actually not that hard guys. Believe it or not, food that doesn’t come from animals contains protein too—who woulda thought?
So why do you need to get smart with your vego protein if so many plant based foods contain it? Well, basically our bodies need protein building blocks called amino acids, nine of which are called ‘essential’ amino acids, meaning we must get these from our diet as our bodies don’t make them. Ever heard of a ‘complete’ protein and wondered wtf is that? Basically it’s a protein source that contains all nine of these essential amino acids and yup, you guessed it—they usually come from an animal AKA probably not vegetarian and definitely not vegan.
If you are contemplating going vego or even just reducing your meat intake, make sure you’re adding in a couple of these protein-rich babies to your diet each and every day to ensure you are getting all of those essentials!
Okay, so if you haven’t heard of quinoa yet we’re going to have to assume you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years. This bad boy is the protein KING of the vegetarian world as it is a plant based complete protein source. It’s no wonder it has been a dietary staple in Peru and Bolivia forever. We love it because it’s super versatile—try it out in porridge for breaky or in a light spring salad. It’s also perfect served with a warming curry or stir-fry.
Don’t worry guys, this hemp isn’t going to get you high but it is going to boost your body with amaze essential amino acids, minerals and fatty acids. This one’s not quite complete but that doesn’t mean it’s not fabulous. Try out some hemp protein powder with a cup of soy milk and voila – you’ve got a complete protein smoothie right there.
So we all know and love PB (our thoughts go out to those poor people with allergies). Unfortunately, PB is not a complete protein, but don’t freak—there’s a super easy solution. Simply combine your peanut butter with wheat or corn (think a whole wheat PB sammie or a couple of spoonfuls on some corn cakes) and you’re good to go!
Rice And Beans
Rice and beans are a nutritional match made in heaven if you’re coming from a vegetarian perspective. Rice is low in the essential amino acid lysine and high in methionine, while beans are generally the opposite. Put ‘em together and you’ve got a complete protein—vego chilli come at me!
Obviously there’s a reason soy products are so popular with non-meat eaters and yup, you got it—it’s also a complete protein source with all those essential amino acids packed into one vegetarian bite. Try tempeh, tofu and edamame beans to get your soy fix.
You may have been under the impression that a chia pudding is just another excuse for a pretty Insta post but we’ve got news for you—chia is SUPER healthy guys. Not only is it the highest plant based source of omega-3 fatty acids and contains an array of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, it is also an epic protein source. It’s a little low in lysine but that can easily be fixed with a sprinkle of pistachio or pumpkins seeds. Please excuse me while I continue my hunt for the best chia pudding in town...