Yesterday, World Meat Free Day 2017 was observed by veggie-loving foodies, encouraging people to give up meat not forever, but for just one day, in an effort to show everyone how easy it is to eat less meat, or none at all.
Fitness fans, however, may be concerned that a vegetarian diet won’t provide them with the protein and nutrients they need. So for World Meat Free Day and beyond, we rounded up some great protein sources to fuel your workout, all veggie-friendly.
Although not an option for vegans, vegetarian-friendly eggs are a great source of protein and contain a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, which is hard to get from non-meat sources. One egg also contains around 6 grams of protein depending on its size, making eggs a great choice for a filling breakfast or post-workout meal, according to Jennifer Lawrence’s trainer Dalton Wong.
Pulses such as chickpeas, dried beans such as kidney and fava beans, lentils, and dried, split or black-eyed peas have been growing in popularity recently, especially after the United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of the Pulse. Made up of about 20 to 25 percent of protein by weight, pulses are an excellent source of plant-based protein, as well as a great source of fiber, and are high in amino acids.
Trainer David Kirsch recommends soy-based tofu and tempeh for vegetarian post-workout protein. Not only does tofu contain around 8 grams of protein per 100 grams and tempeh 19 grams, but with their firmer texture and a variety of cooking methods, both can act as meat substitutes in meals.
Nuts are a rich source of protein and make a great on-the-go snack. Although they are high in fat, trainer David Kirsch believes as long as you use portion control, everyone should include nuts in their diets, thanks to their heart-healthy fats, high fiber and antioxidant content. Kirsch loves almonds for their fiber and vitamin E content but also walnuts, pistachio nuts, pine nuts, cashews, brazil nuts and hazelnuts.
Like nuts, seeds are also a great source of protein, as well as many other vitamin, minerals and nutrients. Sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, hemp and flax all make a great addition to smoothies, soups and salads to help you meet your protein needs. Or why not try making a chia seed pudding for breakfast or to replace dessert? JB