Posted on January 24 2019
Personally, I’m a big proponent of eating a plant-based diet.
While I do eat meat occasionally, I believe that plants provide the best source of healthy food for our bodies. If you’re looking to lose weight, feel amazing and function at a super high potential... plants (fruits, vegetables, nut, beans, grains, etc.) are the answer.
Interestingly, when I talk to others about eating a mostly plant diet, I’m often asked if I’m worried about getting enough protein.
This allows me to bring up a common misconception. That meat is not the only way to get your protein requirements.
YES – protein is critical for your body.
Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues, build muscles and even maximize weight loss.
But NO - Meat is not the only way to get much-needed protein in your diet.
If you prefer to eat less meat or enjoy a vegetarian or vegan diet, it’s actually pretty easy to get enough protein in your diet.
Protein can be found abundantly in a variety of plant-based foods and other sources.
Here’s a few ways to get the protein your body needs...
How much protein do we need?
Along with fat and carbs, protein is a "macronutrient," which means that your body needs it for optimal health. A Harvard health study suggests that you eat 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
This is said to be the amount of protein you need to eat in order to satisfy your nutritional requirements. (FYI... This is much less than what most people think.)
So, to figure out what your required daily need for protein are, just multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36.
For a 50-year-old woman who weighs approximately 140 pounds and who is sedentary, that means she should be consuming about 50 grams of protein a day.
Here’s how you can get healthy meatless protein...
Black beans are an excellent source of protein. A single, one-cup serving of black beans gives you nearly 15 grams of protein — plus an amazing 15 grams of fiber.
Quinoa has a very high-protein content with one cup of cooked quinoa containing 8.14 grams of protein. This makes quinoa an excellent cholesterol-free and low-fat source of protein.
Tofu is so versatile and provides 20 grams of protein per cup. Cook it as you normally would chicken and add it to your favorite dishes.
A handful of mixed nuts gives you six grams of protein. Toss them in a salad or grind them into a sauce. You can also make your own nut butter, nut milk, and faux meats.
When it comes to plant protein lentils is a clear winner with 18 grams per cup. Add them to your favorite recipes as a meat substitute.
Even the humble potato has protein. One medium potato has about 4.5 grams of protein.
Throw in a cup of mushrooms into a salad or risotto and you’re adding 3 grams of protein to your day.
Edamame is rich in folate, vitamin K and fiber. But it also contains a whopping 17 grams of protein per cup. Edamame is delicious warmed slightly in the microwave and dusted with salt.
Nutritional yeast, a deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, comes in yellow powder or flakes. It has a unique cheesy flavor often used in place of parmesan cheese — on pasta recipes or popcorn.
It’s also a wonderful additive for mashed potatoes or scrambled tofu. This complete source of plant protein provides 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per ounce.
The Groovy Takeaway...
The bottom line… you don’t always need to get your protein from meat. While dairy and eggs also provide protein, if you want to avoid animal protein you can still get more than enough protein to not only survive, but to thrive.
There are enough plant-based proteins available today to nourish every cell in your body.