Plant Based Protein Mindset

proteinThe very first question people ask me when I talk about my whole food plant-based diet is, “What do you eat for protein?” This is a great concern (only when someone says they are a vegan), as our bodies are made up of 20% protein and all of our metabolic processes rely on the amino acids that make up the proteins that we eat.

Many people find animal proteins superior to the plant based proteins because they contain all essential amino acids.  But, there are a plant-based proteins that contain all essential amino acids – quinoa, buckwheat, soy, chia, and hempseed.  With the mindset of variety, a plant based eater can come away with the correct daily amount of protein and amino acids (.4 grams of protein/ 1 lbs of weight), plus the appropriate amount of fiber, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fewer grams of cholesterol, antibiotics, and carcinogens.

For the last 7 months, my primary source for protein has come from plants, and I can tell you it has improved my…

energy levels
mind clarity
sleeping routine
BMI
digestion
skin, hair and nail health

This weekend, I prepared breakfast and lunch with the mindset of keeping my protein intake at its all time high. Here is how I did it …

Whole Wheat Waffles with almond milk yogurt  (click for recipe)

oatmeal cranberry, orange muffins with almond milk yogurt (click for recipe)

I added a combined 3 TBSP of hempseed and 3 TBSP of chia within both recipes which increased the protein for both of these recipes to an additional 16 grams. (2 grams/serving) The use of whole wheat flour adds 13 grams of protein/ 1 cup.  (2 grams/serving)

For lunch, I prepared

lunch

Mason Jar salads with black beans and quinoa

roasted vegetables with 1 cup of brown ricesalad

The quinoa and black beans that were added to the mason jar salads gives me 15 grams of protein. Not to mention the cup of spinach already adding 5 more grams.

The roasted vegetables that I cooked for my Buddha bowls includes (1/2 c of each of these vegetables)

Brussel sprouts = 2 groasted veggies 1
broccoli = 2.3 g
carrots= 1g
butternut squash =1g
beets = 1g
1 c of brown rice = 5 g

By the time I get to dinner, I will have consumed 3/4s of my protein intake goal for the day by focusing on plant based, whole-foods that add fiber, minerals, vitamins and nutrients (Which I wasn’t getting from the animal proteins from my previous diet.)

While many people think it is difficult to consume enough protein as a vegan or vegetarian (or a plant based eater)- IT ISN’T!

 The key is a plant based protein mindset – eat a variety of whole foods, focus on opportunities to add-in high  protein plant food, and avoid the processed snacks and refined foods.

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