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What's Your Advice For a Vegetarian Needing Protein?

What's Your Advice For a Vegetarian Needing Protein?

Sometimes a question comes along that I know you guys would have some great advice for. I'm sure that a lot of you vegetarians out there will really be able to help user Baby_Jatti with her quest for meat-free proteins. She asked:

"I'm a vegetarian and I am trying to increase my muscle mass. For that I need to increase my intake of protein. I already drink two scoops of protein shake every day, and I am doing the whole soya thing but still I can't seem to get the required amount of protein from my diet every day. If anyone has any suggestions pleeeeease do let me know."

So share all your tips and help a fellow user out. I know I'd love a few more ideas myself because meatless Mondays are getting a little boring for me these days.


Join The Conversation
PranaAngel PranaAngel 8 years
Like a few of the others said, WATCH THE SOY!!! If you eat too much soy, you may feel unsatisfied. That is because it contains trypsin inhibitors. That means that there's an enzyme (or some compound) in soy that actually DISMANTLES other proteins present in your body. Better proteins are found in beans, peas (green peas have one of the highest levels of amino acids), lentils and some green vegetables, believe it or not. Sprouting of lentils (and grains) and eating healthy fats along with them also helps with absorption. You can learn about soy at this link. I have nothing to do with this website, I'm just pointing it out. Sprout lentils (just soak them overnight, rinse and drain them, then cover them with a wet cloth for a few hours or overnight again. Eat them with a little rice or some other favorite grain, it does wonders. :) You can even sprout brown rice. Good luck! btw here is a list of some types of beans/lentils that have LOTS of protein and are easily digestible. The ordinary red/green lentils found in typical grocery stores are not as good as these on the list. If you have an ethnic grocery store near your house (Indian in particular) you'll find a lot of these there. *mung beans (easy to digest) *chana dal beans (look kind of like split peas) see here for an explanation. (I have nothing to do with this website either.) You can get it in whole foods in some places. *adzuki beans (these taste bitter when sprouted but great in other ways) *garbanzo beans *green peas!!! (peas are a legume and have lots of protein despite being a "regular vegetable) Sometimes just soaking a lentil or bean overnight is enough to make it more digestible. Garbanzo beans are best eaten when just soaked, before they get tails. But really, really watch the soy. It is no health food. :) And good luck!
almostloli almostloli 8 years
avocado, and edamame just keep on snacking edamame.. haha
michlny michlny 9 years
Beans!!! Beans!! Beans! They're delicious! And so easy to eat!
Luckyslushy Luckyslushy 9 years
I've been a vegetarian for over 10 years (I lost count of the years... it all started the summer before high school). I get so sick of people talking about being a vegetarian and eating protein. The first response I always get is, "You're a vegetarian? How do you get your protein?... beans have a lot of protein!" Honestly, it does sound like you are getting enough protein. just keep it up
HariboLicorice HariboLicorice 9 years
or....just eat meat.
dkaufmann125 dkaufmann125 9 years
I', actually a vegan, so i eat a lot of endamme, beans, tofu shakes, my fave is seitan - sooo good and versitile. for you, eggs and dairy yogurt and cheese and suitable. Don't go too crazy witht he protein though, or you could develop keitones in your kidneys, so keep up the whole grains and veggies!
jennmerr jennmerr 9 years
I'm surprised no one's mentioned avocado yet. I'll eat that straight out of the peel with just some salt and pepper for flavor.
cardioqueen88 cardioqueen88 9 years
morning star soy and soy sausage crumbles, as well as other morning star products, and greek yogurt!!
thirtythreezero thirtythreezero 9 years
I've been a vegetarian for 7 years and a vegan for 6 months, so I understand the quest for protein! My recent favorites have been Tofurkey's Italian Sausage (not too many calories, and 29 grams of protein!!!) I put it on a sundried tomato tortilla with hummus and spinach and it's a great lunch. Also, a favorite of mine; Wildwood tofu. I can't remember off the top of my head how many grams of protein, but my fave flavor is Thai or Savory. Both really incredible when mixed into brown rice with veggies like green beans and bell peppers!
runfaster runfaster 9 years
I love milk too much to go completely soy--I also eat a lot of greek yogurt and cottage cheese (mixed with frozen fruit and whole grain cereal with added fiber and protein). I sometimes eat quinoa instead of rice, soba with seaweed, salad with avocado and nuts, chickpea salads, and of course tofu. I cycle through almond-peanut-sunflower seed butters so I don't get bored--sunflower seed is my current favorite (on bananas with raisins).
machineangel machineangel 9 years
I can only assume the comments saying "you're probably getting more than enough protein" haven't ever been vegetarian/vegan (and I assume just because of this blog's average readership, though I may be wrong) females trying to build muscle. It is HARD. You need A LOT of protein. Anyway, I'm vegan and I'm trying to do the same thing. As long as you're not a celiac, I second the seitan recommendation. It's a great way to get protein in a 2:1 protein:carb ratio. Though I wouldn't discount any other suggestions, and would definitely try them out, seitan has a much higher protein:carb ratio than you find in beans and rice, quinoa, etc. Thus, better for muscle building. You can buy seitan premade at places like Whole Foods, or you can make your own from wheat gluten (available in most baking aisles). A quick search for "seitan recipe" on Google can show you the rest.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 9 years
Like someone said earlier.. you probably do get more than enough protein. But you can try Braggs liquid Aminos... it is super good for you. You can put it on tofu, veggies, soups, etc. Here's their website;
pluckyred pluckyred 9 years
From my bookmarks:
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I don't eat much meat either and I get my protein primarily from nuts, lentils, beans, rice, nut butters, dairy products (yogurt and milk), eggs, and seitan. I make my own seitan by taking a bunch of bread and squishing it up under running water until the water runs clear (this washes off all the carbohydrate, leaving pure protein). You can use it like tofu in a lot of recipes.
0danielle0 0danielle0 9 years
I mix firm tofu in with smoothie ingredients. For example, take a couple hand-fulls of frozen berries, a cup or so of cranberry juice, 6 or so almonds, a banana, and a fist-sized chunk of tofu, throw it in the blender, and voila! Yummy smoothie! (And no, it doesn't taste weird or anything. It's delicious.) Also, try making tofu soup with chicken (or veggie) broth, fresh spinach, button mushrooms, glass noodles (Asian section of your market,) and small cubes of firm tofu. Great for lunch or with dinner. There are some great soy-based products (cheeses, "meats," etc.) out there, so try something new each time you go shopping. It's not easy being a vegetarian, but it's worth it. :)
secrethoughts secrethoughts 9 years
Don't forget nuts and seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds. They have tons of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Nut butters are great too. Vegetarian soups like lentil, black bean, split pea, or veg. chili are also great options that have tons of protein, fiber, and iron. Eggs and dairy are great options if you eat them. Avocados also surprisingly contain a lot of protein (18 amino acids!) and tons of other good stuff too. Don't forget that you can get protein in your grains if you eat high quality grains like quinoa, aramanth, barley, brown rice, and pastas/breads that are whole grain.
foxie foxie 9 years
Like everyone else said, TEMPEH! It was hard for me to get used to the taste but I have the most bad azz recipe for spicy peanut butter tempeh that makes eating all that protein super easy. If anyone wants the recipe just message me. =)
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
Yeah, I forgot to mention that most people, vegetarian or not, get enough protein and even more than enough is a more likely possibility which isn't necessarily better or necessary. In my case considering how I ate when I ate meat, I probably get more as a vegetarian.
kgtg1 kgtg1 9 years
I agree with citygirl 100%. You are probably getting enough as it is! Personally, I would nix the soy protein powder and eat real food. I typically eat the same things that citygirl and others have mentioned.
citygirl2 citygirl2 9 years
It's important to keep in mind that the majority of Americans get TWICE the amount of protein that we actually need. Therefore, you are probably getting plenty. But if not, the above are great suggestions. My main protein sources are whole grains, hummus, almond butter, soy milk, ...and I love mixing a whole grain with legume- basically trying different beans/rice variations. Keep in mind that lots of fruits and especially veggies add up to a lot of protein as well!
HipMom HipMom 9 years
- What kind of protein shake are you drinking? Lactose-free, isolate whey protein is the most bio-available so you will likely absorb it better than, say, soy proteor milk protein. - Have eggs/egg whites for breakfast: now you can also find organic egg whites, and those can be added to a lot of foods to increase the protein content. - Do not overdo it on soy. Soy is one of the top 5 allergens and aside from that it is high in copper and phytoestrogens, two things that willcontribute to hormonal imbalances. Have tofu or tempeh 2-3 times a week but be more conservative with your consumption of unfermented soy. - Make your smoothies with low-fat goat's milk, which is more digestible and lower in phosphorus than cow's milk. - Start taking a superfood that includes spirulina and chlorella. Make sure they are organic. Good luck!
kittyhill kittyhill 9 years
If you're lacto-ovo, I often make vegetarian lasagna or penne casserole with silken tofu instead of the ricotta. My carnivore husband didn't even notice the difference! Also, Ronzoni makes "Smart Taste" pasta, which is fortified with protein, fiber, & calcium.
AMP AMP 9 years
The boyfriend comment = hysterical. Thanks for the laugh. I just second what everyone else said. I love tempeh and garden burgers.
glamoured glamoured 9 years
for those not getting it, i assume what TidalWave was hinting at was to ingest certain bodily fluids as way to up your protein intake. which is funny. when you're fourteen.
Matcha Churro Bowls at Nitrolado
Unicorn Pan Dulce
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Banana, Almond Butter, Sweet Potato Breakfast
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