A vegan lifestyle is, in my opinion, the healthiest choice! But just like with any diet, you’ve got to make sure you are getting all of the things that your body needs. Now, we know that there is more protein in veggies and leafy greens than many people realize, and we ALSO know that the average American is overdosing on protein– most likely believing that they need more than they actually do. With that said, if you are wanting to get more protein on a plant-based diet OR you just want more creative ways to get your protein in for variety’s sake, I hope this list will help you out! I polled my readers for tips a few months ago, and, combined with my own tips, these were my favorite responses:
- Add silken tofu into your dressings or smoothies.
- Edamame pasta— one serving (2 oz) is 24g of protein!
- Unreal Deli vegan corned beef slices! 14g protein per serving, super clean ingredients. We saw this brand on Shark Tank and have been customers ever since. We toast the bread and toast the slices in the oven on broil for a couple of minutes) and make corned beef sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, onion, salt and pepper, and either some homemade vegan Russian dressing OR some bitchin sauce. Vegan cheese- optional. Delish!
- Lentils, quinoa, beans, chickpeas (this is a “duh,” but super effective and easy.)
- Protein powder. Some favorites are Sun Warrior, PBfit Organic, and Blessed (my personal favorite, because it tastes so good and I don’t usually like protein powders).
- For an extra 5g protein in your smoothies, add 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds to the blender. Bonus- hemp seeds are also loaded with omegas.
- Beyond meat sausages! I find mine at Whole Foods. 16g protein per brat. They are life-changing and utterly delicious.. My husband is obsessed with them. You can eat them hot dog style, or cut them up and mix them into tofu scrambles or vegan egg in the morning.
- Snack on pistachios throughout the day. A mere 1 oz of pistachios has 6g of protein!
- Herbivorous Butcher cold cuts and jerky! You can also order starter kits so you can taste all of their meat and cheese varieties to familiarize yourself with what you like and don’t like. I would recommend ordering a la carte on Mondays as some of their popular items sell out quickly!
- Make a quick veggie stir fry and add half a cup of seitan for 20g of protein!
- Sprinkle nutritional yeast on popcorn– a quarter of a cup has 6g of protein and is loaded with b12, another thing that vegans and vegetarians need to pay special attention to making sure they get enough of. A note: in my opinion, different brands of nutritional yeast were not all created equally– and not all are fortified with b12. Braggs tastes the best to me and is considered the gold standard.
- Koia drinks! We grab ours at Whole Foods; we love the coconut almond flavor. Pea protein drinks, totally delicious, 18g protein per drink. Matt swears by these.
- Snack on hummus. Use it as a dip for veggies or chips, and put it on sandwiches instead of mayo. Make your own by throwing a rinsed can of chickpeas, salt, lemon juice and a dash of olive oil in a blender for 6g protein per 3tbsp.
- Quick-grab, ready-made protein shakes: Svelte (Organic soy; it’s fave as far as taste goes, but has less protein than the following options. We always have it on hand), Evolve (20g pea protein), Orgain (16g pea protein). Protein on a plant-based diet with ZERO effort 🙂
- Overnight oats or oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder in it. Adding quinoa gives it an ever bigger protein-packed punch. My favorite overnight oats recipe is by my friend Jen at Neurotic Mommy… Go here to see her recipe (you can click “jump to recipe” to take a quick peek and skip the commentary). Making these takes 5 minutes, super super easy.
- Protein pancakes! Super easy to make: protein powder, 1/2 banana, and flax egg in a waffle maker. If you want a fancier, gluten-free recipe, check out my friend Margaret’s at Plant Philosophy here.
- Super yummy, high-protein, vegan mac n cheese recipe by Fit Vegan Chef (here). A few of my readers recommended this recipe so I definitely wanted to include it.
- Especially for my athletes reading this… JackedOnTheBeanstock.com is a blog by a vegan fitness coat for bikini competitors, and she has lots of high-protein snack/meal ideas and recipes. Many of my readers recommended this site.
There you have it! As you can see, there are tons of way to get more than enough protein on a plant-based diet. If you have any other suggestions, I welcome them.. Please comment or send me a message, I would love to add your ideas and tips to the list!