Isn't it strange how the moment you tell anyone you're considering giving the vegan lifestyle a go, they nearly always immediately turn into an overnight nutritional expert, with a deep concern over how “you'll be lacking in protein”. We've all heard the concern, but does becoming vegan mean that you'll be protein deficient and too weak to lift your soy milk latte within a week?
In fact, there's an absolute treasure trove of great sources of protein you can enjoy as part of a fulfilling and nutritionally balanced, plant-based diet. You'll be pumping up your protein levels in no time! Even former Mr. Universe, action movie icon and former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger has talked about how he has switched over to an almost entirely meat and dairy free lifestyle (although he's admitted to still consuming eggs on occasion, but that's still a pretty massive leap!). So if ever you hear people crying out their protein concerns, just remember that The Terminator himself is doing just fine with his new found love for almond milk.
So let's dispense with the nonsense and give you a few great ways to help you with getting some of that all important protein into your diet, so you can feel pumped up and overflowing with energy as you get through your day, whether it be working toward that employee of the month status at work or pumping iron and making gains in the gym!
Also, if before reading this you'd already came across seitan, don't worry, it's not as bad as it's name makes it sound. In fact, it can be 'devilishly good' (feel free to take all of our wonderful jokes that you read here, as well as the all the protein talk).
Dare To Ditch Dairy
Those of us of a certain age will surely remember how, as children, we were always told how essential milk was to keep your bones strong and healthy because of the calcium. That and constant sights of hugely muscular men gulping down disgusting looking concoctions with a few raw eggs cracked in. Sounds rather disgusting doesn't it? Not to mention dangerous, as if you don't pick the right eggs, you could well be gulping down a runny cup of pure Salmonella poisoning, which is even worse!
It's time to find some replacements to the obvious previous sources of protein you had in your diet. There's a whole world of plant, oat and nut milks to be pouring onto your morning muesli, into your afternoon coffee or just straight into your mouth if you're that way inclined (although not straight from the bottle if others share it with you. We mustn't forget our manners now). There's also endless choices for plant-based yoghurts of every sweet and fruity flavour you can imagine, as well as enough choices of vegan cheese to please even Wallace And Gromit (and they went to the moon for cheese!). You can also say switch up your eggs with some delicious scrambled tofu, which is particularly delicious and invigorating to the taste buds when scrambled, particularly with just a dash of hot sauce to spice things up a little.
Say Hello To Seitan (And Friends)!
Now, let's roll back to the last of the awful jokes we made just before we came to the list portion of what you're reading, where we were talking about seitan. A meat replacement made out of wheat gluten that could be one of the most diverse tools in your vegan arsenal, both nutritionally and with it's adaptable flavour potential, that can emulate anything from your favourite spicy chicken wings, delicious curry fillers, crunchy battered fish (all it takes is a little seaweed to give it that oceanic taste) and beyond! Not only that, but it's not just a great source of protein, but also jammed full of important minerals like Iron and Selenium that cover a whole host of bodily functions like improved thyroid function, boosting up your immune system and more.
Seitan certainly is a diverse creative tool for your plate, but it's not the only meat replacement option you have at your disposal, although it's lack of soy is also a bonus. That said, if you don't have any intolerance to soy, you have another brilliantly adaptable and protein packed product for even more delicious dishes. Spaghetti Bolognaise with egg free pasta and soy mince anyone? There's also plenty of protein to be found in adding some tofu into the kitchen. It's particularly delicious as part of a Katsu curry!
You can even get yourself some lovely meat replacements from this very site and why not sign up to our mailing list to be the first to hear all about our upcoming recipe section?
What Is Quinoa Anyway?
No doubt you've heard of quinoa at some point in life and it's important to remember that you don't even have to be able to pronounce it correctly to still enjoy all the dietary benefits it offers. For example, did you know that it contains double the protein of white rice and also works as a perfect replacement for it in most cases? It's also packed with fibre, so the extra protein will fill you up better (meaning you only need a smaller portion size) and the extra fibre will help clean you out (for want of a better phrase) and leave you feeling refreshed from the inside.
Yet More Protein
According to many many online influencers, you're absolutely nobody if you're not chucking around chia seeds like confetti and we have to agree with them when it comes to singing their praises. Chia seeds usually contain seventeen grams of protein per hundred grabs of weight, making them with one of the highest protein levels of all the plant based options right now. You can even browse through our selection of seeds and nuts, including Chia, right here. Plus, many nuts and seeds can join the party too! In fact, there's many foods you may not even know are great for bringing that all important protein into your lifestyle. Broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts (and sprouts are for life, not just for Christmas), green peas, chick peas and most forms of beans (including the all important baked beans) are all pounding out protein for you to consume. There's even plenty of snacks that you can include into your everyday routing to help fight off those hunger pangs, such as apple slices dipped in peanut butter, as peanut butter is nearly always vegan friendly too. It doesn't usually contain any actual butter! Once in a blue moon you may find a peanut butter that contains a dash of honey, but just remember to check those all important labels and you'll be just fine.
The next time you find yourself face to face with an overnight expert in nutrition, like the ones we discussed all the way back in the opening lines, you'll now be ready to placate all of their protein based concerns. Perhaps you could really flip the tables and even get them to start rethinking whether its time for them to re-examine how they are getting their daily dose of protein?