Let’s Talk Protein

When I tell friends/family/colleagues that I no longer consume animal products, they have questions.

What?! Why?! How?!

After the initial shock and rightfully so…

[6-9 months, and I was eating 4-6 eggs whites at breakfast, 4-6 ounces of meat at lunch and dinner, and snacking on greek yogurt and protein powder/bars through out the day.]

Then their interest perks, and they ask…

Where do you get your protein? Do you get enough protein?

Very valid, common questions to ask a vegetarian or vegan.

Protein is in nearly all plant foods. Fruit. Vegetables. Grains. Nuts/Seeds. Legumes. Each day, I eat a variety of foods to ensure I consume adequate protein and essential amino acids for my body.

My favorite plant-based protein sources are:

  • whole grain bread/tortillas 4-6 grams/slice or wrap
  • quick oats 10 grams/cup
  • peanut butter 3.5 grams/tablespoon
  • soy milk 7 grams/cup
  • beans (pinto, black, garbanzo) ~15 grams/cup
  • nuts/seeds (chia, flax, hemp) ~2-3 grams/tablespoon

But do I get enough protein? Yes. 

The average, healthy adult needs at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. (Divide body weight in pounds by 2.2 to get body weight in kilograms). Being younger or older, an athlete, and pregnant as well as having certain diseases and conditions does impact your need for protein.

So at a minimum, my body needs 47 grams of protein/day. Which is not a difficult amount to consume.

Last week as an experiment, I tracked all my meals in MyFitnessPal (mojo425). And guess what? I easily ate 70 grams of protein or 15% of my total calories that day. All plant-based.

Here’s the proof.

IMG_0461 IMG_0462

If you are interested in learning more about plant-based eating and protein sources check out Rebel Dietitian and No Meat Athlete. Both Dana and Matt are Registered Dietitians with fantastic websites that are loaded with valuable information and resources.

This great protein chart is by Dana, the Rebel Dietitian.


Also, always feel free to leave me a question in the comments. I am happy to chat more with you. Coming from a diet very heavy in meat, eggs, and dairy I have learned a few tricks in my journey to plant-based eating.

Have a great week!

~Katie J.

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