With that being said, I will forewarn you that I am on some pain medication, so for the time being, let's look past my grammer mistakes, spelling mistakes, punctuation errors and any kind of silliness I may leash out on you guys, although, those grammar mistakes are probably pretty typical in my everyday posts....
Alright, let's get to it - Remember this post on protein? Well, if ya'll do remember, I said that in the next few weeks I'd have some additional ideas of protein sources for those of you who are vegetarian, or even for those who are sick of eating chicken and fish every week... so here we go...
Non-Meat Protein Sources.
- Beans/Lentils. These include pinto, black, garbanzo, kidney, white and edamame.
- Nuts/Seeds. Almonds, walnuts, pine, pistachio and cashews.
- Faux Meat. This includes veggie burgers, chicken patties and any other soy/nut based fake meat. The one thing to be aware of is that these products are often highly processed and are loaded with sodium. Try to find these products with 350 mg or less of sodium.
- Tofu/Tempeh. These are good protein substitutes for chicken or burgers.
The most important thing when it comes to consuming protein from a plant source - such as the examples above - is getting all the essential amino acids our body needs. Animal protein contains all the essential amino acids, however, plant protein is lacking or significantly lower in at least 1 of these essential amino acids our bodies need. So in order to make up for these lacking nutrients, it is very important to combine certain foods that will give you all the necessary amino acids. Ever wonder why rice and beans are so popular among vegetarians? Well that's because the combination of the two provide all the essential amino acids. Hummus and whole wheat pita or quinoa and red beans are just two more examples of these combinations.
Something to consider doing when going meat-less to to prepare, prepare, prepare! Making meal plans will make it a whole heck of a lot easier getting all the essential amino acids our body needs.
I realize I keep bringing up these amino acids, but I DO, because not only are they the building blocks of our body - they build muscle, maintain organ structure - but they also help our immune system. So please, make sure you are getting all these amino acids!
If anyone has any recipes or insight onto eating vegetarian, please share!