How Do Vegans Get Protein?

Guest Post by Anna Wildman from Running Vegan NYC.  Anna is a plant-based health and fitness blogger living in New York City. She enjoys running, cooking, and taking pictures of the food she cooks (as a millennial would). You can follow her on her website, runningvegannyc.com, or on Instagram, @runningvegannyc .

Guest Post by Anna Wildman from Running Vegan NYC. 

Anna is a plant-based health and fitness blogger living in New York City. She enjoys running, cooking, and taking pictures of the food she cooks (as a millennial would). You can follow her on her website, runningvegannyc.com, or on Instagram, @runningvegannyc .

If you don’t eat meat, where do you get your protein?!

It’s a question that every vegan inevitably gets - all the timeThere is actually an abundance of plant-based protein sources. The more common ones include beans, tofu, and nuts, but there are many others that you may not realize are also high in protein. These include broccoli, lentils, rice, potatoes, seeds, spinach, peas, and oatmeal. 

Ok—so I have all these great choices, but how do I fit them into my meals? My main strategy is to intentionally incorporate one serving of the more obvious protein sources (nuts, beans, tofu, etc.) into each meal. I also unintentionally pick up additional protein from other things like corn, leafy greens, and rice. Below is an example of a typical day of eating so you can get an idea of the sources and amount of protein I get every day.


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Breakfast

½ cup oats with almond milk, fruit, and 1 tbsp. nut butter.

·       Almond milk: 1 g

·       Nut butter: 3.5 g

·       Oats: 4 g

TOTAL: 8.5 g protein


 

Lunch

Veggie stir fry with 3 oz. seitan and ½ cup rice

·       Veggies: 2 g

·       Seitan: 21 g

·       Rice: 2 g

TOTAL: ~25 g protein


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Dinner

Big kale salad with roasted sweet potato, ½ cup beans, handful of corn, veggies, and tahini dressing

·       Kale: 3 g

·       Sweet potato: 2 g

·       Veggies: 2 g

·       Corn: 5 g

·       Beans: 7 g

·       Tahini: 3 g

TOTAL: ~22 g protein


Snack

Big bowl of popcorn with handful of almonds & dark chocolate

·       Popcorn: 3 g

·       Almonds: 3.5 g

·       Chocolate: 1 g

TOTAL: ~7.5 g protein


DAILY TOTAL: ~63 g protein

Based on my height, weight, age, and exercise level, the American Dietetic Association recommends that I consume 50-87 grams of protein a day. With a total of 63 grams of protein, I’m right on target.

As long as you make an effort to include at least one serving of protein into each meal, the numbers will add up pretty quickly and you will have no problem hitting your goal amount. Also, protein exists in unlikely sources (I never knew broccoli had a good amount of protein until I went vegan!), so going plant-based may not be as stressful as you think.

There are also vegan bodybuilders out there who are crushing the scrawny vegan stereotypes—take a look at Stefanie Moir, Brian Turner, or Torre Washington for inspiration. 

So, where do I get my protein? From pretty much everything