So often when we think of "protein" we think of meat, eggs and cheese but we undermine what an amazing resource plants are. Truly, our body thrives off of food from God's green earth yet so often we over look them. Beans, nuts, legumes, lentils, quinoa, peas, broccoli and many more all offer us an amazing source of protein and fiber!
Still not convinced? Allow me to break it down further...
two stalks of broccoli= 8 grams of protein
one cup of cooked quinoa= 8 grams of protein
1/2 cup of cooked lentils= 8 grams of protein
1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas= 7 grams of protein
1/2 cups of almonds= 16 grams of protein
1/2 cups of peanuts= 20 grams of protein
one tbsp. of hemp seeds= 5 grams of protein
one cup of cooked peas= 8 grams of protein
...to just name a few!
These days you can find pasta, bread, crackers and more made out of many of these! It all comes down to branching out of your comfort zone a little bit and trying them out! I recommend 80% of your diet come from plants. Yes, for any fitness junkies out there wondering, you absolutely CAN build muscle while relying on plants as your protein source. In my experience I have seen and witnessed better fitness results when relying on plants for the majority of my diet. Why would this be?
Well, it's no secret that dairy and meats have been proven to cause inflammation in the body. On the flip side plants have been shown to reduce inflammation within the body. Inflammation suppresses the thyroid which then suppresses the metabolism. Inflammation also can cause your body to retain water. Lastly, meat and dairy are not as easily digestible as plants are. They require a great deal of stomach acid to break them down. Therefore many of us can deal with bloating and constipation if we eat them regularly. None of that adds up to a trim and slim physique now does it?
Now what about the fact that most plant based proteins are loaded with carbohydrates? Well, as I'm sure you know by now, I am a firm believer that carbohydrates are NOT the enemy! Our body needs them for energy and our thyroid is fueled by them! So, as long as you're eating the right ones then don't over think them! Lentil pasta with spaghetti sauce and brown rice crackers with hummus are a couple of my favorite combos. But you guys, there are so many more plant based options available out there! Don't underestimate how delicious a pot of seasoned beans or roasted chickpeas can be. It doesn't have to be fancy or hard to make! Simple is always better in my book anyways!
So friends if you haven't already, please give plant based protein a chance and include them as part of your diet! Try going "meatless" one or two days a week and substitute with one of these yummy options instead. Then, tune in and see how your body feels. I guarantee your tummy will feel flatter and you will feel energized and more light on your feet! Now, doesn't that sound amazing?