If you have eaten meat all of your life, then becoming a vegetarian can be a little overwhelming. What can you eat to make sure you are receiving all the protein you need for your balanced diet? How can plants and legumes be the same protein amount as chicken or salmon? There are so many new whole food vegetarian protein sources out there, you just need to know which ones are good for you. The amount of protein you need to consume doesn’t change when you are vegetarian, you just need to choose the right foods that’ll give you the protein you need.
As a vegetarian, you can use dairy and eggs as a protein instead of meat and fish. Beans are also a really great source of protein and if you combine beans and grains together the amino acids will build a complete protein, like meat and fish. Complete proteins for vegetarians are; quinoa, soybeans, eggs, cow’s milk, cheese, and yogurt. Also, seeds such as chia and hemp are good protein sources.
If you’re also working out at the same intensity as you were as a meat eater you still need to eat something post-workout high in protein. Protein after a workout can help with recovery and repair muscles. You should also eat carbs to replace the glycogen stores you burnt during your workout. A few examples are; smoothie with milk and yogurt and spinach or banana and peanut butter.
There are many protein powders on the market suitable for both vegans and vegetarians. They are usually based on brown rice, hemp, pea, or soy for the vegans and whey protein for vegetarians. All of these contain high amounts of protein and are really good for an after workout meal.