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Meatless Protein Sources

I hope everyone is having a great week. This week is flying by for me – work has been busy and my social and teaching calendar is full.

Before I get going on today’s topic, I want to quickly address the terrible storms that hit Alabama today. Many of you know that Brandon and I lived in Birmingham for three years and still have a lot of friends down there. Today they were hit by severe storms that spawned many tornadoes – one hit the heart of Tuscaloosa and was over a mile wide. The damage is horrible and there are 128 deaths reported so far (with more coming in).


Severe weather and tornadoes are more common in that area of the country. When we lived in Birmingham we made many trips down to the basement when the tornado sirens in our neighborhood went off. It is a scary, scary thing and I can’t even imagine how everyone must have felt during today’s storms. My thoughts are with everyone in Alabama. Please send your prayers and good thoughts that way.

So today I wanted to talk about protein. I am not a vegetarian but I do try to limit my meat intake. One question I get a lot is “how do you get enough protein when you don’t eat meat?” I happened to total my intake today and it’s well over the recommended amount…with no meat consumed!

Here are today’s eats, along with protein counts.

Breakfast was {unpictured} toast with peanut butter, honey and banana and a soy latte from Caribou (had coffee with a client). Protein total = 24.5 grams.

Lunch was a grilled cheese with pepper jack, spinach, avocado and squash and zucchini. Dipped in honey mustard with grapes and carrots on the side. Protein total 18.63 grams. Note, we are using Arnold Healthfull bread right now and it has 5 grams per slice!

Afternoon snack was a Mango Chobani Greek Yogurt. Protein total = 13 grams.

Post work 5 miler! 5.2 miles in 46 minutes. Sullie joined me for the last 1.5. The temperatures were in the 80s and it was wonderful. Call me crazy but I love to sweat!

I taught a hot vinyasa class tonight at Y2 and then came home starving at 9 p.m.

Dinner was a quinoa bowl. Red quinoa with olives, chick peas, onions, feta, tomatoes and oregano. Served on a bed of spinach and topped with plain nonfat Greek yogurt. Protein total = 24.5 grams.

Post-dinner snack of apple slices with almond butter. Protein total = 4.5 grams

Updated to add my {unpictured} midnight snack, chocolate milk. Protein total = 8.5 grams

TOTAL PROTEIN INTAKE = 94 GRAMS!!! (Recommended intake 51 grams.)

Easy, peasy. It is not hard to get plenty of protein in and not eat meat!

Do you get your daily protein allowance in? What are your favorite meatless protein sources?

Check out my “Five Meatless Lunch Ideas” post for more inspiration!

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Alaina April 28, 2011, 12:36 am

    I love Greek yogurt! My favorite flavor is the black cherry. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m also big into quinoa, peanut butter and beans. Lotsa protein there!

  • Maddy April 28, 2011, 1:08 am

    i usually get most of protein from chicken and other poultry, but i get protein from many meatless sources including: eggs, nuts & seeds, protein shakes, etc. (i don’t usually consume any dairy products, so none of my protein comes from dairy!)i always get the daily amount that is recommended. i usually get 70+ grams of protein.

  • Laura @ LauraLikesDesign April 28, 2011, 7:14 am

    These are great protein ideas! I love making protein smoothies with protein powder, berries, and banans. Also, string cheese is something I eat on a regular basis.

    • Jen April 28, 2011, 12:26 pm

      i love smoothies too – especially during the summer! my husband keeps us stocked with protein powder! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sydney Robyn April 28, 2011, 9:30 am

    I am pretty obsessed with egg whites. I throw them in my smoothies, stir fries, or just scrambled (with asparagus and goat cheese is my favourite).

    • Jen April 28, 2011, 12:27 pm

      oh i haven’t tried them in smoothies. i have mixed them into oatmeal. how do you do that?

      • Sydney Robyn April 29, 2011, 9:02 am

        Well it may sound a little gross/antiquated, but I just pour them in raw (I don’t know why, but that makes me image 70s/80s weightlifters, in those impeccable short shorts). I put them into the blender after I have gotten things mixed up a bit, and blend them in until it gets a bit frothy. I like it as an alternative to greek yogourt in my smoothies, when I want something particularly refreshing, and a little less milkshake-like.

        • Jen April 29, 2011, 4:58 pm

          ooo…awesome! thanks for the details! i definitely see how that would give it a different (and frothy) texture. funny, does remind me of old school weight lifters. suck down a raw egg and hit the gym! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Phoebe April 28, 2011, 9:41 am

    Greek Yogurt is a great way to get protein, so are nuts, and soy (toasted/dried edamame nuts are a great thing to snack on in place of nuts)…

    • Jen April 28, 2011, 12:28 pm

      i think that greek yogurt is amazing – i can’t even get over how much it protein it packs in such a small amount of calories.

  • [email protected] April 28, 2011, 9:55 am

    I can’t believe the news stories about the storms over there, it’s so scary. So many people losing their lives is so tragic. I hope all of your friends and acquaintances are ok.

    I love being able to tell my vegetarian-goading meat-loving friends that their asumptions on my protein intake is completely wrong. I try not to be smug but sometimes it’s hard ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love me some lentils, quinoa and tofu. Also walnuts and any kind of nut butter!

    • Jen April 28, 2011, 12:28 pm

      LOVE this! I totally agree that it’s fun to educate clueless friends! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Lori April 28, 2011, 10:02 am

    I think it’s funny how your dog manages to get in shots and most times he’s off to the side cleaning himself. It makes me laugh! As far as protein goes I’ve been eating lots of it eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, protein shakes and lean meats. I recently gained 1.5 lbs. I am hoping that’s all muscle from Bootcamp!

    • Jen April 28, 2011, 12:29 pm

      yes, i always make sullie get in the shot with me but she never does what i want her to! ๐Ÿ™‚

      how’s the bootcamp going!?

      • Lori April 29, 2011, 9:22 am

        So sorry for calling Sullie a he!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Jen April 29, 2011, 4:57 pm

          oh my gosh, no worries!!!

  • Lori April 28, 2011, 10:04 am

    Oh and these tornados are freaking me out!!! So scary and my hearts goes out to the people who have been affected recently.

  • Jen April 28, 2011, 10:53 am

    Every time the sirens start going off, I immediately freak out. In all my years of living in Michigan, the sirens have gone off plenty of times, but thankfully any tornado that touched down was brief and missed our area completely. Watching and reading about the devastation that occurred yesterday and last night (along with my Twitter feed exploding with GET UNDERGROUND NOW warnings), my heart is breaking for everyone this morning and especially for those that may have lost their loved ones.

  • Jessica April 28, 2011, 11:54 am

    That Arnold’s Healthfull bread is delicious and feels so hearty, glad to hear its also high in protein. Perfect with some nut butter and banana, IMHO. I am also having a love affair with peanut butter these days!

    • Jen April 28, 2011, 12:30 pm

      agreed!!! yum!

  • Mary Beth April 28, 2011, 12:15 pm

    We love some string cheese and raw almonds around here for protein. They are my go-to for my three kiddos when they need a boost. You are not crazy for loving to sweat! I tried my first Kettlebells class today (at KORE Wellness here in Columbia- I think there is one in Charlotte too?) and I was pouring sweat- it felt GREAT!

    • Jen April 28, 2011, 12:31 pm

      Mary Beth – I need to pick up some string cheese for snacks. I used to love it but haven’t had it in forever. Perfect for kids too! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have heard so many good things about kettlebells. There are several places around here that offer classes. I must try!!!

  • Meghan @ StruggleMuffins April 28, 2011, 12:53 pm

    I love adding peanut flour to pancakes, oatmeal, smoothies and yogurt for a protein boost. This post is a great demonstration on how easy it is to take in adequate protein without eating meat. People have a false sense of what reasonable protein needs actually are – its very rare to become protein deficient. Great post!

    • Jen April 29, 2011, 5:09 pm

      I agree Meghan! I usually find that I’ve met my minimum protein requirement by lunch! It’s crazy the misconceptions people have about it!

  • Nicole April 28, 2011, 1:34 pm

    I love this post! I was vegetarian for 18 yrs and I still lean heavily that way – and like you, I eat a lot of meatless meals.

    My favorite sources are whey protein, greek yogurt (plain), cottage cheese and tofu. I use quinoa, beans and nuts as supplements as they’re carb and fat sources, but still contain protein.

    Thanks for all of the great ideas – it’s great to see what another (mainly) meatless eater likes! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) April 28, 2011, 4:02 pm

    My favs look similar to your’s- greek yogurt, nut butters, and cheese! I also like milk and egg whites ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kelly April 28, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Midnight! Do you stay up late every night or do you wake up craving a snack in the middle of the night? I am such a grandma and am usually in bed by 10. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Jen April 29, 2011, 5:06 pm

      I try not to stay up until midnight but sometimes I’m up that late just trying to get everything done. Our normal bedtime is closer to 11.

      I never wake up hungry in the middle of the night though. I had this right before bed.

  • Becky April 28, 2011, 8:21 pm

    I try really hard to get the necessary amount of protein each day. My favorite meatless sources are whole grains, beans, nuts, and yogurt. Is there any better way to get protein than a pineapple Chobani?!

    • Jen April 29, 2011, 5:00 pm

      no! that is definitely my favorite flavored chobani!

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