There’s a lot more to munch than those tins of tuna and hard-boiled eggs for your daily dose of protein.
Yip. The ‘new’ protein is popping up on menus everywhere. Whether you’re a hard-core athlete or smashing your 2017 fitness goals, plant proteins have made it onto the sporting scene. So what’s the big deal?
Feel good factors include being more environmentally friendly than animal proteins plus they’re a LOT more sustainable. They also give you more bang for your buck (no pun intended) and they’re so versatile. What’s not to love?
Try soy, seaweed or quinoa – these are packed with heaps of essential amino acids so you won’t need to wolf back a chop as well. Look out for 2017’s new bestie, sorghum, for loads of kick-ass health benefits. (Half a cup of uncooked sorghum provides 316 calories, 10 grams of protein and 6.4 grams of fibre – that’s impressive for a grain.)
Pack more plant protein into your diet
- Swap your beef hamburger patty for a lentil burger
- Blend a vegan protein powder into your smoothie
- Use soya mince for mama-mia Bolognese
- Eat it. With everything.
- Lentils are a beeg hit in tacos. Yarriva!
- Snack on nuts and seeds or roasted chickpeas
- Soak cashews overnight, then blend into tomato soup or curry sauce
- Seaweed sheets make delicious veggie wraps
- Try mashed beans instead of mashed potatoes
- Top your eggs and toast with beans
- Snack on seaweed sheets instead of chips or pop some sorghum instead of pop-corn
What to eat before a workout:
- Fruity protein smoothie: couldn’t get easier than blitzing some blueberries, bananas, fat-free/low-fat yoghurt and ice.
- Classic hummus and carrots are great before a workout. Plus it’s easy to grab ready-made at your local shop.
- Peanut butter and banana on whole-wheat toast, sprinkled with chia seeds.
What to eat after a workout:
- Orange mango smoothie: 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop skim milk powder/vanilla vegan protein powder, 1 cup frozen mango chunks, 1 navel orange, 2 Tbsp cashews, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp turmeric. Blend ‘til smooth and enjoy!
- Chickpea salad: mash chickpeas, mix with lemon and avocado, diced red onion, diced celery, salt and pepper. Eat the salad on its own or pop it in a pita. (Chickpeas are great post-workout because they have the perfect ratio of carbs to protein PLUS they’re low in fat.)
With all these options and much more available out there, there really is no reason to not get your protein from plants.
Don’t veg out. Veg up*. It’s the way to go!
*Remember it’s best to talk to a registered dietician to help you with your pre-, post- and during-workout meals based on your needs and goals.