What is Protein?

Protein is an essential dietary component for all living organisms. It is an organic compound consisting of chains of amino acids that are important for the body in terms of hair, collagen, tissue, and muscles. Without consuming the proper amount of protein, our bodies can’t function properly.

How Much  Do We Need?

According to several credible sources, this is what the average individual would need to sustain:

• 16 grams for toddlers

• 34 grams for girls

• 52 grams for boys

• 46 grams for women (Age 14 and up)

• 56 grams for men (Age 14 and up)

Where Do I Get My Protein?

There are actually tons of vegan meat alternatives on the market today. Many of them spotlight how many grams of protein they have right on the front of the box for you. Be sure to read the labels to make sure you aren’t messing around with any genetically modified organisms. Check out my one of favorites, Plant Meat.

In terms of options, there is tofu, tempeh, and seitan. I like them all, but the one I use the most is Nasoya (Sprouted) tofu. My favorite brand of tempeh is Smiling Harrah.

Aside from meat substitutes, I get protein from vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and nut milks.

Vegetables: As you can tell from my Instagram pics, I like leafy greens (collards, spinach, broccoli and arugula). I always add micro-greens to my salads. Did you know that you can find protein in other vegetables, like potatoes and squash?

Legumes: I like bean sprouts, black beans, black eyed peas, chick peas, and hummus. However, with beans you either need a grain or nuts to get a complete protein. For example, black beans and rice make a whole protein. Since corn is a grain, when you add lima beans you actually get a complete protein.

Nuts & Seeds: Nuts and seeds can be added to just about anything. I like mixing my nuts with fresh fruit or sprinkling them across my salads. I am not big on seeds, but I will have an occasional sunflower seed or two.

Nut Milk: Almond milk is easy to find and quite popular, but I prefer soy milk. Whichever alternative you choose, watch out for harmful additives such as Carrageenan. EdenSoy is my favorite brand. They don’t have any harmful additives, so it’s one of the few brands I trust. Each serving of EdenSoy has 11 grams of protein per 8 ounce serving (almond milk only has 2 grams). It’s great to have around for making smoothies. I also use it as a milk substitute whenever I bake.