Sunday, August 31, 2014

Vegetarian High Protein Meal Ideas

One of my best friends is vegetarian/vegan so this topic interests me as it comes up with clients on occasion. It is challenging to get your protein macros within your calorie limit when you are vegan or vegetarian.

Planning for success

My first tip is to plan your meals ahead of time and have calorie and protein chunks planned out for each meal- e.g. 300 cals and 30 g protein

Know your sources

An easy way to sort out best protein sources is by percentage =  ((protein in g) / (total cals)) * 100 per serving. E.g. a 4 oz chicken breast is 25 g protein per 142 cals or 17.6% which is pretty high compared to most foods thus it is a diet staple for the fit crowd.

Here are some high protein vegetarian food ideas in order from highest to lowest percentage protein:
-Egg 78 cals and 6.3g protein which is 12.4% protein (egg whites are even higher at 1 cup 126 cals and 26.5g protein 21.0%)

-Rice and pea protein powders 1 scoop is 120 cals and 24g protein or 20.0%

-Plain Greek yogurt 1 cup is  120 cals and 20 g protein or 16.7%

-Tofu 100g (3.5 oz) is 55 cal and 7.4 g protein or 13.45%

-Beans ( highest % is soy) 173 cal and 16.5g protein at 9.5%
Followed up by kidney, white, lima, fava, black, mung

-Ricotta cheese (no rennet so it is vegetarian) 0.5 cup is 171 cals and 14 g protein  or 8.2%

-Nuts and seeds (hightest % is pumpkin) 0.25 cups or 28 g 151 cals and 8.4 g protein 5.2%
Followed up by peanuts, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flax, mixed nuts

Other ideas- cottage cheese, quinoa, soy milk, nut butter, tempeh, vegetarian protein bars (aim for 200 cals and 20g protein per bar (Vega and Rise are good store bought ones... or make your own), Quorn, hempseed, buckwheat flour, chia seeds, Ezekiel bread, spirulina
I scaled the following meal plan example down (by 2/3rds) from the following website-

This site was featured in Brad Pilon's article here-

Vegan Sample Meal Plan

(You can combine meals as preferred)

Meal 1:
0.5 cups oatmeal
Protein shake with 0.33 serving of Plant Fusion, 0.33 cup soymilk, 0.33 banana

Meal 2:
1/6 block of extra firm tofu, scrambled with spinach and peppers
1/3 grapefruit
1 almond butter sandwich: 1 slices of whole grain bread, 1 tbsp almond butter

Meal 3:
Black bean chili with 0.33 can black beans, 1/6 pack seitan, and veggies
1/3 baked sweet potato
1/12 avocado

Meal 4 (post workout):
1/3 apple
Protein shake with 0.5 scoops SunWarrior protein, 0.33 cup soymilk, 0.33 banana

Meal 5:
1 large spinach salad
1/6 cup lentils, cooked with veggies and spices over 1/6 cup brown rice
1/6 pound steamed broccoli

Meal 6:
1 tbsp almond butter spread on celery sticks

Approximate totals for the day:
1128 calories, 69g protein, 171g carbs, 25g fat

X- Liss