How to get More Healthy Proteins into your Diet

For the second time in the last 6 months, I am cooking 100% vegan for at least the hubs and me.  The first time I had to call it quits when I got super sick about 2 weeks into a 3-week program.  This time, I am going strong with 1-week left of an updated three-week program.

It has sincerely been awesome to eat more veggies, lentils, beans, and to cut back on meat and dairy.

If there is one surprise many of my clients have when they start taking a look at what could be holding them back in their diet is that they are typically low in getting in the daily recommended intake of proteins for their unique needs. 

When you are trying to increase energy, lose body fat, increase lean mass, or balance your hormones, one of the best things you can do is to get your protein intake up to an optimal level.

In case you don’t know how much protein you should be getting, the RDA recommends getting no less than .8 grams per kilogram body weight.  However, if you are highly physically active, over the age of 65, are attempting to lose weight, or are recovering from an injury, you will need more protein.   The exact amount is variable, but most nutrition experts agree that getting somewhere between 1.0-1.2 grams per kilogram is a good estimate.

You can calculate your protein intake needs using this calculator

And here is a list of my favorite veggie based proteins you too can start adding to your repertoire! Protein values are per single serving.

  • Tempeh: 16 grams in 3 oz
  • Red Lentils: 18 grams per cup
  • Split peas: 16 grams per cup
  • Northern Beans: 15 grams per cup
  • Kidney Beans: 15 grams per cup
  • Lima Beans: 15 grams per cup
  • Black Beans: 15 grams per cup
  • Garbanzo Beans: 14.5 grams per cup
  • Quinoa: 8 grams per cup
  • Pumpkin/squash seeds: 8.5 grams per ounce
  • Almonds: 6 grams per ounce
  • Hemp Seeds: 9 grams per ounce
  • Chia Seeds: 4.7 grams per ounce
  • Green Peas: 7.9 grams per cup
  • Spinach: 5.3 grams per cup
  • Squash: 5 grams per cup

For some awesome recipes that I love, you can check out Kris Carr’s site here.

I’d love to hear how you are using this list to make some additions or substitutions to your normal protein intake!  Send me your photos or recipe loves, and I will repost for all to share.