Last week Jen over at Peanut Butter Runner did a great post on where she gets her protein on days when she doesn’t eat much, if any, meat. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should. This girl provides all kinds of great motivation for getting your butt to the gym and/or yoga studio. 

Jen’s post got me thinking about my protein intake. As a vegetarian, I get the protein question a lot, and sometimes, when I’m feeling a little less patient than I should be, I get a little frustrated.

You see, there are so many ways to get protein besides meat. My favorite forms are peanut butter and Greek yogurt, which I eat almost every single day. Here’s a look at where else I get my protein throughout a typical day:

Breakfast:
-1 tablespoon peanut butter (4g)
-2 slices whole wheat bread (8g)
-1/2 medium banana, sliced
-1 cup fresh blackberries (2g)
-Coffee with 1/2 cup 2% milk (4g)
-24 oz. water
Total Protein: 18g

Mid-Morning Snack:
-ThinkThin Crunchy Nut Bar (10g)
Total Protein: 10g

Lunch:
-2% Fage Greek Yogurt (20g!)
-1 tablespoon peanut butter (4g)
-1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal (4.5g)
-1/4 cup chopped walnuts (7.5g)
-1 cup fresh blackberries (2g)
-24 oz. water
Total Protein: 38g


Dinner:
-Slice of leftover Dominos Light-Cheese Veggie Pizza (9g)
-Salad with romaine, 2 tablespoons hummus (2g), 1/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (7g), 1/2 chopped pear
-24 oz. water
Total Protein: 18g


DAILY TOTAL: 84 grams of protein!


As a reference point, the amount of protein recommended for me, specifically, according the USDA (calculated HERE) is 53 grams based on my activity level, height, weight and age. So, as you can see, I’m consuming more than adequate amounts of protein even as a vegetarian.

Another reference point? To get the same amount of protein at McDonalds, I would have to consume three quarter pounders with cheese. Or six McChicken sandwiches. Take your pick.

Vegetarian or meat-eater, what are your favorite ways to get protein?

Happy eating!

Madison

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  • http://keepitsweetblog.com Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    Great post! My husband always gets worried that he doesn't get enough protein when I cook vegetarian meals. This should convince him:-)

  • http://www.dessertfortwo.com DessertForTwo

    Love this post! I'm not 100% vegetarian, but I only eat meat about once a week. Sometimes less. No real reason, I just don't crave it. When I fill up my plate with farro, quinoa and eggs, I feel good. I believe your body tells you what it needs. When I crave it, I eat it. Simple as that.

    Have you ever heard that an unnaturally high craving for sugar is a result of low protein intake? I read somewhere that your body craves sugar as a form of quick energy when it's not getting enough real energy in the form of protein. I put this to the test and it works for me. Maybe that explains your sweet tooth, too? But clearly you're getting enough protein with PB and yogurt. Anyway, just sayin' :)

  • http://thecoziness.wordpress.com Megan

    Yes! I'm nowhere near a vegetarian, but this question annoys me – mostly because it's formed out of ignorance. Great post, that's an incredible amount of protein!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17728289485178979972 Madison Mayberry

    DessertForTwo – I never really made the connection between sugar cravings and protein consumption, but now that I think about it, it's true! On days like today, when I know I got plenty of protein, I don't really crave sugar at all. But on low-protein days when I'm less mindful of what I eat, I crave sugar like crazy.

    I feel like I just had a revelation! :)

  • http://mysceneandherd.blogspot.com/ Audrey Ellen @ My Scene and Herd

    Very helpful! Even just writing out makes me think about it more. I know the breakfast thing is big for me. If i have a high protein grain like oatmeal for breakfast I feel better than just something normal like Special K.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11693566894522334908 TamboinMO

    I'm more of a flexitarian, but I'm in love with Greek yogurt! I could live on it, well, it and almond butter or sunbutter….I eat less and less meat all the time.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12920807301570202779 Megan

    Great info!! A lot of people truly aren't aware of the amounts of protein in anything other than meat.

    I love getting my protein from lean meats, beans, cheese, and ice cream :)

  • Missy

    Thanks for sharing this! Finding out that protein is found in other sources is new for people! When I went to school in the 80's (when you were born :) ) I was taught that protein was found in meat and eggs. So it has been a learning experience for me to read labels and find out that protein is in other foods! Now to teach my kiddos!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09092356568818504115 Helena

    Tofu! Man I love tofu, and it has the highest amount of protein compared to meat (I think chicken has 28% and tofu has 42%…42!!). Regular tofu is always so messy to cook, with marinating and all, so I usually buy smoked tofu. I could literally eat it by the pound, it's so good :)

  • http://www.girlversusdough.com Stephanie

    Good grief, my husband and I get this question all the time (because we're flexitarian)! It's so frustrating that people think you can't get protein from anything other than meat or even animal products. Great post — something people definitely need to read!

    As for a favorite way to get protein, I eat handfuls of raw almonds anytime I need a snack or get a crazy sugar craving. :)

  • http://helennaturally.wordpress.com helen

    Great post! I love the information on here. Thanks for sharing the link as well :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17987795624398203941 Jesse

    i use greek yogurt and peanut butter to incorporate more protein into my diet as well. while i'm not a vegetarian, i also add tofu and beans instead of meat to a lot of recipes. not only is it healthier and tastier, it's also cheaper. win, win and win.

  • http://www.cupcakesomg.blogspot.com CupcakesOMG!

    I have very strong feelings about vegetarianism…specifically, i don't like it. I get that it's a social cause as much as a diet, but human beings evolved to eat meat. Not every meal, but certainly more than never. that said, that pizza looks awesome. I'm currently avoiding processed foods like bread, rice, and sugar, so vegetarian or not, it's temptingggggg!

    http://www.cupcakesomg.blogspot.com

  • http://peanutbutterrunner.com Jen

    Thanks so much for the shout out! I really just can't believe how easy it is to get protein in without eating meat and it's great to spread the word!

    Annnddd now I'm craving pizza for dinner! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17728289485178979972 Madison Mayberry

    CupcakesOMG – Unlike many vegetarians, I don't eat a plant-based lifestyle because of ethical reasons, so I totally understand where you are coming from when you say that you believe we evolved to eat meat. My entire family eats meat, but I think that diet and what we choose to eat is a very personal thing and each of us are entitled to make a decision that suits us. For me, it's being vegetarian.

    Vegetarian or not, I think it's important for everyone to understand all the healthy, varied sources they can get protein from.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11863427572750525283 Natalie

    I'm not a vegetarian but I try to eat mostly plant based…sometimes my hubs worries that I'm not getting enough protein…but I eat a lot of the same foods you do, so I need to show him this :)

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