Protein, Protein Everywhere

May 3, 2011

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.Β 

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:

-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

-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

-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!


You Might Also Like


  • Reply Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 3, 2011 at 1:00 am

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

  • Reply DessertForTwo May 3, 2011 at 1:05 am

    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' πŸ™‚

  • Reply Megan May 3, 2011 at 1:23 am

    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!

  • Reply Madison Mayberry May 3, 2011 at 1:40 am

    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! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Audrey Ellen @ My Scene and Herd May 3, 2011 at 1:52 am

    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.

  • Reply TamboinMO May 3, 2011 at 1:58 am

    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.

  • Reply Megan May 3, 2011 at 2:19 am

    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 πŸ™‚

  • Reply Missy May 3, 2011 at 2:24 am

    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!

  • Reply Helena May 3, 2011 at 9:01 am

    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 πŸ™‚

  • Reply Stephanie May 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    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. πŸ™‚

  • Reply helen May 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Great post! I love the information on here. Thanks for sharing the link as well πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jesse May 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    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.

  • Reply CupcakesOMG! May 3, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    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!


  • Reply Jen May 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    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! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Madison Mayberry May 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    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.

  • Reply Natalie May 4, 2011 at 2:03 am

    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 πŸ™‚

  • Reply Getting Enough Protein « Between Your Ears June 21, 2012 at 11:03 am

    […] elaborate. First of all, I would check out these blogposts by Madison of Espresso & Cream (here, here, and here) and Emily of Daily Garnish (hereΒ and here). They are both seasoned vegetarians […]

  • Reply Adria Ralphs November 14, 2012 at 7:22 am


    look at beneath, are a few absolutely unrelated sites to ours, then again, they can be most dependable resources that we use…

  • Leave a Reply

    Let's Stay Connected!

    Leave me your email so I can keep you up to date with my latest recipes, fashion favorites, clean beauty deals, and so much more!

    You have Successfully Subscribed!