September 03, 2013

There are many criticisms that us vegetarian get from our meat-loving friends and family:

Aren’t you always cold?

You need meat to live!

Meat just tastes so good; you’re missing out!

You must not get any protein.

While I roll my eyes at the first three, the last one did concern me. I am conscious about eating a variety of food that does the body good. Am I getting enough protein?

So I decided to casually monitor my protein intake for one day without changing my eating habits to see what I was getting. No protein shakes or tofu for this girl…in fact no soy products at all; not that I’m opposed to them, but they are an easy way to hit your protein goals. Here’s what I ate:

Breakfast:English muffin with peanut butter (1 muffin + 2 tbsp peanut butter): 11g

Banana and raspberries (1 banana + handful of raspberries): 3g

Lunch:Quinoa Salad  (about 1 cup): 10g

Cheese and crackers (about 6 crackers and a string cheese): 10g

Snack:Greek Yogurt topped with Nature Valley Granola (1 Chobani container with ¼ cup granola): 21g

Dinner:Pasta with homemade tomato-basil sauce and Parm cheese (about 1-1/2 cups): 15g

Grand Total: 70g Protein

Researchers say someone my age and weight only needs about 47g per day, so—without even trying—I’m way over what I need.

So there you have it: More than enough protein. I never really considered how much protein I was getting or if it was enough, but am glad to know it’s pretty easy to get enough…even without meat.

Just keep in mind eating a variety of protein, such as beans, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains can ensure you’re getting all the amino acids you need.

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