To go vegan or not to go vegan, that is the question. That is a question I have battled for the last two years, and I still haven’t made up my mind. In 2006, I made the decision to ditch eating meat and become a vegetarian, cold turkey. I had come across an article in the New York Times about factory farming and that was it for me! I have continued to educate myself and research the benefits of a meatless diet ever since. What I have found is there are MANY different benefits, not only on our bodies, but also to our environment and that there is a big misconception about protein in general.
I won’t go into too much about just why meat is dangerous, you can read more on that topic here. I do want to say that there are so many more benefits to a vegetable-heavy diet than there are to having a diet that incorporates meat. I also want to highlight the fact that the meat and dairy industry is terrible for our environment. The top 5 reasons to go vegan with regards to our environment can be found here.
This blog post is about meat alternatives and how to still create a well-balanced meal plan without meat. Most Americans are eating far more meat than they really need, and not enough fruits and vegetables. It’s true that we do need some protein in our diet, to help build and repair muscles and for general functioning. However, meat isn’t the only source of protein.
8 HIGH-PROTEIN VEGETABLES
1. Soybeans (28.6 g per cup (boiled))
2. Edamame (16.9 g per cup (cooked))
3. Lentils (17.9 g per cup (boiled))
4. Broccoli (2.6 grams per cup)
5. Peas (8.6 g per one cup)
6. Asparagus (2.4 grams)
7. Pumpkin Seeds (5.2 grams/ounce roasted)
8. Mung Bean Sprouts (2.5 grams/cup)
I try to pair a protein source with vegetables at least 3 meals a day, and I also have a serving of Shakeology each day for a hefty dose of protein, vitamins, fiber and superfoods. There are a few other sources of protein that I enjoy on a weekly basis because let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t want BEANS! If you have tried any of the items below, or maybe you have some other great recommendations, I’d love to hear from you!