I went through a short (27 year) vegetarian phase. I never had a problem getting my protein, lots of corn, beans, and tofu. I put on a ton of weight, though (I grazed constantly). I went back to meat and eat less, and feel fuller.
To each their own... but protein is easy as a vegetarian.
I wouldn't worry about "replacing" meat. If you're still eating dairy and eggs, you'll get the B vitamins you need, and the only way you would be protein deficient is if you're eating highly processed junk food as more than half of your diet. Veggies and grains have plenty of protein. A fully vegan diet requires some careful planning, but just skipping meat is really no big deal. Just make sure you're getting a wide variety of whole foods that you enjoy, and you'll be fine.
I've been really busy lately, working 13-hour days plus a 90-minute commute, so meal planning has kind of gone out the window. What I've been doing is focusing on eating at least one serving each of green veggies, other veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, and berries every day. Then I fill in around that with other whole foods. Occasionally I record a day and check the nutritional balance, and it's surprisingly good-- pretty much the same as when I'm concentrating on planning. I rarely eat meat because it's more complicated to prepare, but I'm not short on protein at all. Variety is the key, along with just not having refined foods around the house.
I eat a lot of plant-based meals as well. Vegetarian chili, vegetarian Mexican dishes, ... lots of beans and chickpeas, etc. I also love certain plant-based meat substitutes, so don't be afraid to try them! There are so many out there now. I like the Beyond Meat brand for burgers and sausages. The Gardein brand makes good frozen meatballs perfect for spaghetti and meatballs. Morning Star makes some good buffalo chicken "wings" and vegetarian breakfast sausage patties.
Beans, Greek Yogurt, Nuts/Seeds, Cottage Cheese, Egg/Egg White are some very high protein foods you can include in your diet instead of meat, but take a look around the plant-based meat substitutes next time in the grocery store. There are a ton of different products and brands out there.
"One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time." - Barbara Walters
current weight: 167.2
Fitness Minutes: (42,551)
9/2/19 10:39 P
I eat a largely plant based diet as I feel better than when I eat meat. The one meal that makes me feel the best is one with plenty of veggies with a small piece of salmon. I eat fish at least 2-3 times a week, always with plenty of veggies. Beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, quinoa, Greek yogurt are all great protein choices if you wish to reduce your meat consumption.
"It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abe Lincoln
A second vote for the forks over knives site - they have a lot of really great recipes and they're pretty adaptable for substitutes as well.
I also like black bean pasta... I make sauce at home because it's so stinkin' easy (couple of onions and garlic, saute til brown and fragrant and add fresh or a couple of cans of tomatoes, 1-2 tomato paste and season to taste, usually basil, oregano, salt and pepper.... simmer until ready to use, stores well). Sauce goes right over the black bean pasta and at 20g protein/ 20g fiber per serving it's a great meal. I will sometimes make eggplant balls or throw some roasted veggies on top.
Fitness Minutes: (45,189)
31,489 9/2/19 2:44 A
I sometimes make Crispy Polenta. If you haven't made it and want to try, use the quick cook polenta, and when it is cooked to a fairly thick consistency, add Parmesan cheese and Savoury Yeast (also known as Nutritional Yeast) to it, then pour it into a lined container and smooth it and let it go cold, then cut it to the size you want it and crisp it up in a fry pay with a spray of oil both sides. (I actually bulk cook it and when cold I divide it up to serving sizes, and then freeze.) I usually have that with sauteed mushrooms and finely chopped Swiss Chard, and some cherry tomatoes. OR have it with a variety of salads .... including mixed bean salad; mushroom salad; and hard boiled egg.
Other great protein sources: Greek Yoghurt (I get double protein Greek Yoghurt) Cottage Cheese Cheddar Cheese Chick Peas Lentils Tofu
I have also made burger patties using strained red lentils, and mashed chickpeas or cannellini beans, black beans or red kidney beans, depending on what I want ... Mexican, Italian, Moroccan style. They are great using a plain Greek Yoghurt as the dressing. I have given them to meat-eating people and they haven't noticed that there wasn't any meat in them LOL!
I am also moving toward less meat and more plant-based eating, although I'm not a total vegetarian. I feel so much better when I don't eat red meat especially.
One approach to vegetarian is adjusting meat based meals to vegetarian by, for example, substituting a veggie burger for a beef burger. Another approach is starting from scratch to construct a meal with vegetables and grains, without using any meat/chicken/fish/dairy. You can get some good ideas by looking at cookbooks that started out that way. I love Moosewood (not all vegetarian) and Molly Katzen--these are oldies but goodies. I'm suggesting them just for ideas. You will be surprised how much protein you get even without the meat/fish/dairy, and then you can supplement by using beans, high protein vegetables and some dairy. Good luck!
I'm transitioning from meat eater to vegetarian. I'm currently a pescatarian. I eat fish and the occasional egg. No beef, chicken, pork. I will ONLY eat them if the meat is confirmed organic, free range, ethically/humanely treated. I wont eat industrial meat anymore. Some of my vegan friends argue about the fish, but I'm okay with fish.
Most people don't realize that there are many fruits and veggies which are high in protein. Think spinach, brussel sprouts, mustard greens, collards, broccoli. Your dark leafy greens are wonderful sources of protein.
beans. I love bean salads. you can't get an easier recipe than black bean and corn salad. easy, delicious and very nutritious.
Have you used quinoa before ? Quinoa is one of the ancient grains that is regaining popularity. Check out some recipes using quinoa or maybe even wild rice.
Chia seeds - they can be added to yogurt, oatmeal, cereal or salads/soups.
Some high protein fruits include peaches, avocados, kiwi, blackberries and even bananas !
Start looking for vegetarian recipes that don't have meat in them to begin with. There isn't really a one for one swap in this instance and building up a new way of eating makes more sense than piling your plate with enough chickpeas to make up for the 4 oz of chicken you took out. Odds are you will likely need to make sure you are getting enough fat as well.
And track. When you track accurately you will know if you are getting enough protein or not.
Keep in mind that the recommended amount of protein is 10-35% of your intake, so 45g - 160g for an 1800 calorie intake. Spark recommends no less than 60g per day while losing weight, to try and minimize muscle loss while losing. That minimum shouldn't be too difficult to reach, since there is protein found in almost every item. Just looking at my own choices for today, if I remove all meat / fish options but leave eggs and dairy, then I end up with 76g of protein in 1562 calories (213g total carbs, 43g fibre, 55g fat, 76g protein). That is about 50% plant protein and 50% eggs and dairy.
Seriously - track accurately for a couple of weeks and see how much you are actually eating, and then look for areas where you can tweak things. You might find that you want to add in more higher fat protein options (nuts, seeds), or you might find that higher fibre protein options work better for you (lentils, quinoa), or even something as simple as adding in a few tablespoons of flaxseed or chia seed or hemp seeds (fat and fibre, along with the protein).
It really is a matter of individual preference and needs, so getting your own "base" figured out is key.
Sir Terry Pratchett: "Science is not about building a body of known 'facts'. It is a method for asking awkward questions and subjecting them to a reality-check, thus avoiding the human tendency to believe whatever makes us feel good."
I try to avoid meat and manage to succeed 90% of the time. I do it because I feel better when I don't eat it. My question is what can I replace it with that is good for you. I know nuts and beans and I do try to eat that but I really don't think I am getting enough protein. Any suggestions would be appreciated.