Advanced search

Im a veggie and I need protein- please help me find some!

(21 Posts)
Mushroomburger17 Sat 23-Sep-17 13:10:54

I would really lile to start eating better regarding Macros and calorie counting. This is a massive change for me as I'm a vegetarian who lives on carb heavy food. I've got my values worked out but I'm way off on my protein. What do I do? I don't eat meat or fish or really lile eggs. Any advice please?

OliviaD68 Sat 23-Sep-17 18:51:18

Wish I could help. I’m sure you know about kale, lentils, chia seeds already.

Veggie diet is threading a needle to get the right proteins too. And also high carb but it seems you care more about getting protein.

So when you find some, try to make sure you get the 9 or 10 essential amino acids your body doesn’t synthesise on its own. Like leucine, isoleucine, valine. Plant proteins are not complete unlike animal protein ...

I’ll follow this thread to see what comes up as I’m curious.

Pestilentialone Sat 23-Sep-17 19:40:28

Veggie fritters, they look and feel like junk food but can pack protein. Grate a selection of veg (or use left overs) add some slightly mushed beans. Mix with a heapy tablespoon of flour, 2 eggs, two heapy teaspoons of pea protein (aldi do one) and two spoons of ground chia or flax seeds (use ground ones so they don't pass straight through you) half a teaspoon of baking powder. Mix like mad and fry in a little oil.

These cook quick and make great hummus.

Braised tofu is quick, easy and tasty. Add to stir frys and sprinkle some cashews on top.

Make vegetable and lentil soup, then liquidise it with silken tofu. Season well, it is grim stuff on its own.

LittleWitch Sat 23-Sep-17 19:45:48

Could you eat whey protein and have that in a shake or yoghurt?

Mushroomburger17 Sat 23-Sep-17 19:50:46

Thank you! Sounds like it's a really hard prospect!!! What about quorn? This is a massive re-education for me. I've always calorie counted but never paid attention to macros. I feel like it's what I've been missing as the minute I don't calorie count the weight goes back on. Will I have to start doing the protein shake thing or is that just for body builders? I've no knowledge on this. I love stir fries with noodles or rice, or curries with rice and naan. Sandwiches for lunch...

LittleWitch Sat 23-Sep-17 19:55:25

Protein shakes aren't just for body builders, no. You get 25-30g of protein plus all the amino acids in each scoop. Have a google and check the ingredients lists carefully. With protein you get what you pay for.

They come in lots of different flavours and also unflavoured which I use because I find a lot of them are too sweet.

Blackbutler86 Sat 23-Sep-17 20:08:58

I'm vegan and keep a careful eye on my protein intake. I eat a lot of beans, I love black beans and kidney beans the most. As well as using them in things like bean burgers, chilli, soups and pasta dishes I add them cold to salads. Tofu Is good when prepared right, also soy mince, Linda McCartney sausages, soy yogurts, quinoa, lentils, seeded bread (Hovis seed sensations is 4.4g protein per slice), nuts, protein bars like trek or cliff bars and as mentioned protein shakes are fab. There are so many sources smile

Pestilentialone Sat 23-Sep-17 20:17:16

IMHO protein shakes are a waste of time and money. Other opinions are available.

Quorn is fine but I would recommend you only have it once or twice a week. If you keep a bag of mince in the freezer you can bung a handful in curries and stir fries. You need variety in your protein.

Tofu for beginners. Just chuck some in with your stir fry, it tastes fine. Mix light soy sauce, sweet chilli and some peanut butter for a quick sauce. Try buckwheat noodles. Dark green veg and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds.

Curries, put some beans in them (out a tin is cheap and cheerful). Always have dhal and then rice or naan, to cut the carbs. Plus a dollop of yogurt mixed with a bit of curry paste. Indian food is brilliant for vegetarians, you can even get flat breads made from chickpea flour.

Get a really nice lunch box and make some salads with quinoa, grains, seeds, beans, veg. Once you get in the habit it not a lot of hassle.

The real secret is a variety of proteins and making sure your diet balances every two to three days. Never forget the humble mushy pea or baked bean (I have to make my own baked beans because DS1 is a fussy, body building vegetarian).

Mushroomburger17 Sat 23-Sep-17 20:27:34

Wow! Thank you for sharing your knowledge everyone! Sounds like I need to get better on the cooking front and try out some recipes. This does not come naturally to me. What is the function of protein? I've obviously had so little for the past 25 years.

Mushroomburger17 Sat 23-Sep-17 20:31:35

The Department of Health advises adults to avoid consuming more than twice the recommended daily intake of protein (55.5g for the average man and 45g for the average woman). This is because there is evidence that, in the long term, consuming too much protein can lead to health issues such as an increased risk of osteoporosis and a worsening of an existing kidney problem

Is this true? I'm supposed to eat about double that apparently.

OliviaD68 Sat 23-Sep-17 20:40:18

The purpose of dietary protein is to provide cells with amino acids. AA are used by cells for their structure and also to reconstitute cells, for example after exercise. AA also help distribute nutrients and remove waste. As such AA used by the cells for this purpose are not used for energy.

Excess amino acids - the literature points to about 1g per day per kg of lean body mass requirement per person, so about 40 or 50 g per day for a woman - are synthesised into glucose in your case because you consume a high carb diet.

Glucose is then used in the normal way - ie converted to glycogen (liver and muscle) and used for energy or stored as fat.

Pestilentialone Sat 23-Sep-17 20:41:58

This explains it quite nicely.

Remember that a 100g bar of Green & Blacks plain chocolate has 9.4 grams of protein and is essential in a balanced diet

OliviaD68 Sat 23-Sep-17 20:42:32

Also, bear in mind the difference between essential and non essential AA as I posted above. Your body needs those 10 essential AA from food sources. If you don't get them then your body will break down your own muscle tissue to get them.

This is why veg diets are tough to do well.

OliviaD68 Sat 23-Sep-17 20:46:46

I have also heard that excessive protein intake can lead to kidney problems but not come across peer reviewed literature to sustain that assertion.

To be fair, I have not looked because it is not of concern to me as I don't eat much protein anyway - I want to stay low carb so I watch my protein intake carefully because of the risk of conversion to glucose.

Hope this helps.

Ta1kinPeece Sat 23-Sep-17 20:46:47

Beans, lentils, pulses
(look at dhal recipes, mexican bean dishes)
broad beans
(used a LOT in greek and cretan food)
(the one and only)
crushed into salads or home made nut roasts

avoid anything pre processed
go for good honest recipes like cretan cookery

dairymilkmonster Sat 23-Sep-17 20:47:23

I wouldn't get too het up about macros - just eat a good balance.
What about:
peanut butter - high cal but filling, can be used in stir fry sauces etc
soya based products
dairy - milk has protein!
cheese - feta is lower calorie than many others, or cottage cheese/ soft cheese
beans - any type, can make into easy burgers for that junk hit or add to salads, plus loads of casserole/ chilli/ main dishes.

look on for recipes, mist have nutritional info.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 23-Sep-17 20:50:58

Protein is really not that hard to come by as a veggie. Most meat eaters eat an excessive amount - getting your RDI as a veggie is easy. Bear in mind that protein is something of a diet fad at the moment as people have cottoned on to its appetite-curbing properties, so I think current daily 'requirements' have (erroneously) shot through the roof so retailers can shift crap like protein Mars bars hmm

As long as you have something like milk on your cereal/porridge in the morning, hoummus or nuts with your lunch then tofu or beans/lentils for dinner - i.e. something protein-containing with every meal, that's fine. I don't know if protein-combining is a 'thing' anymore (it was when I first became veggie in the late 90s), but it makes sense - always combine one type of protein with another to make a 'complete' protein like meat has. Bearing in mind that pasta and bread have protein in them (gluten), peanut butter on toast gives you 'complete' protein; bean chilli with rice gives you 'complete' protein; macaroni cheese gives you 'complete' protein. It's just balancing your diet basically.

Pestilentialone Sat 23-Sep-17 20:52:09

Pinched from the link above. It is very basic but gives you the idea of mixing protein sources.

Pulses (beans, peas, lentils) with dairy products (e.g. milk, cheese) = Baked beans with grated cheese, lentil dhal with natural yoghurt

Whole grains (brown rice, noodles, couscous, whole-wheat bread) with pulses (beans, peas, lentils) = baked beans on toast, risotto with peas, mexican tortilla with refried beans

Pulses (beans, peas, lentils) with seeds and nuts = hummus (chick peas with sesame seed oil), mixed bean salad with flax seed oil dressing.

Dairy (e.g. milk, cheese) with whole grains (brown rice, noodles, couscous, whole-wheat bread) = Cheese sandwich with wholemeal bread, porridge with milk.

Do add veg, especially dark green ones.

MonaChopsis Sat 23-Sep-17 20:59:09

Easy breakfast if you don't like eggs... Full fat Greek yogurt with fruit, and a sprinkle of nuts. Both the Greek yoghurt and the nuts are high in protein.

Mushroomburger17 Sun 24-Sep-17 00:54:46

I've lots of learning to do. Thank you. I think I'll reduce carbs to 114g which is what the plan says and then try and eat protein at every meal in the ways people have suggested and slowly increase it. Do you eat full fat everything but less of It?

StinkPickle Mon 25-Sep-17 17:30:53

Have a look at Huel. It's a complete food and tastes nice. I have it for breakfast every day.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: