Today is the first day of Lent, and I know a lot of people that are fasting from meat for the next 40 days. I am not a vegetarian, but I do try to limit my meat intake – typically only eating meat once a week. As an athlete, I get asked all the time, “but where do you get your protein?”
Americans, especially athletes, put a lot of emphasis on animal based protein. It’s true that our bodies need protein for repair. But in reality, we don’t really need as much protein as we think. And plant based protein is just as good!
The answer to the question “where do you get your protein?” is that protein is in all kinds of foods besides meat, but generally in lower quantities. It takes some effort to make sure you get some protein in every meal, but it’s not that hard.
If your vegetarian diet is pizza and potato chips, then of course you won’t get enough protein. But if you eat a wide variety of foods and make smart choices to include some protein at every meal, chances are you’ll feel better than ever.
You can find protein rich foods like nuts and nut butters, spinach, broccoli, quinoa, legumes and beans, chickpeas, soy beans, lentils, brown rice, potatoes, etc.