Eating to be Lean and Fit – Not Just for Carnivores!

Protein helps with building muscle, among other health benefits (i.e. help to build bones, iron found in protein carries oxygen to blood).

Do you know what foods, other than meats, contain protein?

If you are a vegetarian, you probably do! Losing weight and building lean muscle can still happen without the help of meat products. Although meats contain complete proteins (protein source that contains all essential amino acids), some foods like cheese, eggs, and other dairy products like yogurt contain complete proteins. Vegetables, grains, and nuts are incomplete proteins (only contain some amino acids we need), but finding the right pair will help vegetarians find their own complete proteins without the meat!

Here are some quick and delicious vegetarian parings for a high, complete protein diet:

  • Corn and beans
  • Brown rice and beans
  • Oat bran and soy milk
  • Buckwheat and millet
  • Brown rice and green peas
  • Tofu Tahini, or Tempeh on whole wheat bread
  • Whole grain bread and peanut butter
  • Yogurt with walnuts
  • Peanut butter on whole wheat bread
  • Brown rice with almonds, cashews or pecans
  • Avocado, sprouts & almond butter on whole wheat bread
  • Chickpea hummus (made with sesame seed paste) on pita (

These pairings, along with others you find along the way, will give you enough protein you need to help build muscle, lose weight, and stay healthy without the meat. Although you still need to keep an eye on calories, these healthy proteins are sufficient and tasty foods that even provide the good fats we need. Even carnivores will sink their teeth into these. Vegetarians – show those carnivores you’re “protein’d” up too!