As some of you may know, I don’t prescribe to any dietary labels.
Instead I believe in fuelling and nourishing my body with real, whole foods.
By this I mean eating clean, unprocessed foods that are as close to their natural state as possible…
No additives, no preservatives, and no artificial ingredients!
I also believe in the importance of eating sustainably, for both myself, and the world I live in.
By eating sustainably, I mean only consuming what my body needs to survive and thrive.
In today’s world, the overconsumption of meat, poultry and fish is just one reason why many of us turn to vegetarianism or veganism. Whilst I choose to not go totally meat free, my approach to meat consumption is this.
‘Reduce your intake of meat. When you do consume meat products – always choose organic grass-fed, grass-finished meat’.
Although there are plenty of vegetarian protein sources (like beans, legumes and nuts), the reality is that the human body absorbs animal protein much better.
If you do choose to go meat free, there is a way to do so AND still source adequate protein to keep your body healthy.
By ‘protein combining’
Whilst eggs and dairy products are complete proteins – nuts, grains, seeds and beans are not. If you’re vegetarian, ‘protein combining’ gives your body the amino acids it needs to function.
This involves either combining legumes + grains (e.g. lentils + quinoa) or beans + legumes (e.g. kidney beans + chickpeas) to ensure your body is functioning to its full potential.
I really cannot stress how important protein is for growth and development.
In fact, it is a major source of building material for the muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails, and organs.
It also speeds up the metabolism, and helps build lean body mass – which burns fat most effectively.
Protein is so important I suggest including a palm-sized portion in every meal or snack.
If you’re training a lot, you’ll need to up your protein even more!
So what does a palm sized portion of meat free protein look like?
- Beans & legumes – lentils, chickpeas etc (1⁄2 cup)
- Tofu & tempeh (100g)
- Hummus/tahini (2-3 tbsp)
- Dairy products – organic natural yoghurt, goats/ sheep milk yoghurt, goats cheese (100- 200g)
- Nuts & seeds (1⁄4 cup)
- 1 serving rice/pea/whey (Whey is a liquid by- product created in the cheese- making process. It’s very high in protein!)
- 1 serving protein powder
For some delicious meat free options grab some inspiration from my weekly Meatless Mondays posts, and my top protein powder picks !
Photo credit: consciously_living