Plant Based Protein

You have often heard me say that the staples of our diets should be Plants and Protein—along with some high-fiber carbs (think sweet potatoes and farro), and healthy fats (think avocados and olive oil). But it is worth a reminder that the protein does NOT always (or ever!) have to be from animals. Many people are shying away from having animal protein at every meal, and starting the day with a smoothie or having a leafy green salad, topped with avocados, nuts or seeds, and beans for lunch, or making a tempeh and veggie stir fry with a spicy peanut sauce for dinner. Starting the day with scrambled eggs and veggies is an excellent breakfast choice, but here are some other ideas to try. These are my 3 fave high-protein, plant-based options:

  1. Nuts: almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, and peanuts are your best picks. Nuts and seeds are great on their own for a snack, or a great topping for yogurt, salads, and oatmeal. Yum!
  1. Beans: Soybeans (tofu, tempeh, miso and edamame), chickpeas, black beans, and lentils. Beans are one of the most affordable, high in fiber, and healthy sources of protein available. Snack on hummus with rice crackers and red pepper slices when you need a late afternoon pick me up at your desk.
  2. Oats: Oatmeal is my Number 1 “go-to” breakfast or lunch (and some nights, even for dinner!) all year round. Period. It is loaded with fiber, magnesium, and zinc which make these Overnight Oats a nutritional powerhouse! I bake muffins with oats, add oats to my smoothies, and use them to make meatballs. Just can’t get enough!

NO guilt if you love a good sirloin, especially fresh off the grill at a mid-summer barbecue, but remember to add these plant-based protein sources to your weekly rotation too. Protein and plants are an unbeatable combination!

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