Attention all Vegbians! You could be missing a very important P from your life; Protein. Whether you excluded meat from your diet for moral, health or religious reasons, it is important to supplement that lack of protein in your diet. Protein is significant for many reasons.
Adding protein to a meal leads to feeling fuller which can prevent you from indulging in more food then necessary or over eating. When protein is joined with a carbohydrate it helps slow down the digestion process. Complex carbohydrates such as breads and pasta are absorbed very quickly in the body. Quick absorption leads to a spike in blood sugar. Pairing quality fiber and protein sources with carbohydrates can reduce the sugar spike by slowing down absorption. Protein also contributes to repairing damaged muscles cells, while also raising your metabolism, and increasing your caloric burn.
The best sources for complete protein are meats, dairy and eggs but if you’ve exiled one of those from your life, where can you find a suitable replacement? Tofu, seitan, quinoa and tempeh are four excellent choices for protein.
Tofu is nothing new, but seitan and tempeh may not be as common. Tempeh is made up of soybeans mixed with another grain. Unlike tofu it contains more protein and has a stiffer texture. Tempeh expresses a lot of flavor and works well in chili and salads.
Not down with soy? Try seitan and quinoa. Seitan is a protein packed wheat gluten that is similar to meat in looks and texture. It’s famous for it’s role in Tofurkey, and products by Morningstar Farms. Seitan can be baked, deep-fried, stir-fried, simmered or souped! Seitan works great for a vegbian barbeque, this delicious meat alternative might even fool your carnivorous friends.
Quinoa is the lastest trending super food. Unlike seitan, quinoa is a seed rather then a grain. Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all essential amino acids. Plant and nut sources do contain protein but are incomplete and need to paired with other food. Quinoa is easy to cook and makes a great addition to any meal.
These products can be found at health food stores or Asian markets. Seitan can even be home made for our granola friends.
By Lizzy Bristow
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Lizzy is a lifelong motivator and a transplant to the Chicagoland area. She moved around quite a bit when she was younger, but has been happily calling this city home for the better half of a decade. She works as a personal trainer and youth performance coach. Her life’s passion is helping others achieve their goals. When she’s not coaching you can find her on the path training for an ultramarathon or landing tackles on the rugby pitch. She also volunteers weekly for a non-profit company helping adults with long term care disabilities. Lizzy is nationally certified in personal fitness as well as sports performance. Her enthusiasm and energy can’t help but be contagious. Helping make the site more well rounded, Lizzy is going to infuse us all all with a new sense of health and wonder. She is super excited to lend her unique voice to The L Stop and help people get excited about fitness!