How do you build a low processed, high-protein (80+ grams/day) shopping cart as a vegan?
One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a vegan dietitian is “are you sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet?” The short answer is, “yes!” My approach to making sure I hit at least eighty grams of protein per day revolves around meal planning, a calculated grocery shopping list, and a little creativity. For example, popular protein sources for vegans include nuts, seeds, beans, and tofu. The sky’s the limit when you have these items on hand because they are so versatile. I get eighty grams of protein by making sure I eat at least twenty grams of protein for breakfast, another twenty grams for lunch, at least ten grams for my afternoon snack and thirty grams for dinner. Sounds hard to keep track of, right? No, it doesn’t have to be. Let me show you what I mean.
The key to building a low-processed, high-protein shopping cart is planning. Meal planning is a great way to focus on whole food ingredients. This is due to the conscious decision to include nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, and nuts in the diet. Planning prevents you from impulse buying, which cuts down on the consumption of processed foods. Let’s take a look at an example of grocery lists designed to include whole foods:
Meals You Can Make Using the Above Grocery List:
(1) 6 oz Tofu Scramble (16 grams) with 1 piece Whole Grain Toast (5 gram) with 1 tbsp Peanut Butter on Toast (4.5 grams) and an apple
(2) Mashed Avocado, Tomato and Tofu (16 grams) with Homemade Cashew Cheese Spread with Cinnamon Spiced Sliced Apples and Blueberries with 3 T Hemp Hearts (10 grams)
(3) Black Bean Dip: 1 cup Black Beans (14 grams) with 3 T Hemp Hearts (10 grams) Blue Corn Chips and Fresh Avocados, Corn, and Tomatoes
(4) Black Bean Salad: 1 cup Black Beans (14 grams), Tomatoes, Arugula and Spinach Medley, Carrots, Mushrooms, Cucumbers, 1/4 C Almonds (7 grams) and 1/4 c Quinoa (6 grams)
(4) KIND Snacks, Crunchy Peanut Butter Protein Bar (12 grams) + 1/2 C Blueberries
(5) 2/3 cup Curried Lentils (22 grams) + 3/4 cup Quinoa (18 grams) + Small Side Salad
The Benefits to Shopping Like This:
When you think of meal planning, prepping and shopping, what immediately comes to mind? Is it long hours trying to figure out what to cook and what to eat? Meal planning can be a bit difficult. Sometimes it can be challenging to whip up quick and tasty nutrient-packed meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But when shopping using VitalCart, you are afforded the opportunity to sift through hundreds of nutrition facts labels from the comfort of your home. In other words, you don’t have to be an expert in food and nutrition to pick the most nutritious foods that fit into your specific eating style. So if you’re just starting out, this is a great way to make sure you are eating a high-protein, low-processed meal that is nutrient rich. Additionally, the benefits to shopping like this ensures you are consuming more plants in your diet. Plants are high in fiber foods and are nutrient-rich. This is of utmost importance for persons who are concerned about their heart health, diabetes risk, weight, and overall health and well-being.
The Bottom Line:
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