Alternatives to Animal Protein in your Diet
Brookelin G. in California asks:
“If I do not eat meat, do you recommend replacing the meat in your recipes with fish or a veggie substitute?”
Getting protein from an animal-based source is usually a better choice because it is a complete protein, and thus contains all 9 essential amino acids. Try to buy grass-fed, organic, hormone-free meats if you stick with an animal-based diet. If you are not Vegan, an alternative to making something like my Protein Stuffed Pepper recipe is to substitute the beef, chicken or turkey with shrimp or canned tuna.
If you are Vegan, an option would be a combination of brown rice and beans. Together, these two sources of incomplete protein, make up a complete protein. Other plant-based food pairs aside from Grains and Beans that will create a complete protein are (refer to above chart I created):
- Beans and Nuts & Seeds
- Nuts & Seeds and Veggies
- Veggies and Grains
Although you can eat these specific food pairings within a given meal to ensure you are getting complete proteins into your diet (which is how I make sure to structure meals for my lifestyle vegetarians), studies show that our body has the incredible ability to store separate amino acids. Your body automatically puts together and completes the amino acid profiles throughout the course of the day using the incomplete amino acids from the foods consumed.
~ Coach Keri
*Please get clearance from your doctor before starting any nutrition or exercise program.