Another helpful health hint. This time aimed at a demographic, Vegetarians. Although I am not one myself I have a ton of friends who are, I also have a ton of friends who are vegetarians and trying to compete in long distance running races or to just get into better shape period. One of the big problems I have with vegetarian lifestyle is that It is so hard to get proper proteins and b12 without meats. Therefore my tip today is going to be a list of vegetarian foods that can be eaten to increase protein consumption!
#1 : Dairy Products (Sorry Vegans): Milk in general is just loaded with nutrients. Milk products like Cheese, Yogurt and Cream are important to everyday diet. Try avoiding yogurts with extra additives and don't be afraid of the calories in *whole* yogurts. There is no such thing as a fat free dairy product, enjoy the nutrient rich whole fat and then burn off the extra calories at the gym!
#2: Nuts!: Nuts are a great snack, try and find unsalted or lightly salted for snacking purposes. One handful a day will go a long way to increasing your protein consumption. mm peanut butter.
#3: EGGS!: Eggs are a huge source of protein and they are so easy to prepare, Try and have an egg every morning for breakfast. Not only will it be this source of protein but they help your brain function properly and are great for keeping energy levels high all day.
#4: Fruit: All kinds all the time, its like eating candy for a healthy snack.
#5: Seitan: You'll have to google recipes yourself but the basic principle is that you make it from Whole Wheat flower and water. The water removes Bran and starches leaving a protein rich high gluten substance which can be used for many things. The difference between Tofu and Seitan is what they are made out of.
#6: Soy Beans!: Possibly the best substitute for meat for vegetarians. Through my very limited research on the subject I would say Soy is an absolute HAVE TO HAVE for anyone trying to live vegetarian. Its one of the few non-meat substances which includes B vitamins. Try Soya milk if you haven't even for you omnivores like me, its delicious.
#7: Vegetables: Imagine if I missed this 1 right heh. Just like fruit, you can't really go wrong. Mineral rich and low in calories vegetables should be eaten
#8: Legumes: aka died beans, are an excellent source of all kinds of nutrients, in fact they have been historically the staple of many diets around the world for thousands of years due to their ease of growth and high nutritional value. They can be added to just about any dish.
#9: Ill end this short list with whole grains and other cereal products. Although you have to be careful with high carbohydrate consumption eating tons of pasta and grains is great for people who need lots of energy.
Although I will mention no names I have a story to share to spread some light on a misunderstanding related to protein intake. The thing most people do is they start by counting calories or counting proteins in food. Then they will check how much they need to burn in order to do certain things. Although this method can be used to guide what you need to eat I never recommend making a decision about your health based on the numbers. My story starts with a friend of mine who wanted to start working out and get bigger. Although he did not work out he believed from the get go he would need to supplement his diet in order to grow. In fact he only believed he would get the results he wanted by following a protein powder plan and drinking 3-5 glasses of it a day! Regardless he gave up before he even started. He hardly even lifted a weight on his trek to getting bigger before he gave up. The secret here is not to ever rely on one source. Rather to create a diet which is not only sustainable but also full of many different foods which are all high in protein (similar to my running workouts post eh?) The other thing is that you need to start heading towards your goals before diet will help at all. Another problem he had was that he said he could not eat enough to even put on any mass. He completely forgot the part about how when you workout your body demands MORE and therefore you eat MORE. So my second tip for today is for athletes or those with calorie goals. Start doing the physical process and then add diet on top. Everything will work out more smoothly once you start becoming more self aware of your needs, THEN do the research on how you can achieve your goals using diet!