If you haven’t read my perfect plate post, check it out here. I share exactly what you should be filling your plate with at each meal. Equally as important, is my eat your carbs post which you can find here. I share the importance of eating the right carbs. But today, I’m talking about protein. After getting loads of protein questions lately, I figured it was something you guys were interested in. Here are my thoughts on protein:
Consume protein within 30 minutes of rising – this ensures stable blood sugar levels which results in appetite control and hormone regulation.
Consume a good source of protein at every meal – animal protein or plant protein (remember to combine your proteins if they are from plants).
Snacks should also contain protein – good protein snacks are nut butter on apple wedges, cottage cheese with vegetable sticks, yoghurt and berries, hummus and seeds crackers.
Consume protein no later than 30 mins after exercise – this will assist with muscle recovery.
Our body assimilates animal protein sources best – when compared to plant and powder protein sources. This is because meat and eggs contain complete protein.
Animal protein sources – source lean, organic, free range and grass fed protein where possible. Animal protein includes beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish and eggs. Avoid cured meats, deli meats, mince, salami, sausages and smoked meats.
Combine your vegetarian/vegan proteins – protein combining ensures you are consuming complete protein. Grains and nuts are complementary proteins, along with legumes and grains, grains and seeds or lentils and nuts.
Plant protein sources – tempeh, tofu, quinoa, hemp seeds, chia seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, linseeds, legumes, beans, lentils, peas , grains and other seeds and nuts.
My thoughts on protein powder – I prefer animal and plant protein over powder. However, quality protein powder can be a great supplement to a healthy diet.
What to look for when buying protein powders – natural with no added nasties, fillers, sugar, artificial sweeteners, colour or flavours. Also gluten free and high protein. Read the label and ask questions!
Best vegan protein powder – rice and pea protein powders. I’m not a fan of soy protein powder.
Best non-vegan protein powder – whey protein powder is a great option if you’re not vegan.
My favourite protein powder brands – Sunwarrior, Vital Greens, The Healthy Chef, Bare Blends and Amazonia.
What protein powder brand do you use?
Image: Healthy Vegetarian Diet