Sometimes it’s just not possible to get all of your necessary protein in for the day – time, food options, and caloric density all play into this. In these cases – or if you require additional protein for sports, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or recovering from sugery – you may want to consider supplementing with powders or bars.
There a number of great plant-based protein supplements on the market that are easily integrated into everyday foods and assimilate into the body similarly to their whole-food counterparts. They can be easily added to smoothies, juices, sauces, or sprinkled on salads. Look for ones with fewer than 5 ingredients with an emphasis on whole foods: adding chemicals to your diet won’t help in the long run, regardless of the protein-boosting benefits touted on the label. Your body thrives on whole foods, so let the ingredient list speak for itself.
Protein bars with a whole food emphasis (“puffed brown rice”, “almond butter”, “hemp protein powder”, “pea protein powder”) are also a great option when time isn’t on your side. But beware the conventional protein bar: these tend to be just expensive candy bars, yielding more sugar than a can of pop or a Snickers. These are not intended to be meal replacements – but they’re also often more than snack-worthy. Look for brands with fewer than 200 calories per bar, no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, and name of ingredients you can pronounce.
Day Seven - Protein Suggestion
If you’re finding you need to supplement, try one of these plant-based, whole food options. They might give that extra kick your everyday food is lacking. Continue to experiment with whole foods to find the right balance for your body and activity level.
VEGA (a Canadian brand made primarily of pea, hemp, rice, and savi seed proteins)
Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder – opt for unflavoured to reduce artificial additives (primarily sprouted grains and seeds and strains of yeast)
Macrobar (my breakfast before the gym nearly every day – I love these! Puffed brown rice + brown rice protein; almond, peanut, or cashew butter)
Thanks for reading the Seven Days of Demystifying Protein! I hope there's been some useful tidbits in here for everyone. Whether following a plant-based lifestyle or an omnivorous one, it's helpful for us all to check in on our food and ensure we're getting the right balance of proteins. Any questions, don't hesitate to let me know.
Off to enjoy a bowl of quinoa-greens-white bean-peanut mash. :)