Play Around With New Proteins
Taking meat off the menu is a signal to dive into the world of plant-based proteins. “Don’t be afraid to try new proteins. Beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts and nut butters can be delicious and hearty when added to meals. Try experimenting with a new vegetarian protein source each week,” says Sarah Fitzgerald, RDN, of RDelish Nutrition. Other protein sources include dried peas (black-eyed peas, split peas and pigeon peas), seitan (seasoned wheat gluten) and seeds (chia, sunflower and hemp). In addition to these, vegetarians can get protein from eggs and dairy products like cheese, cottage cheese, milk and yogurt. Try to include at lease one serving of these foods at each meal and snack to boost protein levels. Keep in mind that whole grains, such as quinoa, wheatberries and barley, and vegetables, such as spinach, green peas and broccoli, can help contribute protein too.
Related: 13 Surprising Vegetarian Sources of Protein