When you think of a protein heavy meal what comes to mind? A big juicy burger? Charbroiled chicken? A rack of ribs? While these are all good sources of protein, there are plenty of plant-based alternatives with a lesser impact on the environment. Many think meat is essential to perform at a high level, but Shae Tia Blanco is a shining example of a vegan who’s killing it on a plant-based diet. Read on, and discover ten plant-based proteins that will fuel your surf session while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint.
1. Lentils (1 cup cooked = 18g protein)
A member of the legume family, lentils are an excellent source of fiber, essential minerals, and of course, protein. This low-calorie, nutritious protein is easy to make and is ideal to add to salads in the summer or stews in the winter.
2. Hemp Seeds (3 tablespoons = 10g protein)
Hemp seeds are packed with heart-healthy fats, mainly omega-3 fatty acids. They can easily be added to salads, smoothies, oatmeal, and desserts for an extra protein boost.
3. Quinoa (1/2 cup cooked = 7-9g protein)
Quinoa is entirely gluten-free, contains all nine essential amino acids, and numerous vitamins and minerals. It’s used as a carbohydrate, making it a healthy alternative to pasta when carb-o loading before a big competition.
4. Chia Seeds (2 tablespoons = 4g protein)
These ancient seeds are loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, resulting in immense health benefits for both your brain and your body. Sprinkle some on your oatmeal or add a handful to your water for some fuel between sessions.
5. Edamame (1 cup cooked = 18 g)
Edamame makes a perfect snack or appetizer, as it is packed with protein. Additionally, this young soybean is gluten-free, low calorie, contains no cholesterol, and is a good source of iron and calcium.