If you’re anything like me, your diet is always evolving. This from a girl who used to survive on granola! Trying to tackle healthy eating from that kind of starting point is impossible so I broke it down into small goals and focussed on one thing at a time. Cutting down on sugar, cutting out processed foods, cutting down on white carbs and drinking more water for example.
My latest focus is the protein dilemma. Everyone is different, but I know that my body feels better when I eat protein. I am South African, so I was brought up on red meat! Lately however, mainly due to ethical and environmental issues, I have been exploring the world of plant-based protein. Now I’m not saying that I’m becoming a vegetarian but swapping some animal-based protein for some plant-based protein is no bad thing. But where do you get good sources of plant-based protein?
Interesting Fact #1
Introducing… the black bean! Per 100g this little bean packs a huge punch. A quick google search shows they provide 21g of protein. Not only that but they also give you 16g of dietary fibre along with vitamins and minerals like iron and magnesium. If you’ve ever made a chilli with black beans, you’ll know they taste meaty and fill you up.
Interesting Fact #2
The versatile chickpea will give you 19g of protein per 100g. They have quite a high sugar content though so be careful. Although that also means they are great in anything from curries to salads.
Interesting Fact #3
Edamame beans are immature soybeans. Who knew! They are also a good source of plant-based protein giving you 11g per 100g as well as a helping of Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, calcium and Vitamin B6. They are also really low in calories if that’s something you’re watching in your diet.
Plant-based protein is a new world that I’m really enjoying learning about. I definitely have more energy and coincidentally have shed a few pounds. One caveat I will admit to is that it does take organisation. It does require a bit of thought and a bit of planning. Chopping extra veg when you’re preparing dinner so that you can take it for lunch the next day for example.
If you’re looking for an easy way to track your protein and other macro nutrients, try an app called MyFitnessPal. Just put in all your meals and it’ll show you how you’re doing. Most people aim to have between 20-30% protein in their diets. Enjoy exploring your world of food and feeling amazing for it.