Going vegan has many general health benefits as well as environmental benefits. All of which are very personal and can be controversial, so I won’t go into that here. I would like to explore vegan protein alternatives aside from eating meat, as the common dilemma of going vegan, especially with those who live active lifestyles, is the supposed lack of protein that a vegan diet offers. Imagine feeling lighter, having more energy, being more compassionate toward living creatures and the environment, all while maintaining your “gains”. Luckily this is a very possible scenario! Below is a list of readily available, protein-packed plant based products that will allow you to keep up with your fitness goals.
- Jackfruit: 1lb = 7.7g
- Mushrooms: 1lb = 15g
- Tofu: Absorbs whatever you season it with, allowing a range of dynamic flavoring 1lb = 37g
- Tempeh: More grain-like. Less absorbent than tofu. 1lb = 85g
- Seitan: A gluten derived beef substitute. 1lb = 340g
Incorporating more plant based forms of protein positively impacts not only you, but the world around you as well. Integrating more whole foods and plant based food into your diet will result in more sustainable energy, regulation of your internal organs, normalizing your blood sugar levels, improved digestion, among others. Consuming a plant-based diet drastically decreases out impact on the environment by saving water, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preserving old growth forests and rainforests (our plants lungs), alongside many others. Here is a link which highlights several benefits here.
As I have progressed in my new sober life, I have become more observant and aware of my impact on myself, others, and the world around me. This has led me to cut out old habits such as smoking cigarettes, littering, and even being conscious of what I put into my body. Sobriety is an avenue for self progression, growth, and new possibilities, so finding ways to more positively impact myself and the world around me has been exciting!
“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”
— Thomas A Edison
I believe it is always good to have options. And one of the biggest obstacles for me in my experience with a plant based diet was ignorance. I was brought up only knowing about the “american diet”, and was never educated on alternatives. So whether you decide to put down meat or not is up to you, but at least you now have a list of protein rich substitutes for that steak or chicken breast! Going against an ingrained habit is tough, but I challenge you to explore a plant based diet if you are looking for a new way to make a difference.
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