How to be Vegan and Eat a High Protein Diet

As a very active teenager, I need to constantly watch my protein intake and ensure that I am getting enough of it with every meal. I am working toward building more muscle and strength through weight training right now. I have set many goals for myself which address how I want to tone up my body and increase my ability to perform my best as an athlete. Although I understand that fitness is very important to this, I also acknowledge the huge role that my diet plays in attaining my desired physique and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

I think looking at my goal through an 80 to 20 ratio has greatly guided how I go about accomplishing it. I want 80% of my diet to be based around whole foods and clean ingredients, while I leave 20% for cravings and more processed foods.

I have really struggled with incorporating protein into my meals which is why I hope these tips and tricks help all of you!

1. Base meals around a protein source.

I know that this is not always as easy as it seems, which is where tip number two comes into play.

2. Include a side full of protein.

For example, I really wanted a grilled cheese (with vegan cheese of course) and I know better than to deny myself that craving. But I still acknowledged the lack of both protein and color on my plate. I added a side of bean salad for my protein source. I combined black beans, garbanzo beans, and edamame. Not only was it delicious, but it also helped me to achieve a greater satiety level. Then I added some baby carrots and cucumber for a super refreshing green source.

3. Learn all about different plant proteins.

Go check out my plant protein guide for specific foods!

4. Have fun in the kitchen!

I understand that some may not agree with this, but I still hope you try to find the joy in creating something even if it does not always turn out as well as you would have hoped.

I do a lot of cooking with my family members which makes the experience all the more enjoyable. It is a great way for me to bond with my mom and take time to talk with her about anything. I would highly suggest finding a sous-chef (or being the sous-chef) to share in the adventure of the kitchen.

I hope these four tips are helpful in working to incorporate high protein into a vegan diet. It may seem like it would be impossible to eat valuable plant-based protein as just about all complete protein sources come from animal, but do not worry. There are so many more sources of plant-based protein than it seems. You just need to be exposed to them!

Welcome to My Veggie Tales: the life of a vegan teenager in San Francisco!

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