“Yes, Virginia, you CAN get protein without meat or dairy!”
5 ways to build major muscle — Animal-Free / Animal-Light edition
I don’t know where you are on this, but I think ~ 40% of my friends and clients are either pescatarian, vegetarian, dairy-free, or vegan-ish. (That’s a lot of people.)
Protein is so important for gaining muscle (and staying lean). But this can present us with the following dilemma. When our choices for protein sources are limited … but we need to take in a lot of protein to achieve our goals … Well, you see the problem.
At various points in the past, I’ve belonged to each of the above-listed populations. The rest of this article lays out what worked for me back then, plus what I’ve learned since.
For vegan diets: OK. I just discovered powdered peanut butter. (At Target. I could also search online for it.) I LOVE IT. It takes away (almost) all the fat of peanut butter, but keeps the delectable taste and high protein content. I’d make sure to get a lot of this, daily, if I was a vegan. In addition — and especially if I had a nut allergy — I would also supplement with pea protein powder (Trader Joe’s). I’d also lean into oats/oatmeal, and Ezekiel4Life bread products, for their protein content and health benefits.
For a vegetarian diet: All of the above, plus, I might take in protein from egg whites. (I don’t know if they make a free-range egg white protein powder, but free-range is the most humane of all methods when it comes to eggs, and is notably more humane even than “cage-free.”) Also: I could take in whey and casein protein supplements (milk-derived).
For a dairy-free diet: All of the above, sans the whey and casein.
For a pescatarian-focused diet: All of the above, plus I focus a lot on tuna.
And, if you’re a “flexitarian” — which I am right now — then you’ve got the liberty of incorporating all the above into a routine that also permits meat and dairy, when the desire strikes.
Wuddya think? Do any of these categories align with your values right now? Which one, specifically?