Because protein comes from more than animals

After watching a food documentary back in October of 2012, I decided to once again stop eating meat.

The number one question I get asked as a vegetarian is, “Where’s the PROTEIN?”.

To be honest, this question mostly comes from my mom, but even strangers will ask when I tell them I don’t eat meat.

So today, I’m here to tell you about different protein sources for vegetarians.

This way, I will forever be able to point people to this post instead of laughing out loud when asked this question. Yes, it has gotten to the point where I just laugh at people when I’m asked where’s the protein in my diet.

Protein sources for vegetarians

Whole Grains

Grains such as quinoa and bulgur are full of protein. Use them instead of rice in your meals. They taste great and will meet your protein needs without meat.

grains for protein

Beans and Lentils

Beans are known as the musical fruit, but they do more than make you go toot-toot. There are many different kinds of beans and lentils out there so you can mix them up without getting bored. Use them in everything from vegetarian chilis to tacos and veggie burgers.

beans and lentils for protein


Nuts contain protein, just like grains and beans. They are great for little snacks, especially if you are on the go. Every morning after my workout, I eat an apple with raw, organic almond butter. That along with a green juice or a green smoothie is a great way to start the day.



Seeds, such as hemp and chia, are full of protein. Hemp seeds are a complete protein source and “contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain a healthy human life,” according to the David Wolfe in his book, Superfoods – The Food and Medicine of the Future (affiliate link).

Chia seeds don’t contain as much protein as hemp seeds, but they do have some and they are also loaded with fiber and calcium. Try adding different seeds to your smoothies, salads and other foods. Chances are your taste buds won’t know they are there but your body will.

seeds for protein

Green vegetables

Bet you didn’t know green vegetables contain protein. Broccoli, kale and even romaine lettuce are all good sources of protein and so much better for you than a steak. Eat a variety of raw, green vegetables each day in salads, green smoothies and other meals. I promise you will feel great.

vegetables for protein


Yep, even fruit contains protein. Avocados, peaches and figs are good fruits to add to your diet for reasons beyond just protein.

fruit that contains protein

I know that the government has corrupted Americans and the rest of the world into thinking that animals are the only source of protein. But this isn’t the case.

You don’t need meat or dairy for your protein. Or even your calcium. There are many other sources out there that come from the Earth and are healthier for you.

I highly suggest you start replacing at least a portion of the meat you eat each day with some of these other foods. You will feel so much better.

Stepping off my soapbox… for now.

For more information read the articles Protein in the Vegan Diet and Protein Sources on a Raw, Vegan Diet.

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Hi and welcome! My name is Jessica Torres and I'm a homeschooling mom of two adorably insane girls on the path to greener living. I'm also self declared iPhone addict and lover of all things Apple. When not attached to my kids, my iPhone, or my laptop, you can find me creating cocktail recipes. Subscribe by RSS Feed or by email to join in the fun over here.

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18 Responses to Because protein comes from more than animals

  1. Alison says:

    Great info, Jess. This is really good for me to know, as my 3 year old doesn’t really eat meat, and we worry about the protein intake. Now, to get him to eat vegetables and nuts, which is actually easier because I can hide this stuff.
    Alison recently posted..The Other Side

  2. Sisters From Another Mister
    Twitter: thesistershood

    Where do you stand on fish and poultry … my oldest eats no meat either, but eats lots of ground turkey and seafood.
    Love this post … and the great info, we recently became addicted to roast kale ;)

  3. Amanda Jillian
    Twitter: faeriebarista

    I also get so confused when people insist that protein only comes from animals.
    Amanda Jillian recently posted..Adorkably Excited {Daily Mermaid}

  4. Love this post. Great information.
    Christine@theaums recently posted..Walgreens Flagship Store Opens in San Francisco

  5. Shell says:

    I love quinoa. And all sorts of nuts.

    I was a vegetarian for about 10 years, though my eating habits changed post-kids. But we still have a few meals every week that are vegetarian.
    Shell recently posted..Mama Paranoia

    • I was a vegetarian when I was a teenager but back then I only really ate carbs and dairy. This time, I’m a real vegetarian with vegetables and fruit. It’s much different and healthier.

  6. Susi
    Twitter: bocafrau

    I love bulgur and have tried quinoa (not very successfully). It’a amazing how many foods have protein in it without the need for meat. This is a great list of alternatives. Thanks for sharing!
    Susi recently posted..A Step by Step Guide to using the PhotoGrid mobile app for Android and I-Phone

  7. Kimberly
    Twitter: KimberlyAMuro

    I’m not a vegetarian, but I do barely eat meat. Glad to know I can make up for the protein with so many other foods.
    Kimberly recently posted..New Year, New Us

  8. Thanks for this post, Jess. I almost bought quinoa today, but honestly didn’t know what to do with it! I don’t eat a whole lot of meat, but I eat a lot of dairy. Do you eat any dairy products?
    I hate food right now. I’m eating more junk than anything else (it seems like).
    Runnermom-jen recently posted..Hard Runs and Hard Days…

    • I eat very little dairy products. No milk or yogurt. Mostly just cheese and I try to do very little of that.

      You can find a lot of recipes for quinoa online. It’s really good!

  9. Tonya says:

    Great info!! I have cut way back on my red meat intake since I saw Food Inc. I love the alternatives you provide here, maybe of which I too enjoy!
    Tonya recently posted..Inquiring Minds Want To Know

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