Holy Protein, Batman!

Protein has always been a topic close to my heart. So, when so many of you, my dear readers, sent me emails and DMs asking about what I do for protein on my veggie venture, I figured a blog post would be the best way to share my experiences.

Okay, so how important is protein to me?

In my early 20s, I was diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia. My blood sugar level had severe peaks and valleys that resulted in episodes of headaches, dizziness, nausea, mood-swings, irritability, and all sorts of lovely things that, I'm sure, had Roomie wondering if his hot new girlfriend was some sort of certifiable lunatic.
My doctor immediately put me on a high-protein/low-carb diet and had me eating at regular intervals to keep my blood sugar much more even... and my mood less crazy.

When I became pregnant in my 30s, I slacked off the diet and gave in to my cravings for sweets. Well, I ended up with gestational diabetes due to insulin resistance, and my endocrinologist put me back on the high-protein diet.
To be safe, I continued to eat that way with my second pregnancy, resulting in excellent blood sugar results.

So, when I decided to go veg, I had to be careful with my approach. Once again, I did my research - like I did when I was first told to go on the diet - and now this is what I do...

My Protein Strategy

1: Get Enough Protein
The absolute minimum amount of protein I get in a day is about my weight divided by two in grams... so 128lbs/2 = 64. I strive for about 64grams of protein everyday. I still end up eating more.

2: The Type of Vegetarianism I Practice
I still eat eggs, and on the very rare occasion, fish. So, technically, I'm pescetarian. I'm trying to limit my dairy, but I love cheese - pizza wouldn't be the same without it! Eggs and fish are easy sources of good protein.

3: My Favourite Protein Smoothie
A while back, I shared with you the recipe for my favourite protein smoothie. It's an excellent source of complete, veggie-based protein. Every morning, I have a cup of green tea, then a piece of fruit, and finally, one of these yummy smoothies.

4: I Try to Be a Good Guest
If I'm at a friend's house, I will eat what I am served. I find that the occasional meat meal doesn't trouble me too much and boosts my protein.

5: I Tried to Stay Relaxed During Transition
When I started, I allowed myself the occasional meat meal. I'm one of those people who can't do cold turkey. The temptation to just give up at the first setback is too great. Slow change is better for me.

6: Get Help if Needed
I found a few low-carb vegetarian cookbooks that give great non-meat protein ideas. I'll add them to my Amazon store shortly.

Many have found valuable help through a nutritionist or dietitian. In fact, I suggest that you see a health care professional before you make any changes to your diet or fitness regime. You'll be glad you did.

2 comments:

  1. i'm always impressed with people that are committed to make positive changes in their lives... i have tried to go on a diet, but i always get back on the habit... your strategy seems promising... i think that number 5 is really important... i'm with you on the slow change... i think taking baby steps is better than abruptly ending what you have been used to...

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  2. I don't know if protein has always been close to my heart, but I've certainly been eating a lot more of it in the past year or so! It's a great thing, and so filling... :)

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