By : Komal Thakur (B.Pharm, Diploma in Naturopathy, Specialist in Clinical Dietetics)
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Are you tired of green peas?

The title is not clickbait at all. On a daily basis I have clients coming in and saying “But we are vegetarians, of course, we will be protein deficient”. Moreover, for vegans, it’s just a misconception that vegetarians/ vegans have to be protein deficient. Somehow everyone believes that eggs, fish and chicken are the best sources of protein and non-vegetarians are the supreme protein God’s. That is so not true. I have had clients who have come up and are hardcore non-vegetarians with protein deficiency. So where does this lead us? Pretty much nowhere if we do not care to deep dive into our own protein requirements.

 

I once had a client who was on a vegetarian diet and she had just started the keto diet a month before visiting me. She was a professional choreographer and when she started the keto diet, she felt more energetic and healthy. Keto diet is nothing but a high fat, adequate protein and a low carbohydrate diet. Something doesn’t sound, right? Well initially for a week she felt really good about her body. She lost a few kilos and was feeling more energetic than usual. This typically happens when you change your routine. She noticed that her skin and hair were glowing. She is a vegetarian who eats eggs. She told me she was really enjoying her diet, as never in her life she imagined she could eat so much cheese and lose weight. When she visited me, she had hit a plateau in her weight loss, she lost 4 kilos in a month and then could not lose anymore. Well, 4 kilos is a lot you would say, yes it is but her cholesterol levels were unhealthy. Moreover, she had started losing hair drastically, her hair loss was so severe that it would take her at least 6 months to regain her hair health. The reason seemed to be very obvious. Severe protein and iron deficiency. Now that she was happy with her weight loss, her goal was to restore the nutrient balance and for sure not continue keto anymore.

 

Any kind of extreme diet shift can cause your body to go in a state of shock. Diet switches should always be healthy and never too drastic. Keeping her profile in mind and also bearing in mind that the lost weight stays lost, metabolism shifts back to normal and protein restoration takes place, I put her on a diet that was easy, sustainable and will go a long way. Vegetarians have several protein options not just green peas. So if you are tired of eating green peas let’s talk about some very interesting options that can be consumed as taste enhancers or just add on’s. Trust me you are not ready for this and this will certainly lead to a healthy mind shift.

 

Let’s talk about a few non-conventional vegetarian and vegan protein sources that you can add to your everyday diet.

 

My most favorite- Potato:

Did you need another reason to eat potato? I guess not.

Potatoes are simply yummy and most people consume potatoes for the good fat, good carbohydrates and a dollop of Potassium, mixed with iron. Little did we know that the same versatile potato can add to your protein too. Are you worried that you will put on weight? Bless this vegetable for me being able to say this “No it will not lead to weight gain”, unless you fry it of course. Boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato salads, adding potatoes to your vegetables, the options are endless.

 

 

 

Roll on sushi rolls:

This makes my mouth water! The nori/ seaweed sheets that are used in making sushi rolls are full of protein. If you do not like sushi you can roast the sheet, crumble them and add to your salads and top up your vegetables with it.

 

Versatile Chia seeds:

Why do I call Chia seeds so versatile? Because I can think of at least 10 things in which I can add chia and get my protein and fiber every day. Chia seeds are full of fiber, magnesium, Iron, good fat and calcium. No wonder they are categorized as super food. Is there anything the chia seeds can’t do? Overachievers, I tell you. The magnesium in chia can give you a good night’s sleep. The fiber can be extremely good for your gut and maintain good cholesterol levels. The iron well, you know what that does. Lastly, protein can work wonders for your skin, hair, nails and pretty much everything. You can soak a spoonful overnight and drink an empty stomach. You can add the soaked seeds to your salads. Make a pudding out of it. You can also add it to your cold coffee, ok that’s stretching it, but not a bad idea!

 

The green Spirulina:

Spirulina is a type of algae and is beating all other sources of protein. One spoon can give you almost 4 grams of protein and that’s a lot. You can add a pinch to your smoothies and salads and be on your way to a balanced diet.

 

GRD protein supplements:

Well, we get it, it’s not easy for everyone to keep a check on what you are eating and sometimes you just don’t have time to look after the minute details. With the world opening up again, we are going to be back on the run. This is when protein supplements come in handy. They are safe, easy to consume and you do not really have to worry, because it’s a trusted brand all across India since decades. What’s best about GRD Bix is they so travel friendly. Just take the GRD Bix along whenever you travel and you can be stress-free about your protein intake. Not to mention they are super yummy and come in all flavors sweet and savory.

 

So my vegan and vegetarian comrades can now rest assured about their protein being in place. Hope you enjoyed this knowledge share and make sure that you pass it on!

 

 

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