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Hi protein vegetarian diet?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Any ideas how I can pull this off? I've been researching hypoglycemia (a problem I've had chronically since I was 13 or so), and newly pregnant I really need to do better about getting it under control. I'm also concerned about increasing my protein intake for the baby.

My question is, how do I manage a hi-protein type diet without eating meat? I don't eat meat or eggs, and while I do eat some dairy, I do try to minimize it and don't drink milk. I know I should eat more fiber and protein and less sugar/carbohydrate. But I'm on a limited budget, and can't find any suggestions thus far for maintaining high protein without resorting to protein shakes and powders, which I really don't want to do, because they don't make me feel like I've eaten, and taste nasty (yech), though I have no problems with eating soy products such as tofu, soymilk, etc. (though I have concerns about the sugar in THAT.)

I've already taken some of the more obvious steps, like eliminating sweet drinks (sodas, etc.) from my diet, but I really want to boost my protein without resorting to excessively overprocessed powdered stuff.
post #2 of 14
Just for some general protein ideas: http://www.immuneweb.org/lowcarb/foo...in.html#charts

TVP is a really inexpensive protein source although it is a very processed food.

Sunflower seeds are pretty inexpensive and have 6g/protein/oz.

Peanuts are also pretty inexpensive and are 7.3g/protein/oz. I ate a LOT of peanuts when i was pg.

Exercise also helps a lot with hypoglycemia. I've gotten a lot of relief from my hypoglycemia thru limiting the carbs that i eat.
post #3 of 14
What abt quinoa, which is the only grain with complete protein? I would also just up your bean and grain intake - lots of fiber and protein, and also cheap! As long as you eat them in the course of a day or so, they don't even need to be eaten together for your body to build complete proteins from them. Think whole wheat tortillas with refried black beans, chili with bulgur wheat in it, beans and brown rice, falafel in a whole wheat pita, etc.

Also, during my pregnancy I loved making smoothies from bananas, OJ, and frozen blueberries with a scoop of soy protein powder. That may be too high carb for you but I didn't mind the protein powder if it was in things.
post #4 of 14
i hope you don't consider it rude to ask, but, why not eggs? allergy or cruelty? (i was wondering, since i used to have dear little chickens that laid me such nice eggy-weggies- ahem, my edie massey tribute)... i'm kinda assuming allergy, since dairy can be pretty unpleasant for the cattle too, but just wondered if not, had you considered having a few chickabiddies? my hens were pampered pets that succumbed to old age, & the worst thing that happened to them was being taunted by my parrot (who also threw them the corn from his bowl- it was not so bad). they ARE awesome protein, if you don't have diet problems w/ them. (high protein vegetarian MUCH easier than hi-pro vegan.) i know it is tough to get enough protein when pregnant- w/ no dietary limitations (other than, god help me, could i choke it down- badly hyperemetic) i was always trying to get enough.

edited to add: yes, i am in the 'burbs, & in many places you can have a few hens w/out code probs, but if you cannot, there are decent small farms in a lot of the country that can help someone trying to find cruelty-free eggs (& live in an apt)... sorry to have gotten slightly off-topic, but i was just curious.
post #5 of 14
Those are all great suggestions, and if I might add - I think a good rule of thumb is, make sure your carbs have fiber in them. stuff that's usually considered a carb, like rice, actually has a lot of protein per gram. So, if you make sure to get whole rice (brown rice) instead of white, you're getting your fiber and that will help w/digestion, hypoglycemia and you're getting a whole food that has lots of protein, as well.

carbs w/o fiber are of course refined, sugar added and mostly junk food. So, it helps to think about the amt of fiber present.

also, fruits tend to have less fiber and more water and sugar - the sugar being bad for the hypoglycemia - apples are pretty good, however, because they've got less water and the pectin is soluable fiber...

argh, I know your point wasn't fiber, but protein, but the thing is that a lot of foods are more complete than we're lead to believe, partially because everything is so refined, and therefore of a single value nutritionally.

The things everyone is suggesting are very inexpensive, as well. It's like, win-win, it's better for you, and it's cheap. Hm...

best wishes,

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I'll probably start snacking more on peanuts/peanut butter (I get the kind with no added sugar), and legumes. The reason for no eggs is, I'd like to get to vegan eventually, but on the advice of a friend I'm doing it gradually and the eggs were a LOT easier to give up than cheese--especially since cheese substitutes are so expensive.
post #7 of 14
hmmm, have you tried the almond cheese subs? they are pretty reasonable (about 2-3 bucks a pkg) & quite tasty- unless you are addicted to brie or something, they are a great sub for cheddar, jack, & mozzarella- i eat them from choice, as an omnivore who likes variety (much better than the soy cheeses, imho)
suse (and thanks for not taking offense) go vegan!
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion. I doubt I'll be able to find them around here, though. Not that that will stop me from looking!
post #9 of 14
if it helps any, i get it from my local bi-lo; no
place fancy. last time i was in tx didn't see a bi-lo, but it was a long time ago- maybe winn-dixie?

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Pretty much all I've got is the local Lowe's, and maybe a trip to United or Albertson's in Amarillo with my mom. The best bet for actually finding almond cheese is probably the Eat-Rite (what passes for a health/organic grocery store out here, it's tiny and Waay OVERPRICED), but that's not a sure bet and I have no car to get there anyway.
post #11 of 14
I thought I read somewhere that lentils are high in protein. Was that incorrect info?:
post #12 of 14
Don't forget hummus - easy to make, tasty, high in protein, and wonderful in whole wheat pitas!
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
How do you make hummus? I know it's tahini and chickpeas, but that's about it. I used to buy hummus, but the grocery store stopped carrying it for some unfathomable reason. I LOVE it on pitas or tortillas or sandwiches!

My big thing is I like having foods around that don't take long to prepare. I'm hypoglycemic and it really sucks trying to cook while hands are shaking and temper is running hot because of low blood sugar!
post #14 of 14
I thought I'd put my two cents in since I am working on a cookbook for pregnant and nursing moms -

lentils are high in protein and also in iron which of course is important while pregnant. They are also easier to digest then some other beans which helps during pregancy. Make lentil soup and add ginger which makes it go down very nice.

Also, consider almonds/almond butter and sesame seeds/tahini instead of peanut butter. You will get the protein that you need but also they are both very high in calcium (almonds have iron too). Nuts and seeds are very good while you are pregant cause you need those good fats (omega-3's) to nourish your baby's brain.

Other proteins - nutritional yeast, tofu, tempeh, sea vegetables, quinoa and millet, beans and legumes.

I would also like to second the egg comment above. Both of my midwives really encouraged me to eat eggs because they said they are great to nourish a baby - we have our own chickens so it was easy for me . . .
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