Nutrition, Q & A

Is it possible for athletes to eat enough protein on a plant-based diet?

top view photo of vegetables

Absolutely athletes can thrive on a plant based diet. Have you seen “Game Changers” feature friend and ultra-runner Scott Jurek? Many athletes make the elite ranks without eating meat or other animal-based foods. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it is simple however. It takes time to evolve your food into a master puzzle pieced together with a variety of foods and potentional supplements to make sure you stay nourished and fueled. Trying to be a vegetarian or vegan athlete on French fries, energy drinks, and rice won’t cut it.

Those who achieve good health and athletic performance without eating foods from animals pay close attention to variety to ensure they get high quality protein from a variety of different protein sources. This helps to ensure they piece together the essential amino acids from different plant-based protein like legumes, tofu, textured vegetable and soy protein, quinoa, nuts, seeds and commercially available powders like hemp, pea, and brown rice.

Aside from the basics, innovative food companies are sourcing high quality foods that provide vegetarian and vegan options for delivering and creating really delicious and convenient options for vegans and vegetarians. 

I advise food companies on how to make foods that can have positive impacts on the health of people and our food system.

Two companies offering innovative and sustainable sources of delicious animal-free food are Nature’s Fynd and Adda Veggie!

Each of these foods brings new nutrient dense  options to the table!

  1. Nature’s Fynd  / Discovered in Nature, Crafted in Montana, Growin in Chicago

Fy is a nutritional fungi protein, and a complete protein, with all 9 essential amino acids present and accounted for! Being orginially from Montana anything crafted there peaks my interest. This is an entirely new discovery. The original microbe was found by a researcher studing life forms in the geysers of Yellowstone National Park. With breakthrough fermentation technology that uses uses just a fraction of the water, land, and energy compared to traditional protein sources, Fy protein was born. Products made with this protein are in select stores and include cream cheese and breakfast patties. Can’t wait to see what they make next!

  1. Adda Veggie

This product is a staple in my pantry! After working directly with Trishna , owner and founder, we uncovered the nutritional beauty she had crafted in the kitchen using organic ingredients that help move vegetables to the center of the plate while also delivering plant-based protein. Talk about being nutrients dense! My kids are also sold. What I also love about this company is that they are on a mission to make plant-based diets accessible, inclusive, and equitable! 

While I haven’t had the pleasure of working with Beyond Meat, I find them to be a tasty alternative to ground beef. Beyond Meat is also  committed to sourcing organic ingredients which means exposure to fewer pesticides than with some of the other ground beef alternatives. 

Wondering how to make and share nutritionally sound,  better-for-you food products?

Wondering if you are getting enough key nutrients? 

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Nutrition Strategist and Registered Dietitian with twenty years of experience creating nutrition strategies that influence and inspire people to accomplish big things.