Protein Options Other Than MEAT – October 2014 Focus on Food

Look… at Studio SWEAT onDemand we give you what you need to burn the fat off and build beautiful lean body mass (A.K.A. muscle), and you need that, but you also need to control what you put in your pie hole.  Agreed!?! Because we acknowledge that your diet is half the battle, we’re bringing you this month’s “Focus on Food” tip from Studio SWEAT Registered Dietitian, MJ (Miriam Jirari).  Give me something to think and ACT upon MJ!
Picture of Miriam
Hi guys. MJ here. I recommend getting in touch with alternate protein sources for a variety of health-promoting and ecological reasons. A popular question I receive is: Are these meat-free protein sources complete?Vegetable Derived “Complete” Protein IdeasOk, here is a little protein lesson that will hopefully make you lighten up about getting enough animal protein in after a tough workout.

The term “complete protein” refers to amino acids, the building blocks of protein. There are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, and nine that the body can’t produce on its own. These are called essential amino acids. We need to eat them because we can’t make them ourselves.

In order to be considered “complete,” a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in roughly equal amounts.

It’s true that meat and eggs are complete proteins, and beans and nuts aren’t. But humans don’t need every essential amino acid in every bite of food in every meal they eat; we only need a sufficient amount of each amino acid every day. I believe that plant-based diets contain such a wide variety of amino acid profiles that as long as the intake is enough and varied, vegans are virtually guaranteedto get all of their amino acids if they plan accordingly. To get a “complete protein” in one sitting, I have provided 12 options you can experiment with (below).

List of 12 Vegetarian Proteins

Protein intakes greater than 20% of your total calorie intake for a day (or 2 grams/kg of body weight per day) are not recommended based on current research, even for weight lifters. High intake of protein does not result in a greater muscle gain, BUT, the training you do at Studio SWEAT does!

It’s also pretty dang damaging on your kidneys and any extra calories that you don’t expend helps plump up your fat cells anyway. We literally have a saturation point with protein intake where we start to get diminishing returns if we exceed what we need. I PROMISE you.

I am a vegetarian who easily maintains muscle through a wide variety of protein sources and by not intaking more than what I need (1g protein/kg of my body weight). If I can do it, so can you.

Those are the Facts. Toodles!

Miriam “MJ”

Resources: CDC, Medline Plus,, , AHA Circulation Journal

The information contained in this material is for informational and educational purposes only, is meant to complement the advice and guidance of your qualified healthcare provider.