The first thing I'm gonna cover here are NON-MEAT sources of protein!

I am not a vegetarian, but I encourage people to eat all of the non-meat proteins they possibly can because a varied diet with lean sources of protein will help you to improve  your nutritional status.

Furthermore, non-meat proteins are going to have much less fat and no artery-clogging, heart attack, and         stroke-causing CHOLESTEROL- which means you could live alot longer than if you eat lots of animal protein, and most, if not all of us acutally WANT to live for a very long time!

This is why I firmly assert that you do not have to have a slab of dead animal on your plate in order to get PLENTY  of protein.

There are 2 types of proteins.

Complete Proteins are foods like eggs, cheese, milk, fish, meat,  poultry, and many SOYBEAN products. These amino acid sources are the most easily absorbed.

Incomplete Proteins come from plants and can be combined with each other during a meal or over the course of a day in order to form a "complementary protein". For instance, by combining wheat bread and peanutbutter, a high quality complementary protein is formed. Legumes are next best when it comes to amino acid absorbtion, and grains place last with reguards to amino acid absorbtion.

I will now share with you some really nice sources of non-animal protein.

1.Quinoa - Get your fiber and protein at the same time from a wonderful little grain called Quinoa - pronounced KEEN-WA! Quinoa STANDS ALONE as a COMPLETE PROTEIN GRAIN !!! 1/4 cup of dry quinoa makes about 1 cup of cooked quinoa  which equals 170 calories. It has only 2 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein,  and 3 grams of fiber- which is 13% of the daily recommendation of fiber for a person who consumes 2000 calories per day. It is very easy to chew and has a very nice taste. It is not heavy on the stomach so it's light and easy to digest.  I use it in place of rice or couscous [because personally, I'm not a couscous fan]. I vary the taste by boiling it in vegetable broth or chicken broth. I then add some chopped vegetables that are either raw, sauteed, or both. The liquid to quinoa ratio is 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa so that's 1/4 cup quinoa to 1/2 cup water, or chicken broth, or vegetable broth. You will know it's done cooking after approximately 10-15 minutes when the little "curly cue" becomes visible around the edge of the grain.  I use "Ancient Harvest" organic quinoa, but I'm sure there are many other brands available. Many delicous recipes are available at 

2. Whole Wheat Couscous features 170 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein (as much protein that is in an egg white), and 6 grams of fiber. That's 24% of the fiber needed for someone who is on a 2000 calorie per day diet! It can be used in place of rice and is great when mixed with chopped veggies. 1/4 cup of dry couscous = about 1 cup of cooked couscous. Fantastic Foods has a website that may feature couscous recipes or other information about couscous at

3. Taboule [bulgur wheat salad] is one of my favorites. About 1 1/3  cup of prepared "Near East" Taboule will have 240 calories, very little fat, 6 grams of protein, 10 grams fiber which is about 21 percent of the daily recommendation for fiber for someone who is on a 2000 calorie per day diet. It's a wonderfully seasoned mix with just the right amount of mint in the seasoning packet. I use the standard directions which call for a chopped tomato, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil. Wrapped up in lettuce leaves, or mixed with chopped romaine lettuce, it's very cool and refreshing. Yummy!

4. Buckwheat Noodles AKA protein noodles are great in place of standard spaghetti noodles and can be used in place of any spaghetti type noodle in any dish. They have a great taste and lots of beneficial nutrients. You will usually find them in the Asian section of the supermarket, or the Asian grocer such as Sunshine Market at Walker Springs.  1 dry "bundle" weighing 90 grams- or 3 ounces will provide a whopping 9 grams of protein! A  serving is 290 calories and is  also very low in fat, 0.5 to be exact. They can be eaten HOT or COLD, as SOBA NOODLES, which is a cold Asian noodle dish. Soba Noodles are often served cold, with a cold Soba Sauce like Assi Soba Sauce or Kikkoman Ready To Use Somen Tsuyu Dipping Sauce For Noodles. I personally love Soba Noodles with Soba Sauce, shredded Daikon radish-which is a very mild white radish, sliced green onions, along with  crumbled Nori Sushi paper for crunch. The Asian grocer will most likely have Daikon radishes, but sometimes you can find them in a regular grocery store. When asking the Asian grocers for help, just ask for Soba Sauce, Soba Noodles, Daikon radish, and Nori Paper. [Nori paper is the type of "seaweed paper"  used to make Sushi.] When choosing Soba sauce, look for one that features mackerel and/or fish sauce, as it will taste much better than other Soba sauces. Please note that most Soba sauces should be stored in the refrigerator after opening and should be discarded within 3 days after opening.

5. Tofu - it's dirt cheap and  it's great in Miso soup and Hot and Sour soup. It can also be marinated and used in various stir fry dishes. It has almost no flavor at all so it will take on the flavor of the marinade very easily. It is also very soft, so it's very easy for people to eat if they have dentures or no teeth. Be sure to get the unflavored if you are a newbie, which means  don't get the "stinky tofu" which is a variation on tofu that some hard-core tofu addicts dearly love.

6. Tempeh - it's made of beans and a BENEFICIAL mold,  and it's used in stir frys and to make veggie bugers, etc... I'm not wild about it, but it's got some great nutrients, so give it a try!

7. Veggie Burgers - Morning Star Prime Grillers and Morning Star Spicy Black Bean are some of my favorites from the freezer section. Also, "Veg-O-Rama" restaurant in Old North Knoxville  has a really tasty  veggie burger served with a schmeer of sun dried tomato and baby spinach [which could be left off on request I'm sure]. All of the vegetarian restaurants that I've been to have some version of a veggie burger, and none of them disappoint!!!

8. Veggie Hot Dogs - are surprisingly flavorful, I can't tell the difference!

9. Vegetarian soups and chilis - many of them are a very good source of protein. Read some labels next time you're in the soup isle!

Now I want to talk about non-meat "complementary protein combinations" which provide high-quality protein.

 combine cereal grains with legumes to form a complementary protein:

cereal grains              +         legumes                                

barley                                   beans                                  

bulgur                                   lentils                                  

oats                                       peas                                      

rice                                       peanuts     

whole grain  bread               peanutbutter



combine legumes [or grains] with seeds and nuts to form a complementary protein:

beans                          +         sesame seeds

lentils                                     sunflower seeds

peas                                        walnuts

peanuts                                   cashews

                                                nut butters


hummus and bread

corn and black-eyed peas

peanutbutter and wheat bread

tofu and rice




If you are going to eat animal proteins, I hope you will make good choices.

Try to buy hormone free meats- because if the meat you eat is  not hormone free, you could be ingesting growth hormones, which could  make weight loss difficult.

Try to avoid tuna, shark, shrimp, and other types of seafood that may contain  higher concentrations of mercury, because  from what I've read about  mercury, it  is really not good for you. Salmon is one of the better choices from what I understand.

Source for some of the information on this page: "Personal Nutrition" - Sara Long & Marie Boyle


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