This is actually quiet unintentional. I was researching Vegetarianism and seeing what changes I can make to eat less meat, not because I’m overly ‘green peace – don’t kill animals‘ that kind of vibe, but because I wanted to see if there may be some health benefits for me in it, which there is for many people. I was going to begin this after baby was born, and I was always intending to eat fish as a source of protein and Omega-3, but apparently the baby wants me to start early.
I have completely gone off meat, specially chicken. I was a huge steak fan, the more blood the better. However the last time a had steak I found myself trying to chew it and just wanting to spit it out. I also tried having chicken in pasta and curry, and both times the texture made me feel uneasy and I just wanted to throw it up.
Being a nutritionist I have actually studied the vegetarian diet and the need for ‘complete’ protein.
What is a complete protein?
There are 20 amino acids that can be found in protein. 13 of them are considered essential, as the body does not function to its full potential without them and the body can not build them either. The other 7 are considered non-essential as the body can build them when they are needed.
Here is the catch…
Only animal protein contains complete protein – all the amino acids that are essential found in one single food.
The closest non meat food that provides almost all the essential amino acids is Quinoa.
So if you want to insure that you get all the essential proteins in one meal you have to be smart in matching up two or three foods to insure you are getting ‘complete proteins’.
Here are some:
- Peanut butter on wholewheat bread
- Peanut butter on rice cakes
- Humus made from chickpeas and sesame paste
- Trail mix with peanuts and sunflower seeds
- Rice and beans
- Bean soup with a wholewheat roll
- Vegetable stir-fry with tofu, served with rice or pasta
- Vegetarian chilli with wholegrain bread
There are plenty more ideas out there, just google, ‘complete protein meal ideas’.