I think it's safe to say that our society is protein obsessed.
Growing up we are trained to eat a "balanced" meal. One that includes a protein, a starch and a vegetable. And while this is changing some, many of us are still wired to think we need a continuous supply of protein throughout the day. When we say the word protein, we think chicken, steak, pork and fish - right?
However, this is FAR from the truth. In fact, vegetables have a TON of protein and it's actually more "use-able" too.
Let me explain:
BIO-AVAILABILITY (i.e. how much is actually absorbed by your body)
Plant protein is between 80 and 90% bio-available, while beef is only 20%. That means if you lined up two people - the first has a heaping plate of veggies and the second person has a burger. The plant-eater is actually going to get MORE protein. Crazy, right?
Even better - the veggies will be fully digested from that person's body within a 24 hour period, while Mr. Burger over there is working on breaking his protein down for...wait for it...5-7 DAYS. EW!
So what does this mean for you? EAT MORE PLANTS. I am not saying to nix the burger all together, BUT you do NOT have to eat a piece of animal protein at every meal. Animal protein is inflammatory, while plant protein increases oxygen in your blood.
How much protein is really in plants?
1 cup chickpeas = 15 grams
1 cup lentils = 18 grams
3 Tbs. hemp seeds = 10 grams protein
1 cup quinoa = 8 grams
1 ounce almonds = 6 grams
1 cup broccoli = 3 grams
1 cup mushrooms = 3 grams
1 cup spinach (cooked) = 6 grams
What does this actually look like on a plate or as a recipe? Erin's roasted broccoli and lentil dish is a perfect example. You can get the recipe here.