Protein advice

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krazykat's picture
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Protein advice

I figured you ladies might be able to help me with some alternatives...

I am having a terrible aversion to meat. It is even carrying over to cheese. I am able to eat the 2 eggs a day that are recommended but I don't know if I can handle anymore than 2 eggs.

Here is what I have been eating that is high in protein:
-greek yogurt
-any kind of beans
-milk
-yogurt

And that's about it!

Do you have any ideas?

Spacers's picture
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My favorite snack when I was pregnant was almonds, especially the tamari almonds from Trader Joe's. Almonds are packed with protein, but unlike peanuts, they aren't likely to cause food allergies for your baby. I also ate tons of peanut butter when I was pregnant. :oops: I kept a jar of it in my desk drawer at work & would just eat it off a spoon. Tofu is another protein-packed food, and it's so easy to use. I'd also encourage you to check out some of the meat substitutes like Morningstar Farms "Chix Patties" or Yves Veggie "Meatless Ground." Don't think of them as something that should feel & taste like chicken or ground beef, but simply as something tasty & nutritious, kwim? If you're near a Trader Joe's, you can find all kinds of meat substitutes for really reasonable prices. I'm a veg-head anyway, but I also love Tofurkey Deli Slices, Tofurkey Italian Sausages, Smart Dogs (can't remember the brand), Morningstar Farms Tomato-Basil Patties, and Morningstar Farms Breakfast Sausages.

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My husband buys high quality whey protein powder, so I steal that for myself during pregnancy. Another easy way to get in 20-40g in a delicious shake, which I like to make with yogurt, berries or bananas and milk. It's easy to add spinach too, which hides well behind the flavours of the powder and fruit.

faeriecurls's picture
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I'm a vegetarian also so I am always trying to make sure I get lots of protein. I don't eat a lot of processed soy products (and no soy that isn't organic - most soy is GMO, but that's a whole other story) but I will eat edamame as a snack - they are really easy to make and pretty tasty. Tempeh is another soybased product that I will eat, one of my favorite ways to eat it is to cook it (either steam it or just saute it in a little oil) and use some mushroom gravy with it - it needs mashed potatoes with it - so yummy! I eat tons of sunbutter (like peanut butter made from sunflower seeds) because I try to avoid peanuts for the concerns Stacey mentioned and because they are a really high pesticide food. Quinoa is a really tasty grain that has a lot of protein - make a salad with it - quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, a little red onion and cilantro in a lime vinaigrette - I can live on that in the summer. Oatmeal actually is a pretty good breakfast with protein to eat - I use the long cooking rolled oats, but I imagine they all have protein. If you can make some oatmeal and put some walnuts & dried fruit on top you are good. Eggs are a great protein source if you can stomach them (I had a really hard time eating them early on in this pregnancy, apparently it's common). Cheese is good - some cheddar cheese and apples make a yummy snack, so does string cheese. I can't think of much more right now (too early), but if I think of more I will let you know.

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This pregnancy I ate Seitan a few times, it's got more ingredients than some things, and I would use it in recipies that asked for chicken - like stir fry - and it worked really well. I also had some baked tofu that was flavored w/ sesame or whatever...
Almonds are always in my drawer at work because i have low blood sugar, and often need a protein boost.

morrisbuddy's picture
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This is really sneaky - but maybe make a smoothie and add some Egg Beaters for protein. It's pasteurized egg whites, so you don't have to worry about the raw egg thing. I've been making some smoothies at night to curb my nightime hunger attacks (no, I'm not pg), and add some of this to get some protein in to help keep me full longer. I usually use a banana, some flavoured yogurt, egg beaters, some wheat bran or wheat germ (to sneak that in too), frozen fruit (strawberries, mixed berries, canteloupe), and sometimes some juice too. Hope that helps!

krazykat's picture
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Awesome ideas!! I am going to have to move out of my comfort zone I guess lol. I like tofu, but have never actually prepared it myself.

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Word of advice on tofu if you're a newbie, go with the firmest stuff you can find to start out with. Different firmnesses are good for different things, of course, but Nigari, pressed bean curd, or extra firm tofu are definitely the most satisfying if you're expecting something you can bite. And seitan is freaking DELICIOUS...definitely the closest to meat I've had in a non meat substitute. I've never cooked with it myself, but we have an awesome "healthy" chinese restaurant here that does lots of vegitarian and vegan dishes, and I actually prefer their seitan "chicken" dishes to the real thing.

Sounds like everybody's given you some great ideas, including everything I would have said more or less. I guess expanding on the almonds theme I can recommend what I do which is keep a big bag of trail mix in my drawer for snacking on. I've found a few kinds that are both delicious and healthy. I'm not having a meat aversion but we do try to eat sustainable/animal friendlier meat as much as we can, and make it less central in our diet, so I've been really struggling to get enough protein too. If you're having cheese aversions this may not be helpful but I've been finding Babybel cheeses to be great to have on hand too, since it's a quick, grabbable portion-controlled snack. String cheese would work well too, but I hate the brand they had at Costco when I bought the giant sack of Babybels I'm working my way through now Smile

Oh, and if you like beans, making dishes that include both corn and black beans together gives you a more complete protein.

Also just check the packages on other stuff you eat anyway and choose versions with higher protein content...for example I always like to have some kind of snack for after work and have found some delicious chips that are made with flax seeds and stuff in them that actually have a decent amount of protein, etc. When you're trying to get your numbers up, every little bit helps!

krazykat's picture
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Ooooo I LOVE flax crackers!! I used to eat those like crazy when I was losing all my weight. Thanks for reminding me. I'll have to go to a more health food type store to get them though I think. That's why I love places like Vegas... they have a million and one places where you can get vegan dishes, and more natural foods.

faeriecurls's picture
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"krazykat" wrote:

Awesome ideas!! I am going to have to move out of my comfort zone I guess lol. I like tofu, but have never actually prepared it myself.

Besides buying the firmest tofu you can make sure to press it really well - it makes a huge difference. If you still aren't crazy about the texture you can freeze it - it totally changes the texture, makes it kind of chewy. One of the easiest things to do with it is press it, cut it into cubes (or strips or whatever shape you like), toss it with some soy or some other marinade (a friend does it with balsamic vinegar and a little oil) and bake it. You can toss the cubes in a salad, put time in a wrap, whatever. They will stay a few days in the fridge. One other thing you can do (my DH makes this all the time) is make tofu parmesan - bread the tofu and either bake it or fry it until it's crispy, add some tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese on top and stick it under the broiler - really yummy.

Seitan is pretty easy to use - I rinse it off a little because it is sometimes salty, but you can just substitute it for steak or chicken strips in most recipes. It doesn't need to cook as long, but I've done fajitas with it, chinese style dishes ("beef" with snow peas etc.)

(I can go on all day about food and cooking - I love both!)

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Personally I would stick to tofu if you have done a ton of veggie cooking. I find seitan really hard to get right. I have had it our done well, but never at home. Another quick meal with tofu is to shake and bake it like you would a chicken breast. It is one of my favorite ways. It is also good in stir fries. A really easy way to press it that works well is to cut it in slices and lay it down on a layer of paper towels and then lay another paper towel on top. Repeat layering until you have all your tofu and then sit for a half hour or so. The paper towels will suck out the moisture. You can also buy premarinated tofu that is ready to eat. This is good in wraps. I would go to your local natural food store and look around. A favorite at our house is chik nuggets. Also a really good food if you are going meatless is a homemade macaroni and cheese. The combination of ingrediants gives you the same nutritional value as a steak (except the iron).