Reader Question: Topic- Protein

by Ashley on February 13, 2011

Reader Question:

I am also trying to lean more towards the vegetarian lifestyle. I am just so concerned about making sure to get enough protein intake. What do you think is an adequate amount of protein for a daily intake. I think we are close to the same size. Do you feel like it is really difficult to get enough protein each day??


Honestly, letting go of meat has been a lot easier than I thought it would be. For young female, such as yourself, the Daily Recommended Intake for protein is around 45 grams. Much less than most would expect. Really, as Americans we tend to over consume protein more than any other nutrient. I work out daily and assume you probably do as well, so at first I was a little worried about getting enough protein through a plant-based diet also, but after going without animal protein for a month, I realized that I didn’t feel all that different and was able to get adequate protein through other sources.

I eat 0% fat-free Greek yogurt and quinoa almost daily which are both packed with protein. Quinoa (along with soy) are the only two plant-based proteins that are complete, meaning that it contains everything (all essential amino acids) your body needs to build muscle. There is also something called pairing complementary proteins, which is just combining two incomplete proteins to make a complete protein inside your body (such as rice and beans). This doesn’t have to be done at the same meal, just sometime throughout the day. Eggs/egg whites are another great source of protein, depending on what you decided to keep in your diet as a vegetarian. For me, I pretty much eat a vegan diet, with the exception of fish very occasionally (mostly Wild Caught Salmon) for the Omega 3s and Greek yogurt. Everyone is different so you really just have to see what your body wants/ needs. Hope this helps you!

Send me your questions at ashleym12940 at or on Facebook!

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