Don’t let this title fool you. I have in no way become a “Pagan” or “paleo Vegan/vegetarian”. It is pretty well known that I source a majority of my nutrient needs through offal, like liver. I recognize that not everyone can eat meat or meat products, whether a moral or health related decision, and that’s totally cool! It still can be difficult to find quick paleo vegetarian ways to get protein or nutrients. How many times have you heard the age old question, “how do vegetarians or vegans get protein?” And this is usually without the paleo wrench in the plan. But it is possible. It depends on what your body needs, your age, and your bioindividualities precise nutrient requirements.
And I am all about bioindividuality especially because our biochemistry can be so complicated. I know it can be difficult to locate dense sources of protein without meat, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be done. Health gurus like Mark Hyman have blogged about how effective and successful the paleo vegan diet can be for certain people. Check out his post, here. Again, I am not advocating for this diet (as it certainly does not work well for me), but if it is something you follow, I am here to help in what ways I can.
As we know, protein is necessary in our diet. (Are you consuming too much protein?) And protein rich foods can be expensive and difficult to source. There are several easy, nutrition packed options though.
My past years of vegetarian and veganism gave me some insight on a few of these nutritious goodies, and my recent paleo friends have helped me accelerate my options with more things like sustainably sourced ingredients,
Although Nutritional yeast tends to look like fish flakes, it has an extremely nutty, cheesy taste. Nutritional yeast is also stocked full of vitamins, hence the namesake. I put this on everything, from warm broccoli to baked sweet potatoes.
According to the paleo mom, eggs can have a high content in protein (roughly 12.5 grams), omega 3 fatty acids, lutein, choline, Vitamins A, B, and D. And eggs are cheap, and can be served and cooked in a wide variety of ways.
3) Red Seaweed:
Red seaweed, or nori or dulse is rich in vitamins and protein including iodine. Most seaweed contains a variety of nutrients but red has the highest content of protein. Find red seaweed here. 100 grams can contain up to 50 grams of protein.
4) Pumpkin Seeds:
Pumpkin seeds or pepitas can have over 6.5 grams of protein per ounce, and they are delicious. Check out their total nutrient contents, here. I love roasting these for about 15-25 minutes at 325 degrees with cinnamon and coconut oil.
5) Leafy Greens:
If you are having trouble getting enough leafy greens in your diet, then I suggest blending spinach and kale together with some black beans if you eat these, and forming them into patties. This can be a quick way to get carbohydrate and protein. Make sure to soak and sprout the beans before using as they can be a source of phytoestrogens.
So if you have made the decision to go paleo vegan/vegetarian, please remember to utilize your resources to ensure you are getting adequate nutrients. B12 deficiency is quite common for those on this type of nutritional plan, so consider supplementing with something like this. It is common for those that follow this plan to also supplement with protein powders, like this one. However, per usual, I really recommend that you supplement with sustainably sourced fruits, veggies, and whole foods.
Let me hear it! How many paleo vegetarians or vegan followers do I have? Have you had any issues sourcing protein?