What I Eat in a Day – Vegetarian High Protein
Becoming a vegetarian is not as easy as we think – if we don’t know anything about nutrition. Cutting meat and fish off your diet doesn’t mean that you’ll only eat carbs and vegetables for the rest of your life. That is a mistake a lot of people do – including me. I was never a big fan of meat so I just stopped eating it one day, without questioning anything and I forgot about eating enough proteins.
And then I remember what my nutritionist said to me: “if you want to eat healthily, all of your meals except for breakfast must include proteins, carbs and vegetables”. The classical ratio is about having 50% of vegetables if your plate, 25% of proteins and 25% of carbs. If you apply this rule, you’ll feel full and won’t eat junk food and unhealthy snacks.
So what happens when you forget about proteins in your everyday meal planning? You don’t feel full enough, you’re always hungry, you have junk food and sugar cravings and you gain weight. And that’s what happened to me. I’ve been feeling bad, eating a lot, eating out in restaurants etc.
I was wondering: “how to lose those few kilograms in the most effective way?”. Well, again I remembered all of the things my nutritionist said to me and that worked out pretty well 3 years ago when I lost about 15kg. PROTEINS! But this time, I was not a carnivore anymore, so I had to look for vegetal sources of proteins.
In this blog post, I want to share a day of my life where I cook at home and I try to think about the 50-25-25 rule. Obviously, I am not a nutritionist and I don’t eat like this every day. But when I cook for myself, I really pay attention to the ingredients and I try to eat as healthy as possible.
Anyways, this blog post is also for all of the people telling me “OMG you don’t eat meat anymore, I’m sure you have deficiencies”. No. I did two blood tests in the past year and I am doing great! Not feeling tired or anything. I also would like to prove that not eating animal flesh doesn’t mean that the only source of proteins left is dairy.
I had a love/hate relationship with breakfast for a long time. In the morning I am never hungry. I always wait one or two hours after I wake up to prepare breakfast. An easy thing when you’re on vacation, but not anymore when you start working full time. During my traineeship in Amsterdam, I stopped eating breakfast because I just feel like I can’t swallow anything in the morning. But this was a big mistake. After 2 hours of work, I was getting hungry, trying to eat a banana or two. When it was lunch time, I was hungry like an ogre, same for the afternoon snack. I was just eating twice as much and when it was time for dinner, I was too lazy to cook and was eating really easy meals like pasta (and again, way too much).
Then I started to make a smoothie to go with just fresh and frozen fruits and a little bit of oat milk but then I realized, that it was not making me full and I was hungry anyways after one hour or two.
What to eat for breakfast in order not to be hungry until lunch? I know a lot of people like oats and I agree that it keeps you satiated for a long time, but I personally can’t have oats every day because I just feel “too full”.
And then I discovered Greek yoghurt. Yes, I know it’s a dairy product but I am not vegan. I am just trying not to eat dairy products as the only alternative for meat. So for breakfast, I have a high protein Greek yoghurt with fruits and nuts. I buy the FAGE yoghurts because there are low in fats, and high in proteins (10,3g for 100g) and it makes me feel really full for a few hours. I add fresh fruits (depends on the season and on what I have in my fridge, and nuts (there are 19,5g of proteins in 100g of almonds!)
Usually, I eat more carbs for lunch than for dinner because I don’t like having too many carbs before going to bed. But the day I was photographing all of my meals, I knew I would have pasta for dinner so I opted for something light for lunch.
So today, I had a very high protein lunch with fewer vegetables and carbs. I had some oven baked leftovers (sweet potato and broccoli) and I added red beans (around 8g of proteins per 100g) and tofu (12g per 100g). This lunch may seem very simple but I was running late and had some leftovers. I was feeling really full after that and I also want to show that you don’t need to waste much time with cooking in order to eat healthily and to pay attention to the ingredients.
If you don’t know which ingredients have the most proteins, here’s a table I found on the internet. Don’t forget that vegetables are also a source of proteins. For example, broccolis have a nutritional value of 3,5g of proteins for 100g! Same for spinach (3,6g).
Also, when you become a vegetarian, I recommend not eating all of the fake meat, vegetarian “burgers” that you find in the grocery stores. They don’t contain any meat but just look at the list of ingredients and I think this is enough to make you want to prepare your veggie burger by yourself…
As said before, I was feeling really full after my lunch so I just had a passion fruit as a snack.
Really sorry for the quality of the picture. I just realize that my salad looks disgusting, haha but it was really good! The lighting in my kitchen is really bad but I’ll take better pictures in my Dutch kitchen.
I know summer has come to an end but since I haven’t been on vacation yet, I’m still in the summer mood. So I enjoy having a big bowl of salad for dinner and not think about soups and warm stuff.
Anyways, in my high protein dinner salad, I’ve put: lettuce, pasta made out of lentils flour (26,2g of proteins per 100g), cherry tomatoes, avocado, homemade red beans and chickpea hummus (6g of proteins), one roasted eggplant and halloumi cheese. Usually, I would not add the halloumi cheese because I try not to eat too much dairy. The mix of all the ingredients was just delicious and improvised!