How Do You Get Protein On a Vegan Diet

foods to give you protein on a vegan diet

If you haven’t gotten it already, be prepared to hear the phrase, “How do you get your protein on a vegan diet?” a million and one times when you inform someone that you are vegan or mostly vegan.

It’s a very reasonable question, and its helpful to have an “elevator pitch” of sorts prepared in response.

So check this out… IHow Do You Get Protein on a Vegan Diet cartoon‘m in the line at Whole Foods, and the lady behind me asks, “Wow, I want to know what you do to have legs like that!” (yes, this type of scenario happens quite frequently!) I reply, “Well thank you! Besides kickboxing & the variety of workouts I do, I am vegan and eat a plant-based diet which keeps me in the best possible shape!”

The lady immediately asks, “But you have great muscle definition… how do you get your protein?” To which I answer, “Its simple! I get plenty of the top quality protein found in vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, peas, beans, quinoa, and other whole grains. By cutting out animal products that are so harmful to our health (not to mention animals, and environment), I am full of energy and look and feel better than ever!”

Protein on a Vegan DietThe lady looks intrigued and a bit confused so I say, “Have you ever seen Forks Over Knives?”

“No, what’s that?”

“A must-see documentary with all the health facts on the subject from a scientific standpoint. Its fascinating… Forks Over Knives, definitely check it out!” And then I hand her my card so she can find the information on my website, but unless you are coaching people on nutrition, you probably will skip that part 😉

Anyway, its really important to help spread the word about the benefits of a plant-based diet and let people know how you get protein on a vegan diet. Its a good deed to say the least, and necessary to spread awareness and actually ultimately saving people’s lives! Depending on where you live, you may find that using the term, “plant-based diet,” engages people more than “vegan.” In many areas of the country, many people don’t even know what vegan means, and if they do, they may attribute it to weirdo, hippie, liberal, granola-head-type people whom turn them off.

If you don’t feel like you are eating a wide enough variety of plant foods to meet your needs, you can always supplement with a vegan protein powder. I recommend pea & rice protein as opposed to soy. The research is somewhat mixed, but I think its best to keep your soy intake moderate, especially for men, I like to save it for dishes with tofu, meat substitutes, and edamame (I go to sushi restaurants often and always get the edamame appetizer.)

Sun Warrior Protein

My most recent vegan protein powder discovery is from the brand BalanceDiet and is called Lean Protein 07. Learn all about it here (I liked it so much I wrote an entire post about it and feature it on my “Favorite Products” page!

I discovered Sun Warrior brand protein many years ago and have always found it to be one of my top picks. I think it has the a decent texture (not gritty at all) and neutral taste. They have their Classic Protein, which is made from brown rice, and a Blended Protein. I much prefer the regular over the blended, but everyone has different options about these things.

Sun Warrior brand products

Sun Warrior Classic Protein, Vanilla/Chocolate

Vega, is another company that makes a great vegan protein. Vegan Sport Performance Blend has a mix of plant protein (soy free), and also tastes good. This protein powder also contains a branched chain amino acid complex, L-Glutamine, and a digestive enzyme blend which are great additions to a shake! This probably accounts for the higher price. Vega, like Sun Warrior, is also a trusted, quality company.

Vega Sport Performance Protein

Both of these powders can be blended or shaken with water or a milk substitute (almond, coconut, rice, hemp, etc.) and can be used alone as a quick protein blast, or added to a shake or smoothie.

Here’s one more “Sexy Fit Vegan™ Approved” proteins to give you more options!

RAW Protein  (it’s certified organic and raw!)


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18-year vegan and 12-year vegan fitness trainer, Ella Magers founded Sexy Fit Vegan® in 2012 to show people that going vegan is not only healthy and compassionate, but also sexy!

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  1. susan schenck
    susan schenckReply

    “Forks over Knives” really is a powerful documentary with important information for everyone who wants to make informed choices about what they eat.

  2. CarrieReply

    I love sun warrior protein! Thanks for recommending Ella! I also totally agree with getting protein from foods other than
    meat. I get most of my protein from quinoa, Edamme, sun warrior protein with almond milk, banana and blueberries.There are also a lot of great meat substitutes out there now that actually taste really good! And, tofu gets a bad rap as there are a lot of great tofu recipes.
    I’ve trained with Ella and I’ve learned a lot
    about healthy eating and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and still have fun and eat stuff I like!

    • Ella MagersReply

      I hope you are sharing all this with your friends and family Carrie. It sounds like you have made some really positive changes in your lifestyle that are working great for you!

  3. Cody PatrickReply

    Having grown up as a normal meat and potatoes kind of guy I used to think that I couldn’t get protein anywhere but from meat. As I have grown wiser and started to listen to my body I find that I respond much better to vegan protein supplements. I feel less gastric distress and my energy levels are much higher. Vega is my choice these days.

    • Ella MagersReply

      Thanks for sharing Cody, I think you speak for a lot of guys out there. And Vega’s Performance Protein is a great product and easy way to boost your daily protein intake for building lean muscle.

  4. Ronni MargolinReply

    Ella, the cartoon at the top is perfect! Why are people so focused on protein (as if protein deficiencies are a big problem among shoppers at Whole Foods!) when so many of our most common health problems can be resolved by avoiding animal products!

    Thank you for helping people realize that vegan living is healthy — and that we never have to feel “deprived!”

  5. KayReply

    I would love to be Vegan, but I am always afraid if I don’t get dairy products my bones will crumble. Can you explain that for me. TY

  6. Pingback: Fine! I'll tell you where I get my protein from! | Vegan Diet Plan | Going Vegan | Vegan Fitness

  7. LizReply

    I have seen the detailed reports of metals and contaminates in protein powder including the vegan protein powder listed above. It was a few years ago but this can be found easily on a Google search. Can someone have the same results of they choose to just eat plants? Without tofu and protein powder? What is the ratio of protein 10%? 15%?

    • SexyFitVeganReply

      Hi Liz, thanks for the comment. Yes, you absolutely can get plenty of protein without using any supplements or soy products. The ideal ratio can be different for different people. People’s bodies run differently, and it depends on what your goals are (how much lean muscle you would like to put on). If you focus on eating a large variety of whole plant foods, including veggies, fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, chances are you will build a healthy, strong body. The one supplement that is “a must” is B12. I hope that helps!

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