Time to Read: 6 minutes
It’s a misconception that veganism almost naturally leads to a protein-deficit. We’re proving it wrong here, with a powerful, protein-packed vegan meal plan.
Are you looking for a vegan meal plan that you can build muscle on?
It’s a common misconception about veganism that if you want to be an athlete, you have to eat meat to get enough protein.
Just ask Carl Lewis, 10-time Olympic medalist and 10-time World Championship medalist who says that the first year he ate a vegan diet was his best year of track competition. Or you could ask former Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the world, Mike Tyson. That’s right, he’s a vegan too.
So what’s the secret of these muscle-bound vegan athletes? Is their entire life one big gym or do they eat a pound of tofu every day?
The truth is, there are lots of sources of protein that you can integrate into your vegan diet and you don’t have to sacrifice taste or variety to do it.
Today, we’ll present you with a high protein vegan meal plan, with the building blocks to create your own vegan meal plan every week.
How the Body Uses Protein
When you workout or perform strenuous activities, your muscle fibers are actually being torn and damaged by the intense strain. Your body uses the protein you eat throughout the day to repair and replace damaged muscle fibers by fusing them together to form new muscle protein strands.
Your body then uses “satellite cells” to add more nuclei to the muscle cells which directly causes the cells to grow. It doesn’t matter if your protein comes from a cow or a chickpea, your body just recognizes it as protein.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
One thing that most people don’t take into consideration is that your body can’t process an infinite amount of protein per day. Even for bodybuilders, the human body can’t process much more than .7 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, and for the average person, it’s closer to .5 grams per pound.
So let’s say you weigh 180 pounds and you’re looking to pack on some muscle. Your maximum protein intake should be 90 grams per day.
Any more than this, and it goes straight to your liver to be turned into waste or fat. Even worse, too much protein can lead to kidney failure and intestinal tract issues.
Vegan Protein Sources
If you want to be able to create your own high-protein vegan meal plan, then you need to know just which ingredients your protein will be coming from.
- Lentils - 9 grams per half cup
- Tofu - 10 grams of protein per cup
- Black Beans - 8 grams per half cup
- Quinoa - 8 grams per cup
- Amaranth - 7 grams per cup
- Soy Milk - 8 grams per cup
- Green Peas - 8 grams per cup
- Peanut Butter - 8 grams per 2 tablespoons
- Chickpeas (or hummus) - 8 grams per half cup
- Almonds - 7 grams per cup
- Black Eyed Peas - 8 grams per half cup
- Edamame - 8.5 grams per half cup
- Tempeh - 12 grams per cup
- Hemp Seeds - 13 grams in 3 tablespoons
This is by no means an exhaustive list of vegan protein sources, but you can clearly see how easy it is to get to your maximum daily protein on a vegan diet.
High-Protein Vegan Meal Plan Ideas
High-Protein Green Smoothie
- 1 large frozen banana - 2 grams of protein
- 1 cup of almond milk - 2 grams of protein
- 1 cup of baby spinach - 1 gram of protein
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds - 6 grams of protein
- 1/4 cup of hemp seeds -17 grams of protein
- 3 ice cubes
- 1 cup of oatmeal - 6 grams of protein
- 1/2 cup of dried apricots - 2 grams of protein
Total Protein: 36 grams
You can obviously tailor any part of this meal plan to your personal preferences, but this option shows how easy it is to quickly get your daily protein.
After breakfast alone, you could be almost halfway to your goal!
Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato, Kale Soup
- 1 tsp of coconut oil
- 2 large garlic cloves - .5 grams of protein
- 1 sweet onion - 1 gram of protein
- 3 celery stalks - 3 grams
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp of ground cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 14 ounces of diced tomatoes - 1 gram of protein
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup red lentils - 18 grams of protein
- 2 cups kale - 6 grams of protein
Total Protein: 29.5 grams
The amount of protein you’ll have received at this point from breakfast and lunch is about 67 grams. This is generally enough for the average person, and you’ll still see muscle growth if you’re working out properly, and you could easily stop at this point if you wanted.
But if you’re hitting the gym hard and you want maximum gains, you can get a high-protein dinner or have a protein-rich snack at some point during the day.
Tofu and Brown Rice
- 5 ounces of firm Tofu - 12 grams of protein
- 1 cup of cooked Broccoli - 4 grams of protein
- 1 cup of cooked brown rice - 5 grams of protein
- 2 tbsp of almonds - 4 grams of protein of protein
Total Protein: 25 grams
Veggies and Hummus
- 1/2 cup of Hummus - 8 grams of protein
- Veggies or crackers - 2 grams of protein
- 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds - 7 grams of protein
Total Protein: 17 grams
With this simple meal plan for the day, you would arrive at a total of 112.5 grams of protein, well above the maximum protein intake needed for a world-class bodybuilder.
Integrate similar meals with high-protein ingredients and you’ll be able to build muscle just as fast as meat-eaters. But you’ll feel more healthy and energetic while you’re doing it.
People who have never attempted to try a vegan diet will always be quick to tell you that you can’t get enough protein to be healthy as a vegan. The truth is, you can get just as much protein as a meat-eater, and you can do it without the harmful saturated fats, toxins, and calories that you get from red meat sources.
If you want to pack on the muscles and strength, don’t give up your vegan diet for the protein of chicken and beef. With nuts, beans, greens, and seeds you can get more protein than you could possibly need without weighing your body down with trans fats and toxins.
Don’t wait another day to start on your path to the body you want. Try our high-protein vegan meal plan and start flexing those muscles!