If you’re vegetarian you must be much more careful about your diet to make sure you’re still getting all the things you normally would find in meat, like protein and iron. You can find them in other sources if you know where to look.
Make sure to get firm tofu—the firmer it is, the higher the protein content.
Nutritional content: 10 grams of protein per half cup, plus iron and calcium.
Con: as with anything made from soy, it is high in estrogen. Make sure to watch out for that so it doesn’t ruin your gains. Use Forma Stanzol!
You don’t need us to tell you how to eat peanut butter. Eat it on whole wheat toast, on apple or banana slices, with celery sticks, mixed into oatmeal…just about any way you want to.
Nutritional content: 15 grams of protein per two tablespoons, plus vitamin E.
Con: peanut butter, while high delicious and packed with protein, is also high in fat. Try to find organic peanut butter that isn’t loaded with preservatives and saturated fats and make sure to stay within recommended servings so you don’t go overboard on the healthy fats.
You might know this as “wheat meat” or “wheat protein.” Seitan is a popular substitute because it looks and has the texture of meat after cooking and can be flavored to taste like almost any meat (on its own it tastes like a mushroom). You can find it at specialty health food stores.
Nutritional content: 21 grams of protein per each third of a cup, plus vitamin C, amino acids and riboflavin.
Con: this is a no-go for anyone who is gluten intolerant or has Celiac disease.
We have no doubt eggs are already a staple of your diet, but we wanted to add them anyway. Eggs are packed with nutritional benefits and can be used to add flavor and extra protein to almost any kind of dish or you can make a meal out of eggs on their own.
Nutritional content: 6 grams of protein per each large egg, plus vitamins A, B 6 and 12 and D.
Con: if you’re vegan, eggs are also not a part of your diet. You can substitute banana or applesauce in baking and find non-dairy egg replacements, like tofu, for other dishes that typically use eggs.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each of these meat substitutes and each of them has different benefits for the body. They can also be used in vastly different ways—from additives in baked good to replacements for meat to toppings—to make sure you are getting all the protein, iron, magnesium and other essential vitamins and minerals that every bodybuilder requires in their diet. Before dramatically changing your diet, it is always best to consult a doctor or nutritionist.
We hope this will help you as your meal prep each week and strive to meet your nutritional goals.