The last few months have been interesting to say the least. My boyfriend and I bought a house, renovated and finally moved in. I also traveled a bit and started a new school semester (dietetic certification). I also became a vegan, loosely.
Eating completely plant based is not an easy transition, even for someone whose life work is nutrition. I definitely got derailed a few times and gave in to eating some fish every now and then, but felt horrible afterward both physically and emotionally.
Understanding macronutrient needs is such an individualized process and I forgot how frustrating it can really be! The first month I noticed alot of bruising, hair and muscle loss which signified a protein, iron and possible Vitamin D deficiency. I've always supplemented with Vitamin D but this go around I increased the dose to 5000IU instead of 2000IU which made a huge difference. I also started eating alot more leafy greens (iron) and made sure to consume at least 1.2g - 1.5g of protein per kilogram of my body weight (weight (lbs)/2.2kg). Reason being, I'm extremely active. The more active and older you are requires a higher protein intake. Kids also require more protein while they're growing. To start, aim for 1g of protein per kg of bodyweight.
So what did I notice once I got my macros right? A huge increase in energy throughout the day, increased strength during workouts, better mood, sleep and thinking! My mind feels clear consistently which is always a positive.
Now back to protein. Below are some of the best plant sources and many that I use on a daily basis. Make sure to combine a variety of these foods to ensure you're getting complete proteins as well.