While non-meat eating diets seem to be on the rise, a 500% rise in the vegan diet since 2014 to be exact, more and more companies are coming out with plant based "Meat Like" products. This is something that could be heaven sent for those plant based dieters that are getting bored with their same old meals, while remembering what it was like to eat Chinese take-out, burgers, brats or even a spaghetti dinner! In this post, I will take you through a few of my favorite plant based takes on take-out classics, while breaking down the nutritional info along the way.
I want to start out with the fact that I started this "Meatless, Non-Dairy Lifestyle" back in March of this year. I procrastinated with it and pushed off the idea, because I thought you needed to eat meat to build muscle and gain strength. After 3 months in, I would say that is not the case.
While I still do eat eggs daily, and on a rare occasion fish, I haven't had any of the typical animal meat products like beef, chicken, turkey or pork in 3 months. The results? I have been getting stronger in the gym, gaining lean muscle mass, eliminated what little bloat I had, have more energy and easier digestion just to name a few!
I have still been sticking to my Ketogenic diet, just doing it plant based now. That was a little adjustment that I had to get used to. I eat lots of fatty nuts, seeds, coconut and avocado oils to keep up my fat intake. I must say, plant based keto rocks! So does the energy boost, along with the lean muscle gains and veins popping out in my body now!
So, I cut out all the animal meats, but I do make sure I supplement properly to get all the nutrients that I need daily. I use BCAA's, Organic Muscle's Plant Protein Powder, Non-GMO plant based Creatine and I make sure to take enough Chlorella. One tablespoon of this green algae provides 210% of your B12 and 27% of your Iron, along with many other nutrients. B12 and Iron are particularly important for non meat eaters though, so this is a go-to for vegetarians and vegans alike. For more info on how to supplement properly and what you should take, check out this blog on supplementation as well as this one on the vegan diet.
That covers the nutrients that you may lack without meat. Now I want to get into the good stuff, the food! My favorite plant based "Meat" company has to be Beyond Meat. This company has reinvented what it means to be a non-meat eater. The Beyond Meat CEO, Ethan Brown, thinks the future is meatless. I cant blame him with the awesome plant based meat products that his company makes, like the "Beyond Burger" that bleeds and tastes like a burger, or the "Beyond Sausage" that is so close to a brat, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
I have a Meal Plan for everyday of the week. Monday's dinner meal plan is "Beyond Burgers" or "Beyond Sausage". The Beyond Burger packs a whopping 20g of protein from peas, 20g of fat from coconut and canola oils, 30% of your iron and 25% of your phosphorus, with only 2 net carbs! Not only do these burgers taste great, but they are packed with great nutrients that you need when you don't eat meat.
The Beyond Sausage isn't a slouch either. It has 16g of protein from peas, rice and faba beans, 12g of fat from coconut and sunflower oils, 230mg of potassium and 22% of your iron intake for the day. With plant based products this good, there is no reason to even eat meat!
This next company also makes some great tasting, plant based, meat substitutes that I really enjoy like there "Mandarin Orange, Crispy Chick'n", "Teriyaki Chick'n Strips", "Sweet & Sour, Porkless Bites" and there "Meatless Meatballs". I will break these down individually based on the days of the week I would typically eat them.
We went over Monday's dinner plan, Tuesday's dinner is going to get its own blog, then Wednesday is Chinese day! This is when I make the "Mandarin Orange, Crispy Chick'n", "Teriyaki Chick'n Strips" and "Sweet & Sour, Porkless Bites". The mandarin chick'n has 10g of plant protein mostly from non-gmo soy, along with 4.5g of fat and 10% of your iron intake. The teriyaki chick'n has 14g of the same protein, along with 8% of your iron and 5g of fat from non-gmo canola. Last but not least, the sweet and sour porkless bites have 13g of protein from the same sources, 3g of fat and 10% of your iron.
While these products are not the most nutrient dense, being combined with supplementation can lead to a healthy well balanced diet, without just eating peas and beans for your protein. I have to make sure I am getting my plant based fats for ketosis elsewhere on the days I eat these foods. Thats why food logging apps like Wholesome are so handy to have. You can keep track of your nutrients throughout the day and tweak what you eat, based on the nutrients you need!
I have saved one of my favorite meals for last. That is Saturday nights spaghetti dinner with "Meatless Meatballs". These meatless meatballs taste so good, they have me wondering if places have been selling plant based meatballs disguised as meat the whole time! Three meatless meatballs have 15g of plant protein, 7g of fat, 300mg of potassium and 20% of your iron intake! You cant get any better than that, paired with some gluten free noodles and an organic, sugar free sauce!
The Meatless Mania has only just begun! With more people looking out for their own health and wellness, while being concerned with the treatment and conditions animals live in, non-meat eating diets are on the rise and rising faster all the time. It's not just a trend either, more professional athletes and fitness professionals are switching to a meat-free diet. But what about no meat, no muscle? Yeah right, look at these guys from Team Organic Muscle!