As we become more environmentally-conscious of our food choices, it’s important to know how to do it with your body’s nourishment in mind. Let’s recap a few sources to get in your protein if you’re going plant-based.


Sustainability is top of mind for more and more people, especially as it relates to our food choices to make our kitchens more green.

In fact, there are three simple ways that we can all make more sustainable food choices starting today:

  1. Eat only as much food as you need (as opposed to routinely over-eating)
  2. Minimize food waste as much as possible
  3. Focus on plants, cut back on animal products

The last point is one that many may struggle with, but it’s important to remember that no one is asking you to go vegan tomorrow. In fact, going plant-based is a lot easier than you think. Here are five plant proteins, and how to easily eat them.

1. Chickpeas

Garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) are incredibly versatile, especially in its canned form which makes for a great pantry staple. You can use them to make homemade hummus, add them to salads, or season/roast them to eat for a salty/crunchy snack.

2. Edamame

Edamame is another term for a whole soybean, the highest protein bean or legume out there! Most people are probably familiar with them in the context of their steamed and salted appetizer with sushi, but I also buy them frozen (pre-shelled) so I can add them into stir-fry, noodle dishes or fried rice for color, texture and protein.

3. Peanuts or Peanut Butter

Did you know peanuts are actually a legume, not a nut? You learn something new every day. Of all of the “nuts” that they are generally categorized with, peanuts are the most protein dense with 7 grams per serving.

And there’s way more to PB than just sandwiches, like creamy peanut noodles, or peanut-based salad dressings. You can also add it to smoothies for an extra nutritional punch, or add crushed peanuts to salad or curry as a finishing touch.  

4. Hemp Seeds

These delicious seeds are a relatively newer trend compare to others, with ra nutty taste and softer texture compared to most other seeds. With 10 grams of protein per three tablespoons, these are an easy way to add protein to just about anything. They are also a good source of iron and magnesium.

5. Soy Milk

This is a great alternative to cow’s milk if you are lactose intolerant, or if you just want to experiment with some non-dairy options. Soy is the only milk substitute that is comparable in terms of protein, plus it’s a naturally good source of Omega-3 fatty acids with a natural creaminess. It’s a great coffee creamer, or add it to your oatmeal!

Once you start experimenting, it becomes fun to try some new and interesting foods. When it comes to protein, the key is variety and timing by spreading your intake throughout the day instead of all in one meal.

So get out there, eat well, and save the world while you’re at it.A


Leanne Ray, MS, RDN is a Denver-based Registered Dietitian empowering women to sustain healthy lifestyles that are practical and realistic. By helping others find happiness and joy through delicious foods that don’t involve guilt or stress, she shares how healthy eating can involve satisfaction instead of boring, low-calorie diets. Visit her site to read more from Leanne.