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Vegetarian Sources of Protein for Building Muscle

vegetarian sources of proteinOne of my readers, Manoj, asked how he could follow a low-carb bodybuilding diet like MANS while being a vegetarian.

Manoj eats eggs so that’s a great protein source that should form a staple in a vegetarian, high-protein diet.

I hope you eat other diary products too as that will make life a lot easier. Cheeses, cream and butter will make life easier for you.


eggsBreakfast is definitely eggs – any way you wish:

* Scrambled
* Poached
* Boiled
* Fried
* As an omelette with some mushrooms & tomato

By the way, I’m not a vegetarian and I have eggs for breakfast 95% of the time.


tofuAs for substituting meat on your dinner plate try:

* tofu
* soy beans
* meat substitutes like
Morning Star Farms


A great snack idea is a whey protein shake made with cream and water. This ensures you get enough protein and fat, while keeping carb intake low.walnuts

almondsNuts should factor highly in your diet too. The 2 nuts I consume regularly are walnuts and almonds. These are a great source of protein and fat. They are also the lowest-carb nuts out there. Sometimes I take a handful of these nuts, crush them and pour over 100 ml of heavy cream. Then I mix in a spoonful of granulated splenda to sweeten – delicious!

Also, instead of meat snacks you can have nut-based ones instead. Try the Go-Lower bar for a low-carb, high protein snack.

Snacking on (unprocessed) cheese is a good choice too. I LOVE relaxing with some cheese cubes with a cup of creamy coffee :)
Another great product for you is natural nut butters. I recommendnatural nut butter

Not only are these good for filling a low carb wrap, but you can use them in conjunction with whey protein powder to make your own protein bars that you can prepare in advance and have on-the-go.

Any flour recipe can be made by replacing the flour with either Soy Protein Isolate, Almond Flour, or a combination of both. I love making protein pancakes from soy protein isolate, eggs and heavy cream – one of my favorite late-night snacks.

I hope this gives you some ideas Manoj. Also for you, and all other vegetarians, here are some books I found on the subject to help make your low-carb vegetarian life easier.

The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet: The Fast, No-Hunger Weightloss Diet for Vegetarians

Carb Conscious Vegetarian: 150 Delicious Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle

Yummidy!: A low carb guide and meatless cook book

The Protein-Powered Vegetarian: From Meat to Vegetable Protein : A Cookbook With Spirit
Low Carb Vegetarian

You certainly can build muscle mass on a vegetarian diet. I hope some of these tips make meatless, bodybuilding easier and more delicious.

Do you know of any other vegetarian sources of protein? Please leave a comment below if you do to help others reading this article.

Stay Motivated!


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Mark McManus
Mark McManus
Mark is now available for 1-on-1 consultations to help you take your results to the next level. Click here for more details.
Mark McManus is a trainer & author from Ireland. His work has been featured in major publications all over the world. He is the creator of the free growth-promoting workout Targeted Hypertrophy Training' (THT) and author of the NEW fat-torching system Total Six Pack Abs.
He has also created the BREAKTHROUGH arm and chest maximizer programs The Arms Blast' and 'Chest Blast' workouts.
And if you're a fan of delicious high-protein recipes to fuel your muscle growth, check out his cook book 'Buff Baking' here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Parth January 24, 2008, 9:05 pm

    Hey, amazing post. I’ll definetely be including some of these ideas into my diet. You forgot about cottage cheese though. Thats a really nice, lean source of protien. Meat subsitutes are the best!

  • Cure Fungus Toenail Gal May 1, 2008, 4:09 am

    Excellent post on building muscle on a vegetarian diet. Thanks for sharing all your words or wisdom:-)

  • Martin Samaritan August 3, 2008, 4:13 pm

    If you care about your body, check out the product “Splenda” before considering to eat it. And especially before advertising it!
    It`s poison.

  • Gerry December 20, 2008, 4:02 am

    Splenda? That recommendation brings into question your other recommendations, which I happen to like. You may want to remove Splenda and all artificial sweeteners for that matter, use natural honey instead. Other than that, great post.

  • Karan April 24, 2009, 4:54 pm

    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for this, I am a vegetarian also. I just wanted to ask you about soy and estrogen. I have been so confused about this topic and not sure if I should avoid soy or what, because there are not as many other options for us.

    I have read that eating soy causes estrogen levels to rise, which is detrimental to bodybuilding..what of this is true?

    Thanks a lot in advance and keep up the good work!

  • пapaзит August 26, 2009, 4:05 am

    Да, я с таким тоже сталкивался :)

  • me October 21, 2009, 10:35 am

    Cheese is not vegetarian whatsoever. Most cheese is made using rennet which comes from slaughtered cows.

  • Jack October 25, 2009, 12:24 am

    Just wanted to clear up the statement about rennet and cheese. I’ve been a vegetarian for many years and follow the subject closely. Rennet can also come from vegetable and microbial sources as well. This is especially true from the larger manufacturers as these sources are easier to obtain. When in doubt just check the source! (hello Mr. Google!)
    P.S. this is a great site, thank you for all the info you provide!

  • peter February 1, 2010, 9:53 am

    Actually, for the splenda naysayers, you should read up on science journals pertaining to splenda. It is perfectly fine.