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how do I eat vegetarian while lifting weights?

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I'm going to be starting lifting weights soon and I'm curious how can I eat vegetarian while doing so. My grocery budget is about 10 dollars a week, yes seriously, so I need some cheap ideas. I'm not opposed to animal products they are just too expensive at the moment. Does anyone have recipe ideas? I can look up actual recipies on the internet but I just can't come up with any ideas.

Please help!!

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I have no clue!!  When lifting, I have to eat tons of protein, otherwise I am constantly starving!  I was trying to be a vegetarian, but it just wasn't gonna happen.  So now I stick to free range and only have meat once every day or two.

well beans are high in protein but I am just running out of ideas. I have beans coming out of my ears..............

Beans! Beans! Beans! Buying them dried is super cheap and they have lots of protein for a small serving. Check out navy beans, chickpeas and lentils, specifically.

Milk. I've read that drinking chocolate milk can be better than anything else after a workout.

Peanut butter. A 32-ounce jar of natural PB runs about $3.50 here and lasts our family of four for weeks.

Edit: Didn't see your reply before posting mine. Beans and nuts are going to be your best source of protein if you're going to stay away from meat. On the other hand, you can get a whole chicken for very little money and it goes a long way if you roast it and eat the meat and then use the carcass and refuse to make broth.

Edit 2: Feed 4 for $10. I'm assuming it's just you that you're feeding on $10/week but if you don't mind eating the same thing multiple days in a row, those recipes might work for you.

You can try to find some eggs that are on sale or buy a bulk package of them. They are great for protein, and you can make then many different ways so they don't get boring. If you know anyone with a membership to a warehouse club you should be able to get a large package for cheap.

Cottage cheese is also good and can be paired with lots of things, veggies or fruit or nuts or whatever you have on hand.

What are you already doing with beans? I'd recommend trying out lots of different kinds of bean soups, perhaps some three-bean (or however many you feel like) salad, throwing cooked beans in with some pasta and tomato sauce, making a hearty chili and things like that if you haven't tried some of those.

Buy lentils from the bulk section...super cheap, super easy to cook. Lentils + Rice = complete protein. You can make stews, salads, side dishes...or you can cook them to a broth to have something hearty.

Hummus as a condiment replacement helps add a little protein. For sandwiches, veggie burgers, etc.

We sub quinoa for rice as well, it has a *little* more protein. Cooks faster too:)

I have been vegetarian since August, I lift and swim competitively and have not had any problem with performance or fatigue.

Ooooh...vegetarian refried beans are pretty delicious too:) High in calories, but good if you are active.

Original Post by dtidey74:

I'm not opposed to animal products they are just too expensive at the moment. Does anyone have recipe ideas?

Canned tuna can be cheap. You can stock up if you see it on sale.

Other ideas were already mentioned (eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc). Tofu is also quite cheap, especially if you buy it at an Asian grocery store.


Yep, what others said. Lentils, beans, soy, peanuts/butter, oats (they have a surprising amount of protein!!!), seitan (buy wheat gluten in bulk and make it yourself, buying prepared seitan is obscenely expensive).


Good luck!

Original Post by dtidey74:

I'm going to be starting lifting weights soon and I'm curious how can I eat vegetarian while doing so.

I actually find it very difficult to eat anything solid while lifting.  I mean how can you expect to hold onto a fork and barbell at the same time.  I do use meal replacement shakes for a quick meal before-hand..

Oh wait.. You could read the articles I posted here on building muscle on a plant based diet for some ideas on what to eat.

skwinkle, I'm mostly eating lentils and rice together. I cook the lentils in beef broth with onions and mix them with rice, navy beans, whatever I've already cooked ahead of time. I want to make veggie burgers but I wouldn't know which ways are the best.

I love hummus but for some reason I can't stand garlic in it so I make my own.

Thank you guys for all your advice!!

10 Replies