Originally Posted by Chocorococo
Your situation sounds a lot like mine. I think it may be because you're not eating enough. Everything has protein. Cheap lazy vegan on YouTube has videos showing how she makes her meals in bulk if that's something you're interested in. But if you feel like you're not getting enough protein/not eating enough, I would get the protein powder. A lot of vegans do it especially when they are just staring out. Plus a smoothie with some protein powder is a convenient way to get a good dosage of your daily intake of vitamins and minerals. I know exactly how it is. I work 7 days a week and when I get home I don't even feel like cooking. For me, I just get a lot of frozen veggies and rice and microwave them. Frozen veggies are super cheap and convenient.
While veggies and rice are great, and provide some protein, adding some canned beans (which require no cooking, only rinsing) would provide a lot more protein AND fiber, iron, calcium (one cup of beans have something like 16% calcium) and a whole host of other nutrients. Or throw in a few tablespoons of raw sunflower seeds.
I have been vegan for 4.5 years and have done very well without a multi vitamin. I do take B12, a vegan friendly calcium supplement, and a vegan vitamin D supplement. For a while I used to take vegan DHA/EPA but the last year or so I haven't been and I haven't noticed any difference.
I use protein powders on occasion but not every day. I use them in smoothies but also in pumpkin/banana and a few other dishes. I have tried the following brands and like all of these:
(Vega protein and greens; like this one the most as it provides a good bit of calcium and has a nice amino acid profile and the taste is very smooth)
(PlantFusion- similar to Vega but less calcium and iron)
(Manitoba Harvest- tastes ok but you have to get used to the off color and it doesn't always mix well with stuff)
(pea protein powder Source Naturals- I think pea protein powder mixes really well with other foods and is very neutral tasting. It tends to be the lowest carb of the bunch and has NO added sugar, but lacks a few of the amino acids that others have)
(Rice Protein powder- is ok, but gritty)
My plant sources of protein:
all kinds of beans...chickpea, black beans, white beans, navy, kidney, red, adzuki, lima, peas, edamame, etc
Seitan (made from vital wheat gluten)
whole grains like quinoa, millet, buckwheat groats, oat groats and oats, bulgur wheat, barley, spelt, etc (also whole wheat pasta, and slices of whole wheat or other grain bread counts as one slice usually has 4 grams of protein so a sandwich with two slices is 8 grams plus whatever you put in it)
broccoli, spinach, collard greens, bok choy, asparagus, carrots, sprouts (so much fun to grow your own!)...
Nutritional yeast (two tablespoons = 8 grams protein)
chia seed, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, nut/seed butters, peanut butter, peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc
Very rarely but occasionally soy yogurts, soy milk, vegan "meats" like Field Roast or Beyond Meat or commercial veggie burgers, cliff or larabars.
When you combine some of these foods in each meal or snack you get more than enough protein for the day and from a variety of sources which means you are meeting all your essential amino acids. I try to get vegetables and grains in every meal and at least one cup of beans each day if not more. Fat sources in nuts/seeds I consume a small quantity of each day to help get omega 3 ALA and so on and they also add a small bit of protein. And while fruit does not have much protein, I include them in several servings each day too as they are awesome snacks and contain a whole host of other nutrients we need (potassium, magnesium, water, fiber, vitamin c....)