Protein, protein, protein. Such a hot topic in the world of vegan & vegetarian diets. When it comes to creating change in the body, as a woman, I noticed a BIG difference in my physical progress when I started incorporating a protein shake post workout. When I started to incorporate 25-30g protein shakes after I trained, my progress accelerated.
Muscles require protein to grow and recover - it's essential - but the female body and related hormones somewhat battle against building lean muscle (which is why it's hard for us to build, maintain & keep muscle - not to mention, why it seems our progress is slower than our male counterparts - their hormones SUPPORT muscle building!).
Female hormones (estrogen & progesterone) do not make it easy put muscle on (I'm speaking about MY body & experience, and this is very general, some women find it much easier than others) but for me and the way I train, post-sweat protein is key! Namastay Sweaty Club, my weekly fitness program, is designed to build lean muscle & burn body fat, helping to change body composition versus the "lose weight" mentality.
Estrogen is metabolized in body fat so your body tries to hold on to fat stores but, by fueling the body with a high protein diet (25-30g per serving) post workout you are helping recover & build the muscle as well as satiating yourself for longer, avoiding those hanger pangs. Having a higher protein diet can be accomplished no matter which diet or lifestyle you subscribe to.
It's one thing for me to explain why protein is important for progress, but another to know how much you should be getting daily. A good target is: your body weight x 1.1= Grams per day. If this whole concept is new to you, as it was for me in the beginning of my journey, you could use an app to track your daily meals to get an idea of if you're getting enough. You could try MyFtinessPal or Cronometer - while I do not track my meals currently, in the beginning I did solely to understand how my normal diet looked from breakdown of carbs, fats & proteins. This may help you adjust where needed to be more mindful.
Check out Aura Nutrition for my favourite local, woman owned protein powder! You can use discount code NAMASTAY15790 for 15% off all products! Their plant based Vanilla protein is my favourite - it's ingredients are clean and nutrient dense, tote 0g sugar (YES!!) and is awesome on it's own with water or in your smoothie.