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8 Protein Packed Meals

If you are wanting to lose body fat, improve performance or simply be a healthy human being, how much protein you are eating is something that you want to pay attention to. However, protein tends to be something that is difficult to add to the mix of your meals or snacks.

I know that I am always on the hunt for simple and easy high protein meals so I want to share some of my go-to options with you but first I want to tell you “why” you should actually care about how much protein you should eat. Because I don’t know about you but I like to know “why” I am doing something before I do it!

What is protein?

Protein is best known for the role that it plays in muscle growth and recovery. It’s not uncommon to correlate eating protein with working out. Right? However, protein is essential for many other reasons, including contributing to immune function and maintaining fluid balance, hormones, and neurotransmitter production. 

How much protein do you need? 

The acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) for protein is for it to be 10-35% of your total daily calorie intake, and the RDA is 0.8g/kg. However, this amount is relatively modest, so if you are looking to have a protein goal, then 1.2-2.0g/kg of body weight can be an excellent place to start.

How to include protein into your day

  • Download my list of protein sources and include 1 source in each meal every day.
  • Aim for at least a palm-sized portion in your meals.
  • Look for high protein snacks such as greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or roasted chickpeas. 
  • Try out the meal ideas below! 

Meal Ideas

Protein Oatmeal

1/2 cup oatmeal

3/4 cup egg whites

1/2 cup strawberries

1/4 cup blueberries

1 tbsp nut butter

 

Egg Scramble

1/3 cup egg whites + 2 eggs

2 slices turkey bacon

2 tbsp chopped mushroom

1 tbsp chopped onion

4 cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup spinach

 

Steak Salad

3 oz strip steak

1/4 cup black beans

1 cup mixed greens

2 oz tomato

2 oz guacamole

1 oz shredded cheese

 

Protein Pancakes

1 scoop protein powder

2 eggs

1 banana

1 tbsp nut butter

1/2 cup syrup

 

Yogurt Parfait

1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup mixed berries

2 tbsp granola

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp chia seeds

 

Burger

4 oz 93/7 ground beef

1 whole-wheat bun

1 slice cheese

2 oz tomato

1 oz onion

lettuce

 

Tofu Bowl

1/4 cup Banza chickpea rice

4 oz firm tofu

2 oz broccoli

1/2 cup diced red peppers

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp low sodium soy sauce

 

Chicken Tacos

3 corn tortillas

4 oz chicken

1/4 cup bell peppers

1/4 cup shredded cheese

2 tbsp avocado

3 tbsp pico de gallo

18 Vegetarian Protein Sources

Meat-free ≠ low protein

Yep, you read that right!

If you have made the transition from eating meat to following a meat-free diet, you may have found it tough to get enough protein in.  This makes total sense because you removed a group of foods that helped to bump up your daily protein intake. However, with a bit of work and intention, you can still get the protein you need into your diet while keeping animal protein out of your diet.

Why is it still important that you are eating enough protein?

Well, protein has many important roles in your body. It is most well known for its role in muscle growth and recovery. However, it also contributes to immune function and maintaining fluid balance, hormones, and neurotransmitter production.  So even if you aren’t working out regularly or you don’t have specific goals in the gym, your body still needs protein.

How much protein do you need? 

The acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) for protein is for it to be 10-35% of your total daily calorie intake, and the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 0.8g/kg. However, this amount is pretty low and it should be looked at as more of a minimum. So if you are looking to have a protein goal, then 1.2-2.0g/kg of body weight can be an excellent place to start.

 

Meat-Free Protein Sources

(grams of protein per 100g raw)

 

Other meat-free protein sources can include broccoli, mushrooms, green peas, or peanut butter.  Depending on what you are comfortable with within the realm of animal products, other protein sources to consider could be greek yogurt, eggs,  cheese, and milk.  It’s all about what YOU are comfortable with and what makes you feel good — body & mind.

 

Curious to learn how you can learn how to tailor your nutrition for YOU? Apply for 1-1  nutrition coaching.