“So let me get this straight: You said I can have BBQ for breakfast?”
That’s right! This month’s challenge is to eat protein with every meal.
We believe, as do most nutrition experts, that high quality protein is the most important food type. Apart from Step 1 of Eat By Design – EAT REAL FOOD FIRST – Eating protein at every meal is the most important step.
Here are 10 tips to make it easy to get protein at every meal.
1. Eat your protein first.
There are many wonderful and healthy reasons you should choose high quality proteins to fill your plate.
- Protein is more satiating than carbohydrates and fats.
- Protein moderates spikes in your blood sugar.
- Protein requires more calories (energy) to digest.
No matter what your meal is comprised of, a simple to implement behavioural modification can be to eat your protein first.
This helps you take better advantage of protein’s positive effects and decreases the chance you’ll consume more of the less than healthy options you have to follow.
2. Replace cereal with eggs.
The majority of breakfast foods are extremely low in protein.
Boxed cereal, oatmeal or bread make up the most common breakfast choices and each is considered a poor source of protein compared to healthy animal products.
Not to fret, the fear about consuming whole eggs has been dispelled and is slowly making its way into the general population.
Each egg contains about 6 grams of protein.
3. Go Greek.
Although we consider dairy a “grey area”, for those who pass the test, choosing Greek yogurt will reduce your sugar dose when compared to most commercial yogurts and boost your protein significantly.
Pro tip: mix in some chocolate whey protein for a tasty protein pudding!
4. Top your salad.
Instead of just lettuce and veggies, add some cooked or leftover protein to your daily salad.
Chicken, salmon, beef and pork all go great.
5. Shake it up.
Ideally, we get our protein mostly from real food sources and stay away from excessive liquid calories but we’re realistic…sometimes it’s just more convenient to grab a dose of protein mixed with some sugar free nut milk (cashew, almond, coconut) and good fat (nut butter, avocado).
6. Be a jerk.
Beef jerky is an easy way to up your protein count and it’s the perfect travel companion.
7. Try cottage country.
Back to the dairy conundrum, if you’re good to go on cow’s milk (we do recommend full fat and fermented sources), cottage cheese is filling, perfect as a salad topper or solo and makes a good carrier for protein powder.
8. Canned can work.
Tuna, salmon, even chicken and turkey in a can are useful variations for adding more protein to your diet.
9. Add protein powder.
Adding grass fed whey protein into a shake is an obvious use but protein powder goes well with baking, mixed into Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and added to a homemade grain free pizza crust.
10. Build from your protein up.
The general principle at work to help build up your protein intake is to start thinking about the sources you have available and building your meal from there.
Instead of starting with rice or pasta, start with your protein in mind and fill your plate with the rest.
Even if you’re not following the Eat By Design principles in full, by choosing to eat protein first and with each meal, you’ll reap the benefits and mitigate the potential negatives that come from making it an afterthought.
What protein tips have you tried that really worked?