We all know that protein is an essential part of a healthy diet and even more important for training as it is the building blocks for our muscles. Protein is imperative after a hard workout to help rebuild our muscles to become stronger after we rip them apart running, or working out.
Protein can be a challenge to get in your diet, especially if you are a vegetarian like us. But it doesn’t have to be!! You might be surprised with how easy it is to sneak proteins (that actually taste good!) into your daily eats. Protein leaves you feeling fuller longer, helps re-build and build muscle fibres and helps lower total body fat. Here are our top easy protein containing foods to get into your diet to get you fitter, stronger, and recovering better!
- quinoa: Quinoa is a major staple in our diets. Instead of making rice for dinner, try quinoa instead. This protein-packed grain is versatile and seriously delicious. Use instead of pasta, serve it with veggies, or add cooked quinoa to pancake batter for a pop of flavor — and extra protein!
- Beans:Tossing a handful of pinto, black, cannelini or chick peas into a recipe boosts flavor and adds a kick of protein. Beans are really easy to add into salads, stir-fries, wraps and veggie mixes.
- Add protein powder: Protein powder is just about the easiest way to sneak protein into all your diet. Scoop into your smoothie, add to baking, morning oatmeal/cereal or even salad dressing. If you are vegan, don’t assume protein powder is off the table for you as there are lots of plant-based rice, soy, or hemp powders to get that much-needed boost. Our favourite is Hammer Nutriton Vegan Vanilla. (Use code Runlikeagirl15 to get 15% off your order!)
- Avocado:Avocado is hands down my favourite food and you can add it to so many things. Along with adding a smooth flavor, avocados are packed with protein and are high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), which helps diminish belly fat. Add it to salads, on top of veggie bowls, in wraps or sandwiches, a few slices with breakfast, an omelet, simple guacamole and chips… the list goes on.
- Chia Seeds: With a whopping 11 grams of protein per 2-tablespoon serving, a sprinkle of chia seeds adds flavor and crunch to any meal. They taste amazing in salads, sprinkled over yogurt and oatmeal. Recently I’ve started making Chia seed pudding!
-2 cups Coconut milk
-½ cup Chia Seeds
-½ teaspoon vanilla extract
-¼ cup (or less) maple syrup (or sub any sweetener)
Add all ingredients expect for chia seeds and Blend. Then add chia seeds and let sit in a container over night in the fridge!
- Sweet peas:Toss a handful of fresh peas in your salad or soup for a big pop of fresh flavor and 8 grams of protein per cup.
- Greek Yogurt:I love adding berries, coconut flakes and chia seeds to a bowl of greek yogurt. It is low in fat and easy, quick snack to get protein in. Add it to smoothies to thicken them up. Plus, it has amazing probiotics in it which are great for digestion and healthy flora in our digestive systems!
- Tofu:Tofu is easy to add to recipes without even realizing it! Tofu is really easy to cook with as it easily absorbs whatever flavor you are using. There are so many ways that sneak this creamy protein into your diet.
- Artichoke:If you’re already a fan of this unique veggie, get excited because one medium artichoke has just about 4 grams of protein. If you haven’t tried it before, you now have a good excuse to! It is filled with healthy iron and calcium, one medium choke also has 20 percent of your daily fiber needs.
- Cottage cheese:One cup of low-fat cottage cheese has an astonishing 28 grams of protein, so it’s a smart option when you’re in need of a snack. And if you’re not a fan of that cottage cheese tang, part-skim ricotta cheese is another option with one cup equaling the same amount of protein. You can also add fruit to a cup of cottage cheese to mask the tangy flavour.
- Eggs:My husband always says his secret to abs is eggs everyday. With six grams of protein per egg, chop hard-boiled eggs and sprinkle over salads for extra protein and healthy nutrients such as omega-3s, which helps your heart and lowers cholesterol. An egg or two with breakfast is a super easy and healthy way to add protein in the morning.
- Nuts:Snacking on nuts is a delicious and easy way to get protein in easily. Almonds top the charts with six grams of protein per one ounce serving, with cashews taking second with five grams per one ounce handful. You can add almonds to baked good or sprinkle over your salad at lunch or just by the handful. They make an awesome mid-run snack as well!
- Broccoli:All green leafy veggies are high in protein, but broccoli is the big winner with eight grams of protein per cup of the good stuff. I am personally not a fan of raw broccoli, but dicing it up small and adding it to stir-fry is an easy way to get it down the hatch.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeal has three times the protein of brown rice with less starch and more fiber. It’s also a great source of magnesium, calcium, and B vitamins. I love it in the mornings before a run. There are also lots of smoothie recipes that you can add oats to. (1/2 banana, 1 tbs almond butter, almond milk, 1/4 oats, 1 scoop protein powder, ice)