A while back, I made-up and took a “Nerdy Girl Survey” in which I answered a simple question: What is your favorite protein?
I gave a ‘nerdy’ answer, followed by a ‘foodie’ answer (any seitan fanatics out there ?), but recently, I’ve been more focused on adding more protein and fat to my diet in order to meet my current fitness goals. I thought I would share a couple of my protein-fortified eats from the past few weeks in honor of the macronutrient I am trying to make more prevalent in my life (not to sound overly dramatic, at all ).
Tried and True
Peanut butter is a no-brainer when it comes down to identifying a good protein and fat-rich food source. I’ve always paired it with a carb-based vehicle (like bread) or yogurt, so it was no surprise that I used it to coat these protein-fortified, oatmeal-based Thomas english muffins.
A good dollop goes a long way, and it added an additional 9 grams of protein to the 15 grams of protein already in this Voskos blueberry yogurt. This yogurt+PB combo was eaten about two hours before my challenging 13 miler this past Sunday…
Cottage cheese is one of those foods that I always have to take a break from once in a while, but when I do happen to have it in my fridge, my craving for it is at an all-time high. I love how it can work as a great binding agent in baking, and can work in both savory and sweet combinations. But pairing it with some organic peanut butter—just like how I do with my greek yogurts—is the classic way to go. This was my bedtime snack for four consecutive nights…
As a vegetarian, I never take soy “meat” or tofu for granted as a vital protein source. At no time did I ever feel left out of the meat-eating experience of my carnivore friends because I felt that the alternate option was good enough for me! The soy meat industry has definitely evolved for the better over the years in regards to product offering, but sometimes it’s best to stick to the classics. For some crockpot dinners several nights ago, I cut up my veggies as usual, but threw in some chopped Tofurky hot dog links. With 10 grams of protein per link, it was easy to balance out my complex carbs and protein ratio in one simple-but-filling meal.
To have more fun with the “protein hunting” process, I wanted to try and incorporate foods I never really got ahold of in the past due to fear/cost/just not thinking of them at the time.
There used to be a time where I shunned both avocados and egg yolks because of their high fat content. I’m glad I’m no longer that naïve or fearful of this important macronutrient—otherwise I would have continued to miss out on this nutrient-rich snack of mashed avocados and harboiled eggs. Mixed with some garlic herb seasoning and apple cider vinegar, this snack was exactly what I needed to replenish my muscles after a morning of lifting.
Avocados may not be as protein-rich as eggs, but when paired together, the total nutritional profile just can’t be beat!
Paleo bread from Julian’s Bakery is a pricey find, but worth it in my opinion. When comparing the coconut and plain flavors, I found myself to be a fan of the coconut flavor…but when I surrendered $10.99 to the cashier at Whole Foods for the almond flavor loaf one weekend, I think I changed sides.
The slices had the perfect amount of moisture, sweetness, and when topped with slices of goat cheese gouda, made for another winning protein-rich snack!
But I was too quick in my decision to try the cinnamon flavor though—in my opinion, the slices were rough, dry, and lacked cinnamon, let alone any flavor at all.
Even with peanut butter, these slices were subpar. Perhaps now that I restocked my fridge with some havarti, I should see if this loaf has similar potential to that of the almond flavor…
The priciest, but easiest, way to pack in daily protein is definitely through some sort of protein powder. With the different options nowadays—and expensive costs—it can be intimidating to choose where to even start. I realized that since I was getting a lot of my protein from dairy and soy, it may be in my best interest to get a protein powder from a different protein source like plants. I narrowed down my choices, and after a visit to Vitamin Shoppe (while picking up my weekly box of Quest bars ), I decided to give the PlantFusion Cookies N Cream flavor a go (it also helped that I had a $25 award certificate from all the points I racked up in 2014 due to all of my Quest bar purchases ).
A 30 gram serving packs in 21 grams of protein from pea, artichoke, amaranth, and quinoa. Mixed with a 1/2 cup of milk, I made a hybrid shake/pudding and paired it with two Quest bars one afternoon as a reward for myself after a busy morning in lab.
It was a protein-rich take on cookies and milk, if you will…
My fitness goals for my personal well-being and marathon training have directed me towards placing an emphasis on the protein and fat in my daily intake, and it has given me the opportunity to try new products and experiment with different combinations and sources. It’s been less than a month since making this transition, but I’m looking forward to discovering new ways and products that embody ‘protein love’.
What is your protein love?