There’s no question that protein is a vital nutrient in our bodies. It’s not only a primary component of our muscles, hair, skin, nails, internal organs, brain, and connective tissue, but it also makes hormones that regulate our body chemistry. Truly, the benefits of eating this powerful macronutrient are endless.
That being said, sometimes it’s tempting to make meals out of just fat and carbs. The ingredients are not only delicious but they can seemingly be more convenient to work with at times when you don’t feel like grilling up more meat or poultry.
But the main problem is that many of us think that eating more protein involves having chicken with every meal or some other ridiculously bland protein to meet our daily requirements. You’ll be happy to hear that there are lots of sneaky, tasty ways to up your protein intake, which is precisely what today’s blog post is all about.
Ways to Get More Protein
Embrace protein powder.
Protein powder is amazing because it’s full of protein (duh) but also extremely versatile. The good news is that there are a lot of protein powders out there that come in so many delicious flavours, from vanilla and chocolate to banana cream pie and coconut almond.
Protein powder can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt. And when it comes to smoothies, I find a fantastic benefit of adding a scrumptious protein powder is that it can mask the taste of some not-so-great-tasting ingredients you might want to include like spirulina or maca (which I personally don’t like the taste of).
MY TRICK: Add some protein powder to some plain organic yogurt and stir it well. Leave it overnight and in the morning it will taste like pudding!
2. Have high-protein snacks on hand.
Hard boiled eggs make a fantastic high-protein snack and are a convenient option since you can make a big batch at one time to enjoy throughout the week. Like protein-powder, eggs are also extremely versatile and can be enjoyed on their own, whipped up into an omelette, poached, you name it!
Jerky is another great option and comes in beef, chicken, and turkey flavours nowadays. Just opt for the organic, low-sodium varieties whenever you can!
3. Go Greek.
Greek yogurt is a great choice for people who need more protein in their day since 1 cup has 23g of protein! Just make sure you’re getting the plain variety; the other ones are filled with sugar!
Have problems with lactose? Icelandic yogurt is also extremely high in protein but naturally contains the enzymes that help your body digest lactose. Give it a go and see if it agrees with you.
MY TRICK: Add some plain kefir to your Greek yogurt to get some additional probiotics into your day.
4. Cottage cheese is your friend.
Cottage cheese is another high-protein snack option that is very versatile. It can be enjoyed with raw fruit slices like orange or cantaloupe or blended with spices to make a high-protein vegetable dip. You could even spread it on a wrap in place of your typical, fattening, store-bought salad dressing.
5. Throw some hemp on it.
Hemp seeds are a source of plant-based protein that can be sprinkled into oatmeal, cereals, smoothies, fruit, dips, and practically anything really given their mild taste. One tablespoon of hemp seeds provides about 3.6g of protein. And while it might not sound like a lot, it’s an easy way to add a bit of this helpful nutrient to your snacks.
6. Switch up your proteins.
Sometimes it’s hard to stomach the idea of eating any more protein because you’ve just been eating chicken, chicken, and more chicken all week. Try switching up the protein itself and also how you’re using it. Pork, beef, fish, or turkey are all high sources of protein and can be used to make breakfast sausages, burger patties, stir fries, etc. Get creative!
7. Trick yourself.
If you’re the type of person that really doesn’t feel like eating protein a lot of the time, a good trick is to cut it up into small pieces and add it to delicious salads with healthy, scrumptious dressings. For example, I’ll add some thinly-sliced chicken pieces into a delicious tabouleh salad. The parsley, mint, and other herbs in the salad make it so delicious that I barely notice chicken is even there!
8. No meat? No problem!
There are plenty of plant-based sources of protein that can be incorporated into meals, such as green peas, edamame, tofu, quinoa, freekeh, nuts, or seeds. Make a salad using some of these ingredients to increase its overall protein content.
The Bottom Line
Adding more protein to your diet doesn’t have to be too complicated. Have eggs for breakfast to start your day out right, incorporate some yummy-flavoured protein powder into smoothies or yogurts, have high-protein snacks on standby, and change up the protein you’re using regularly. Protein is an indispensable nutrient, so using these tips to get adequate amounts will help prevent muscle wasting, slow metabolism, and a poor immune system!
You Tell Me!
What tips and tricks do you use to get more protein into your day? Let me know in the comments below!