My Favorite Ways to Eat More Protein

Over the past few months, I’ve shared how one of my focus areas is building more muscle.  One component of this is eating protein.  On the one hand, I believe our bodies intuitively know what it needs in terms of nutrients. For example, I tend to crave a juicy burger right around my period.  On the other hand, I know myself.  I can easily eat the same meals on repeat to avoid decision fatigue.

Once I became conscious about my protein intake, I started experimenting, sometimes going against my intuition (eating meat when I didn’t want to) or routine (eating eggs for breakfast instead of oats).  After six months, I’ve struck a nice balance, emphasizing as much plant protein as possible.  Here are some of my favorite ways to get protein.

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Protein oats

Your girl could eat some form of oats every morning.  My spinach overnight oats, standard issue oatmeal with fruit in it, cake made of oat flour for breakfast…I love them all.  As far as grains go, oats do offer some protein, but by adding a scoop of protein powder, I can get more than a third of the way to my recommended protein intake for the day (aiming for 0.7 grams per pound of body weight).  The Truvani vanilla protein powder is my favorite.

Protein smoothies

In a million years, I never saw myself willingly consuming a protein smoothie as a meal replacement.  Sure, I’ll occasionally be in the mood for the one I love from Rose Bakery in Paris.  However, I always thought of these more as companions to say, a croissant, rather than a full meal.  The thing about protein is it really satisfies, and by adding a scoop of protein powder, I’m set for hours.  Plus, I love blending in spinach because you can’t taste it, but those leafy greens do wonders for my skin.  In addition to the aforementioned Truvani protein powder, I also like Sakara’s Protein + Greens Super Powder. If you are a Sakara customer, their Clean Protein Smoothie features this powder. (Psst, new code is JENSAKARA.)

Protein salads

Kale tofu (or chicken) Caesar salad – I LOVE a kale Caesar salad.  The thing about tofu is that it’s ready to eat straight from the package, but it doesn’t taste like anything unless you sauce it up.  I started making my own kale Caesar using Mother Raw Caesar Dressing.  This dressing is so good that when I’m starving, I’ll dip raw veggies in it to snack on while cooking dinner.  Anyway, I throw enough tofu in with the kale in to make a protein impact and dress the heck out of the salad.  It’s so good.  Another option is to use grilled chicken, which is a more classic combination.

Protein snacks

I eat a Sakara protein bar nearly every afternoon to get me from lunch to dinner.  I like the metabolism or energy ones, which each contain 12 grams of protein.  I’ve also gotten into Chomps meat sticks, especially the turkey one, which contain 9-12 grams of protein.  Sometimes I’ll pair this with my usual workday lunch of lentil soup for a protein boost.

Plant protein is tricky. While foods like beans and lentils contain protein, the amount I’d have to consume to reach my protein goal would leave me bloated (or worse 🙊).  When I tried eating more meat, however, my skin started looking dull.  I’m not a scientist, but I suspect it’s because I wasn’t eating my usual amount of fruits and vegetables, which are full of hydration and antioxidants.  Protein, on the other hand, absorbs moisture.  The most obvious proof of this is how much more water I need when making my oatmeal with protein powder versus without. 

That’s why it’s so important for me to pay attention to more than just a “recommended amount”.  Every time I wrote “my protein goal” in this post, I cringed because it’s more about being aware of getting enough protein to support healthy muscle mass rather than being dogmatic about getting to a certain number.

All that said, I’m definitely more satiated when I have a decent amount of protein at a meal, which balances my blood sugar and avoids a hangry Jen.  And a Jen who is not hangry is a worthwhile goal indeed.

3 thoughts on “My Favorite Ways to Eat More Protein”

  1. 😄 sister, you rock! I learned so much and was giggling the whole time(as per usual). High fives and hugs to you and your experiment! It is so cool to hear about. Thank you for teaching us all! So much love your way and buckets of gratitude 🤗💗

  2. As long as I can remember, I have included protein with every meal. (Atkins Diet 19 96) It keeps the hunger away as well as my low blood sugar feeling. My go to protein on the go is a bag of almonds or a bar with protein. Like you I choose fish over meat , but I do love a juicy steak once in a while. I have not learned to like tofu. I think it’s the texture I can’t do.
    Keep up the good work. 😘

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