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Part-time Foodie: Protein - Muscle Food!


I must say that sticking with a particular style of eating - Atkins, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers, Low-Carb, Whole30, etc. has never appealed to me I simply don’t like all the disagreement on what’s vitally healthy and what’s considered slow poison. If I’m going to eat a certain way, I want it to be more universally accepted.

I believe that quite firmly until it comes to meat. To my mind, Paleo has the best policy about meats and protein. The Paleo pattern is to consume meat or another source of protein with every meal. Eggs, chicken, beef, lamb, protein powders, etc. I. Love. This. Plan.


I know it is contradictory to vegetarians, so I will harbor no hard feelings if you skip this post. However, every diet plan I have a higher tolerance for (Trim Healthy Mama, Whole30, Paleo) advocates or allows lots of meat consumption. Moreover in one dish meat supplies all of the essential amino acids your body needs for building protein. Protein is, under a very basic understanding, used to construct your body. Your muscles are obviously related to protein, but so, so many other parts of your body need protein too! Moreover, Chris Kresser explores the issues of high cholesterol in his book Your Personal Paleo Code and it is not actually directly linked to red meats! Eating foods that are high in cholesterol do not necessarily raise your cholesterol because of nutrient density issues - something we’ll cover more later.


First things first: Where to get protein? The simple answer is anywhere. The most important thing about protein is that you’re eating it. Keep a bag of frozen chicken breasts. Look for small cuts of more expensive meat. Eat eggs. Get a protein powder and make power smoothies. Stock cans of tuna, splurge on some salmon or tilapia or shrimp.

What kind of protein? If you’re regularly eating protein and have the finances to be a bit more careful about what you eat, find out where your protein is coming from. Your meats, eggs and protein powders will be best for you if they were raised in healthy ways. Look for grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and eggs. Find a protein powder that doesn’t have any processed foods in it, no sugar, and/or doesn’t contain any dairy. Personally I use an organic, plant-based protein powder, or a dairy-based one that contains only the protein from dairy - that’s it. Just the two ingredients. For seafoods, look for anything that’s wild-caught.

How to eat protein: Protein is easy to add to meals once you’re intentional about it. (I know - the catch, right?) For breakfasts, fry some bacon or sausage. Cook some eggs, put them in a low-carb tortilla for a burrito. Make a protein smoothie - flavors and options are nearly endless. Add some grilled chicken to your salads, or saute some frozen chicken and vegetables together for lunch or dinner. Sometimes I’ll buy a strange cut of meat just so I have to look up and learn new recipes! Seafoods go well with tart, acidic fruits. Tuna can be eaten as a steak (YUM!) a salad, or a tuna melt.

 

Recipes: I don’t have room to type out some of my recipes for you, so I’ve linked them. All of these can be found on Pinterest as well!
Chicken Bake
Salmon and Asparagus
Stuffed Peppers
Slow-cooker Chicken

Enjoy!

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