During wellness visit I frequently find myself discussing with patients how they can incorporate more protein into their diet. Why? Adding protein into snacks and meals will keep you feeling fuller longer and it cannot be broken down into fat. Protein is the Energizer bunny to keep you going long after your 100 calorie high carbohydrate snack has worn off. So how can you make protein work for you?
“I don’t like eggs!” Consider non-fat greek yogurt. One cup can pack as many as 14 grams of protein.
“I am vegetarian.” Canned beans tossed into a salad is a great way to sneak some protein into a meal.
“Breakfast is my hardest meal because I am always short on time.” Quinoa is an ancient grain that contains both carbohydrates AND protein. Oatmeal meets Atkins.
This is a super easy breakfast that can be made the night before and quickly heated in the am:
So Easy Breakfast Quinoa Bake
- Cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water until all water is absorbed (just like rice)
- Stir together 2 cups low fat milk (I use an almond coconut blend by Blue Diamond), 4 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp each ground cardamom, ground ginger and ground cloves, stir mixture into cooked quinoa
- Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes until top springs. It should have the consistency of rice pudding. Stir after 15-20 minutes to keep the cinnamon from burning to the side of the pan.
- Serve the next day with milk and berries.
“I don’t want to snack on meat.” How about hummus? Dip away with baby carrots at 2:00pm.
“Chicken is so boring!” I agree! Have you ever tried poaching it in chicken broth with dried spices like Herbs from Provence or thyme? Poaching it cooks it evenly and allows the meat to retain the juices. Cut into strips or dice to add to salads, sandwiches or quesadillas. Added bonus: the pot is so much easier to clean in comparison to the frying pan.
So are you ready to become a Man or Woman of Steel? I challenge you to add ONE new form of protein in your diet and evaluate how you feel. Protein may be the key to your nutritional success that you have been looking for.
Yours in health,