Healthy Eating for Your Active Lifestyle

Nourish Move Thrive

When we think about high protein foods, many of us instantly picture meat. In my house, we often fill a quarter of our plates with a variety of meats, such as beef, chicken or fish. Although these are excellent sources of protein, there are other high protein foods I keep on hand to meet our protein needs. I have some favourites that work well for breakfast and lunch and help to spread our protein intake throughout the day


Cottage cheese

Eating cottage cheese is a quick and easy way to get protein at breakfast. Because of the way it is made, cottage cheese is very high in protein with 30 grams per cup. Compare that with a 75-gram serving of beef (about the size of the palm of your hand), which provides 26 grams of protein. I enjoy it plain, but you can pair cottage cheese with fresh or frozen fruit, squish it between French toast or serve over a banana with nuts and a bit of berry syrup for a breakfast banana split.  For more recipe ideas, click here.


Eggs

Eggs are an economical source of protein, with 6 grams of protein per egg. They are nutritious and easy to prepare. We enjoy eggs a few times a week:

  • An omelette made with whatever vegetables and cheese we have in the fridge is a quick supper for busy nights.
  • Hard-boiled eggs provide a simple protein boost in a sandwich or added to a salad.
  • Scrambled eggs are my boys’ favourite, especially when they get to crack the eggs.


Pulses

I stock my pantry with pulses, such as canned chickpeas, red kidney beans, black beans and lentils. They are an excellent meat alternative and contain around 9-13 grams of protein per ¾ cup serving (with lentils being the highest). They are also high in fibre, B vitamins and iron. I like the canned varieties because they are already cooked. Simply drain and rinse and they are ready to go! My family enjoys pulses in chili, wraps and soups. Add lentils or black beans to greens, such as spinach, at lunch. You can even bake them in muffins and breads. For more recipe ideas, click here.


Greek yogurt

Another protein staple in my fridge is Greek yogurt. With about 17 grams of protein per ¾ cup serving, it is a great way to get a boost of protein (and calcium) at breakfast or in school lunches. Choose plain rather than flavoured varieties, which may have a lot of added sugar. Add fresh or frozen fruit with a bit of honey or syrup. Use Greek yogurt in smoothies or as a substitute for sour cream in dips. Read The Evolving Yogurt Aisle to learn more.

 

Nuts and nut butters

You can always find peanut butter and unsalted mixed nuts in my cupboard. Peanuts are considered a legume but are similar to tree nuts so are usually grouped in the nut category. You’ll get about 8 grams of protein in 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or ¼ cup of almonds. On busy weekends, instead of hitting the drive thru, we make our own fast-food peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Add nuts to salads or grab a handful for a snack. Just be sure to watch your portion size with nuts as they are higher in calories.  

 

To learn more about protein and your requirements, read Maximize Your Muscle



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Jennifer Michaelchuk, RD.

Registered Dietitian

Jennifer (BSc, RD) is a registered dietitian from Edmonton. She enjoys inspiring others to achieve their healthy living goals and make healthy food choices.

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