Protein: You know it’s the building block to muscles, and yet you just can’t stomach one more grilled chicken breast or whey protein powder shake. We feel that. Learn 7 ways to get more protein into your diet to ensure that all your hustle at the gym does turn into muscle.
7 Sneaky Ways to Get More Protein in Your Diet
- Snack on nuts– Not only do nuts make a healthy mid-afternoon (or midmorning) snack, they’re full of protein and good-for-you fats. One to two handfuls of walnuts, peanuts, pecans, or almonds will keep you full, sharpen your focus, and protein-load you. Side note: Seeds, from sunflower to hemp, also help you get more protein into your diet. If you usually reach for salty snacks like chips or popcorn, nuts fulfill that same craving and are better for you.
- Sprinkle legumes in your salad– Legumes (chick peas, lentils, kidney beans, and more) are not only good for you, they’re full of protein. Find beans at your local salad bar. To level up this sneaky protein strategy, roast your own legumes and swap them in for croutons. You’ll love the crunch.
- Dip fruit in nut butter -Almond and other nut butters offer healthy fat, great flavor, and high protein. Dip sliced apples in nut butter for another healthy snack that loads you with protein.
- Add TVP to rice– TVP or textured vegetable protein is a tasteless thing that vegans and vegetarians often use to give chili that “ground meat” look and mouthfeel. It’s about the same size as a grain of rice. Since it won’t alter the taste, you can get more protein in a side of brown rice (or any other whole grain) by cooking some TVP along with your rice. Take it from us: Give this one a try and you won’t even notice the difference!
- Try quinoa -Quinoa is high in protein, has a lightly nutty flavor, and works at any meal. Start your day with quinoa porridges, try a quinoa salad at lunch, or make quinoa chili or shepherd’s pie for dinner.
- Add an avocado– Not only are avocados delicious, they’re also good for you and packed with protein. A great complement to salads, burgers, and sandwiches, fresh avocados also pair well when sliced and put on everything from Mexican dishes to Buddha bowls. Join in the avocado toast trend by toasting up a slice of packed-with-protein Ezekiel bread and smearing half of an avocado on top.
- Turn it into a chia pudding– For those of you who like dessert, you’ll love that you can get a healthy sweet and a side of protein by making your own chia puddings. To make a simple chia pudding, combine coconut or almond milk with two tablespoons of chia seed. Mix in fresh or frozen berries.
For more nutrition tips, don’t forget to check in with the experience trainers at your local gym. These nutrition and fitness pros know what fuels the body and can offer tips tailored to your workout routine or dietary preferences.