Cleaning the junk out of my diet and bringing order to the chaos helped push me in the right direction, but it wasn't until I realized how critical balanced nutrition is to the bigger picture (or maybe smaller, more muscular picture) that I really got serious about the protein in my diet. Now I actually wake up hungry, never skip breakfast and can feel a big difference in my hunger and energy levels if I don't keep the protein up. For instance, I'm attending a conference this week and all they had for breakfast this morning was muffins or bagels with butter/jelly and fruit. Not a real gram of protein in sight. Ugh.
Here are some of my favorite sources of lean protein:
- grilled, baked or boiled chicken breast (skinless)
- egg whites
- 99% fat free ground turkey (burger without the bun)
- 97% fat free turkey cutlets
- extra lean turkey bacon (Jennie-O)
- tilapia (cooked in a pan with olive oil)
- albacore tuna
- salmon (packaged like tuna or grilled)
- 95% lean ground beef
- bison (ground or steaks)
- shrimp (hot with a little parmesan cheese)
My other favorite protein sources are:
- Fage Zero fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1% cottage cheese
- non-fat milk
- black beans
- chocolate whey
- nuts (almonds and walnuts)
- peanut butter
EDIT: string cheese! How could I forget that? Thanks Fred!
I will use protein bars in a crunch (such as this morning) and on the run. Now if I could just wean myself to fresh ground peanut butter instead of the stuff off the shelf I've eaten since I was a kid!