Protein is a huge component to your weight loss and muscle building success. You need protein at each of your six small meals per day in order to build lean muscle, maintain your muscle mass and provide your body with the fuel it needs to do your daily activities.
I am pretty much a chicken eater 6 out of the 7 nights a week. I buy my chicken in bulk at cosco and cut it into appropriate portion sizes and then freeze in baggies with a serving size for my entire family. But for some chicken can get very expensive. So here is a little article that I found about finding ways to incorporate your protein for less!
Why should you eat protein at every meal? You will discover over the course of your clean eating, hard training journey: one-it takes about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day to gain and maintain lean, feminine muscle. Two- buying chicken breasts can get pricey! For a cheap clean protein fix, look to ground meats. Inexpensive and versatile, they're a great option to fuel your specific training needs.
Protein rich diets are not just for building muscle. Science shows that they also keep you slim. How? Chicken, turkey, beef and eggs are considered metabolism boosting foods because your body has to work harder to digest them, which can help torch more calories in the process.
Turkey Flaxseed Muffins
Preheat oven to 375. In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until everything is well blended. If you don't have a food processor, mash the sweet potatoes with a fork and combine well with the other ingredients using clean hands.
- 1 lb ground turkey breast meat
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 3 tbsp grated Parmesan
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 1 large sweet potato, quartered and cooked
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
- cooking spray
Spray a 12 muffin tin with cooking spray. Evenly divide mixture amongst muffin tins. Back for 30 minutes before serving.
Minty Greek Chicken Pitas
- 1 egg
- 1 lb ground chicken breast meat
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 6 whole wheat pitas
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
8 romaine lettuce leaves, 1 small heirloom tomato, olives
Beat egg in a large mixing bowl. Add chicken, feta, sea salt, pepper and mix.
Cut off 1/3 of each pit and chop into crumbs. Reserve the rest of the pitas for the final product. Add pita crumbs to bowl and mix. Add mint.
Mix everything thoroughly with clean hands. Shape into small patties, about half-cup portions.
Place patties on a heated skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, until no longer pink inside. While patties cook, combine yogurt and mint for sauce.
Place 2 patties inside each pita with 2 lettuce leaves, 2 to 3 slices of tomato, olives, and 2 tbsp of sauce.
There are many other ways to get your protein at every meal.
- If you don't want to eat egg whites with your breafast, mix a 1/2 scoop protein powder with some almond, soy or skim milk and pour over your oatmeal.
- Drink a protein shake for a snack with water and throw in some berries and blend!
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese with some unsweetened applesauce or fruit is a great snack option.
- Hummus is a great source of protein, I eat 2 tbsp low fat hummus and some carrots and cucumbers for a snack or I put hummus on my chicken wrap for lunch.
- Nuts are a great source of protein and quick and easy. If you are on the go, throw a handful in a baggie and grab a piece of fruit and voila, a quick clean snack! (Make sure you measure out a handful, nuts are high in fat so you don't want to big of a portion size).
- Greek Yogurt is a great source of protein! But make sure you do not get the kind with the fruit on the bottom, it has way to much added sugar. Just get the plain kind and add fresh fruit!