Eating more protein throughout the day is all the rage right now with the rise of the carnivore diet, and whatnot. And, the truth is, regardless of diet fads and trends floating around the internet, eating more protein is one I can get behind….because it’s actually meaningful in maintaining strong physical and mental health!
Getting enough protein throughout the day will inevitably impact everything from your hunger, to your muscle repair, to your mood. Protein truly is a key nutrient to focus on when it comes to feeling as good as possible in your mind and body.
When you’re not getting enough protein you might feel weak, fragile, moody, or chronically hungry. You might notice that your sleep is disrupted, or that your hormones are all out of whack. The best way to find out for sure is to get a blood test from your doctor.
Trust me when I say I know that sometimes it can feel hard to nourish our bodies given the busyness of life. It’s not always an option to cook a four course freaking meal with every nutrient measured out perfectly. And it certainly isn’t financially practical to order out for every meal either.
So the question is: how can we get enough protein in our diets throughout the day without wasting a ton of time in the kitchen, and without breaking the bank on take out? Don’t worry, I got you.
This post will share a round up for tips on how you can get more protein throughout your day in a fast and easy manner that won’t disrupt your work flow. Plus, I’ll share the (many) reasons why eating enough protein daily is important for your health.
Check out this egg-free high protein breakfast recipe.
Check out this high protein vegan breakfast option.
Easy Ways To Get More Protein Daily
Full disclosure: I don’t actually eat meat. But don’t let that scare you away! I have plenty of options for my carnivore friends, as well as my plant based readers. My wife eats meat…like, pretty much for every meal. So, I’m well aware of tips on how to get more protein in for the meat eaters out there, too.
Plus, it’s nice to have options that are both vegan, and non-vegan friendly. Because the truth is, it’s best to listen to what your body actually wants when you’re making your food choices. And even if you usually want meat, maybe it’s asking for the veggie option. And vise versa.
Learn more about honoring your body’s cravings with this intuitive eating post HERE.
Find food freedom HERE.
Why Eating Protein Is Important
Eating enough protein each day will affect your physical health, your mental health, and your emotional well being. That’s not to say that if you don’t get the exact right amount every single day your health is going to immediately deteriorate. It just means that it’s something to try to be mindful of to the best of your abilities.
If you’re feeling tired, weak, depleted, chronically hungry, or like your hormones are wreaking havoc- then you might want to get your blood tested to make sure you’re getting enough protein. That’s what I did before I started my fertility journey, and guess what…I was low!
I feel so much better now that I’ve adjusted my diet and supplements to ensure I get enough protein daily. And I just want to make sure that you feel as good as possible, too.
- Reduces binge eating.
- Provides complete amino acids.
- Builds lean muscle.
- Helps with muscle repair.
- Supports fertility.
- Balances hormones.
- Brain health.
- Better sleep.
- Mood stabilizer.
- Weight loss.
First things first, one of the best ways to get enough protein in is to batch cook your meals. That’ll look a little different for everyone depending on the flow of your life, how often you eat out, how many people are in your family, and so on….but either way, it’s a good practice to get in the habit of.
In our house that looks like making a big batch of staples (grain, beans, lentils, meat, veggies) once or twice a week. That way, lunch and dinner is super easy to throw together without needing to cut into the work day.
Check out this buddha bowl recipe that’s perfect for batch cooking.
Meal prep goes hand-in-hand with batch cooking, only it gets more specific. I personally don’t meal prep, because I’m happy working with whatever I got. But, if you get bored of eating similar dishes over and over, then this is a good option for you.
Make a calendar of the meals you want throughout the week, and then make sure you not only have all the ingredients from the store, but that those ingredients are batched out in advance so you don’t have to cook everything every night.
Okay, this is a fan favorite for my wife. She’ll cook up a whole package of ground turkey or ground beef, and then chip away at it throughout the week. This is perfect for tacos, wraps, bowls, or sprinkled onto salads.
Check out this high protein breakfast option with ground meat.
Ready Made Chicken
Another favorite of my wife is making a big batch of chicken that she picks at throughout the week. This is perfect to snack on as it is, or to throw onto rice, pasta, tacos, or salads. My dog also loves chicken cooking day, because she gets a few little treats 🙂
For all of you on the go, beef jerky is your best friend for a high protein snack. The best thing about this snack is that you can literally find it anywhere and everywhere…yes, even gas stations.
Sliced Deli Meats
Keeping sliced deli meats in your refrigerator makes it easy to grab a quick protein snack without needing to cook at all. Whether you roll it up and eat it on its own, or throw it together with some cheese on your sandwich- deli meats are the way to go for protein rich meals and snacks.
My brother is my inspo with this one, because he’s a sardine king. Look, canned fish is definitely not my thing, but I will say that it’s insanely good for you for so many reasons. Say hello to a super fast way to get high protein, great skin and nails, improved focus, and brain health. Whether you choose sardines or tuna fish, you’ll be set with this one.
Hard Boiled Eggs
As someone who has recently started eating eggs, I have to say there’s nothing better than keeping a bit batch of hard boiled eggs in the fridge. For those moments I need a pick-me-up, and don’t want to resort to starchy food that will make my blood sugar spike, and then crash.
Not only are hard boiled eggs super easy to make, but you can also make quite a few all at the same time, so that you have enough to last you for the day. Plus, there’s not messy to eat, great to grab on the go, or for a high protein breakfast option.
I’m a big lentil girlie. I love having a big batch ready made for making bowls or salads for lunch. Or, to throw into a batch of kitchari, or to use for a vegan loaf or veggie patty. Plus, unlike animal based products, this protein rich food is also super high in fiber, which your digestion loves.
Try my kitchari recipes HERE.
Remember how I said I like to batch out my food earlier? Well, making a big pot of grains is always in the mix of my weekly cooking. Yes, rice is delicious, but if you know that you need more protein, then it’s better to swap your rice for quinoa, because this superfood is insanely high in protein…especially for being a grain!
Try my stuffed bell pepper recipe with quinoa HERE.
Try my harvest bowl recipe with quinoa HERE.
Hummus might just be my best friend. Truly, I put this ish on everything. Whether it’s for crackers or veggies to dip in, or it’s a spread on some gluten free toast, or even stuffed in my hard boiled egg for a super duper protein punch- I literally use hummus with most every meal.
Hummus is primarily made out of chickpeas, while also using tahini (sesame seeds), which means there’s not only a ton of protein, but also healthy fats and fiber, too.
Try my hummus recipe HERE.
Keeping nut butter in the house is a staple. You can use it on toast, with apples, on your pancakes, in your baking, or just enjoy a big spoonful on its own. You can buy it pre-made, or you can make it yourself with a high quality blender.
Check out my nutter butter smoothie bowl recipe HERE.
Chia pudding is the perfect high-protein breakfast or midday snack option. What’s even better? It’s so freaking easy, you won’t need to waste any time in the kitchen. All you need are chia seeds and milk of your choice to sit in a bowl overnight.
Try my breakfast parfait recipe HERE.
Having organic nuts are nice for a midday snack, or to sprinkle on top of your smoothies, salads, bowls, or soups.
Nut Or Bean Flours
One of the best things about being gluten free has been experimenting with all kinds of new flours when I’m cooking and baking. My favorite is definitely chickpea flour, but I also love almond flour, too.
Both options provide much more protein than standard wheat flour, and I honestly prefer the flavor to the nut or bean based flours, as well.
Try my chickpea flour tortillas HERE.
Of course you can always reach for protein bars when you’re on the go, and in a pinch for time. I’m not a huge fan of bars in general, to be honest. But when I eat them, I like these vegan ones.
Another way to sneak more protein in is through protein powder. I like this Four Sigmatic mushroom blend, or even this Green Dream option. Honestly, I don’t go hard on protein powders, because I prefer to get my nutrients from whole real foods. But sometimes it’s nice to have for a smoothie, smoothie bowl, or even mixed into backing.
Try my protein period cookies HERE.
Animal Organ Supplements
Again, I prefer to get my nutrients from whole, real foods when I can. However, after that doctor visit when my blood test revealed I needed more protein, these supplements were the best option for me at the time. And I’m so glad I tried them!
Let me know which option had helped you the most when it comes to finding fast, easy ways to get more protein throughout your busy day in the comments below!