Chicken breast, broccoli and rice. The classic bodybuilder diet. But let’s face it, it gets boring.
Are you looking for alternative ways to get your protein in without eating the same meal every day? Look no further.
Grains for Gains
Grains are an awesome source of protein, and you don’t just have to stick with brown rice.
Quinoa has been in the spotlight over recent years for being an awesome superfood, and it is! Just a handful goes a long way once cooked, so it’s a cost-effective way to get your protein.
This trendy grain is more nutritious than rice or couscous and easily replaces either of them in the meals you like to make. Curries, salads, gluten-free lunches — you name it, quinoa can do it.
Lentils are in fact a grain legume, but they have the highest source of protein in the grain family. Not to mention also supplying your dietary fibre and minerals. Plus by beefing up your grains (no pun intended) you can also reduce your environmental footprint by purchasing less meat.
Beans, Beans the Magical Food
Beans are magical because they’re so versatile.
There are 8 grams of protein in half a cup of black beans and they can be added to almost anything. Scramble them into your morning eggs, add them to your favourite soup, chuck them on a salad or turn them into a flavorful Mexican salsa.
Despite the name, chickpeas are also considered a bean. They’re high in protein and notoriously delicious. We know what you’re thinking, and yes, that means hummus is a gym-friendly snack. Thank you, chickpeas.
Tuna is known as the chicken of the sea for its popularity and flavoursome taste. It’s incredibly versatile and can be added to pretty much any meal or enjoyed on its own as a standalone snack. With 20g of protein per can and very few calories, it’s no wonder fitness fanatics buy up tens of cans every time there’s a sale.
White fish is always a great alternative to chicken. You’ll find most chicken recipes would actually do well with fish instead, like tacos, baked with veggies, curries or casseroles. Tilapia is a white, freshwater fish that is inexpensive and low in calories and fat. Cod is low-fat and salmon is high in omega-3. Experiment with different types of fish, find out what you like and add it as a regular rotation.
Fish isn’t the only seafood worth incorporating in your diet. Lobsters, prawns, octopus, crab and oysters are all high in protein and lower in fat than most meats. Shellfish like mussels also have such high levels of iron they even compete with red meat!
You’ll be pleased to hear that all types of cheese contain a good level of protein. A good rule of thumb is the whiter the cheese, the better it is for gains.
The best of the bunch? Cottage cheese. It provides the most protein per calorie and the least amount of fat.
So replacing hard cheese for cottage cheese in those comfort meals like lasagna or a cheesy omelette is a delicious and creamy alternative where you can boost your protein while reducing fat. Yum!
Next time you feel bored with cooking chicken breast, try mixing it up with any of these foods and know you aren’t sacrificing your protein hit.
Protein is just part of the picture when it comes to eating well. Take a look at these 5 foods to supercharge your immune system and check back on the blog regularly for more food facts.