I am on a mission to start this year. After a few failed attempts, I am bound and determined to lose the final 10ish pounds I put on during my Levi pregnancy. To defend myself, most of my failures weren't from lack of effort. I have dieted, worked out, and done everything else I could think of, but my body just hasn't been responding and I was stuck at a major, irritating plateau. Whenever I mentioned my dilemma to an expert (my doctor, my dietitian friend), the first piece of advice was to up my protein.
So I have! And thus far it (combined with a few other changes) seems to be working! Hallelujah!!! Since January 6th, I have lost about 5 pounds...slow and steady wins the race, right?!?
But incorporating more protein into my diet has been a major lesson for me. Before this quest, I was most definitely a heavy carb eater and really didn't have any good ideas as to what might make for protein meals or snacks! When I researched, I was even more frustrated because most suggestions involved things that I don't like (it usually doesn't bode well for dieting of any kind when you don't like vegetables...). So I've had to pave my own path...and thought I'd share the results with you.
Just for a little background info, I pretty much aim to eat 200 calories each at breakfast (divided into half before my workout and half after), lunch, and a snack because I generally eat a large dinner. While some of these may have an obvious meal category, I pretty much interchange them for whatever sounds good whenever!
So with that introduction out of the way, here's my rundown of my new favorite, go-to, protein packed meals:
1. Bacon Egg Cups: Really handy because I can make them in advance, freeze them, and throw two in the microwave when we are in a rush in the mornings (read: every day!). Honestly, though, I'm not a huge egg fan, though, so after 4 weeks of eating these regularly, I'm already ready for a break from them, but the bacon does add a nice treat!
2. Greek Yogurt: Have I mentioned I'm not a fan of fruit? Which also means I'm not usually a fan of fruit-flavored Greek yogurts that dominate the offerings, especially the ones with fruit chunks. Ick! But Dannon Oikos happens to make an awesome Cafe Latte and Caramel Macchiato flavor Greek yogurt that I absolutely love! On a side note, when googling for an image, I saw that Dannon makes a frozen yogurt in the Cafe Latte...anyone had it? I must find it!!!
3. Apple slices with peanut butter and granola: This is probably my absolute favorite on the whole list! I generally do 3 slices of apple with about 1 tbsp. of Jif Whipped (spread out on all three slices) and topped with a couple tablespoons of low-fat granola (again divvied up among the three slices). Delish!!!!
4. Rice cake with peanut butter. Right from the start of this thing, I knew if there was one protein food I could eat...and eat in abundance...it's peanut butter!!! So I've tried to find as many ways to eat it as I can (including straight off the spoon!). A plain rice cake with 1 tbsp. Jif Whipped does the trick too!
5. Eggo protein waffle with...peanut butter (you guessed it, huh?) and jelly!
6. Spinach, grilled chicken, and vinaigrette. Amazingly, despite my intolerance of vegetables, I actually do like spinach! So I just make a pretty basic salad with it. Obviously, you could snaz that up a lot more!
7. Egg salad and water crackers. I've written about this find before! With just a couple tablespoons of mayo in the whole thing, this egg salad is light and delicious!
8. Emerald chocolate almonds. I love the convenience of the 100 calorie packs! And at just 100 calories, you may as well go for the splurge and get the chocolate ones!
9. Cottage cheese cups. Again, I'm all about convenience! Oh, and personally, I've tried the non-fat and the low-fat...definitely worth the little bit of fat!!!
10 Special K protein shakes. These are really good when you're craving something sweet. They feel like a treat, but really they're pretty good for you! For the record, I've only tried the chocolate and vanilla cappuccino...and was a much bigger fan of the vanilla cappuccino!
11. Skinnypop. Ok technically this isn't high in protein, but this stuff is just too darn good! And at only 39 calories a cup, it's certainly a good, healthy snack!
So there we have it! The 11 foods I'm pretty much living off of these days (+ dinner!). Anyone else have some good high-protein suggestions?