Protein, protein, and more protein

Hello Internet! My name’s Mackenzie and I am participating in the May Nutrition Program at Empowered Fitness in Half Moon Bay, California. I will be documenting my  journey on this blog, every Monday and Friday, as well as sharing yummy, healthy recipes! Let’s do this thing!

This past week has been a whirlwind! I’ve been trying to get adjusted to my new eating schedule (every four hours!), which has gone relatively well with a few slip ups. The most important thing for me to remember is that I don’t start cooking after four hours, I need to eat after four hours! But that buffer time has actually been really nice, giving me a break from my work during the day.

The biggest challenge I have had is getting enough protein! It’s fine if I am making a recipe, but to make my 3 blocks I am not especially interested in eating 3 hardboiled eggs in one sitting (which you are only supposed to have 1 per meal anyway, because of the saturated fat) or 3 oz. of lean chicken breast deli meat. So, I have listed 5 sources of Nutrition Program-approved protein you can prep in 10 minutes or less below!

  1. Hardboiled egg. (1 block) Yeah yeah, I know what I just said. However, I love hardboiled eggs (in moderation)! Now, most people think of these holy grails of protein deliciousness as that gross, slightly green thing that Great Aunt Martha tried to get you to eat as a kid. Not anymore! Check out the Kitchn’s amazing tutorial on how to make the perfect hardboiled egg. We like the “custardy yet firm” option. (link: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-boil-eggs-perfectly-every-time-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-202415) Try this delicious egg sandwich! Take 1 whole egg and 2 cooked egg whites (2 protein), mix in a bit of OO mayo (fat) and 1 protein greek yogurt, salt pepper, spices, chopped celery and green onion. Stuff it inside a 1/2 ww pita with some salsa and a handful of spinach leaves.  If you need more fat add a bit of avocado or chopped olives. Perfect 3 block meal and super yummy and easy to make the salad ahead!
  2. Scallops. (1 large is 1 block) A delicious accompaniment to any meal, these shellfish are very easy to portion and even easier to cook! All you need to do is throw them in a pan with a bit of EVOO and let them cook through on medium heat, usually takes about 5 minutes. Pro Tip: Store them raw in the freezer and they last forever.
  3. Canned tuna. (1 oz. 1 block) This sandwich staple is a great salad topper as well! Check out our Tuna Protein Salad for some inspiration. Just make sure you buy the tuna that is packed in water, not oil. (link: http://empoweredfit.com/blog/210/tuna-protein-salad/)
  4. Protein powder. (7 grams 1 block) Protein powder is no longer just for the bodybuilders. We use a low carb protein powder that comes in French vanilla or chocolate; both delicious! Add it to smoothies, yogurt, or even baked goods. Try mixing one cup of frozen berries microwaved for 30 seconds, ½ cup of low fat greek yogurt, and protein powder. Mash it together and it tastes like a berries & cream dessert treat!
  5. Edamame. (1/3 cup shelled 1 block) Who doesn’t love this delicious, slightly salty bean? Sprinkle them over salad or eat them alone during snack time! Keep in mind these count as 1 unit of carbs too.

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