Maximize Protein at Every Meal

Becky Church | March 12, 2020

We all know the power of protein and how important it is in order to achieve those fitness #gainz, am I right?

As with most nutrition advice out there, there is a lot of contradicting information. Let’s set the facts straight with some straight up protein talk then, shall we?

Problem

It’s so easy to skimp on protein throughout the day and then gorge at night when you have the classic meat and veggie combo for dinner.    

There’s myths out there about how much protein is too much, but research shows that 30 grams at each meal/snack is most effective and efficient in building and repairing muscle. It’s not that eating 40-50 grams at a time is going to negatively effect your body, but more so it’s not going to benefit it any more than 30 grams. Just like over-filling your gas tank wouldn’t make your car run more efficiently, over extending your protein at one meal’s time isn’t going to increase your performance.

Spread it out!   

Spreading your protein out throughout the day is going to help keep you feeling fuller longer, as well as keep your blood sugar stable – all good news when it comes to minimizing that mid-afternoon slump and cravings we often fall prey to (roar, for real). The hanger strike is no fun.   

When making breakfast – beef is an ideal protein for building muscles because it is a complete protein, meaning it contains 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. Most plant sources are not complete proteins.

Show me

Them: “BUT UGH, WHAT DOES 30 GRAMS OF PROTEIN EVEN LOOK LIKE BARB??”   

I got you.   

Thirty grams of protein is the equivalent to one hockey puck (hamburger patty) or a deck of cards (one steak). Otherwise, the palm of your hand works too.  

Eat this, Not that

If you are notoriously running late or chasing around children in the morning, I understand that breakfast can be the first to get the short end of the stick. 

IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. #MakeBreakfastGreatAgain

Use leftover beef crumbles and add them to two eggs, and you’ve reached 42 grams of protein. While eggs are great, there’s actually only 6 grams of protein in a single egg. So, bulk up your breakfast with beef! Also, swap orange juice for a glass of milk for another 8 grams of protein. Now we’re talking!  

Eat this!


Beefy Breakfast = 42 grams of protein

Sad Breakfast = 18 grams protein

By adding ground beef to the breakfast skillet hash, and serving with milk versus orange juice, breakfast clocks in at 42 grams of protein - a solid start to rev you up for the day!

Snack Time

When planning a snack, first priority is protein to hold you over and stabilize blood sugar. This will help you avoid minimize the morning or afternoon slump, as well as save everyone around you from your hanger. (Thank us later)


First up, is a beef bento box. Deli roast beef paired with one hard-boiled egg and seasonal fruits and veggies makes for a fresh snack that's easy to take on-the-go.

Lunch

Heyyyo, it's lunch time! 

Everyone wants something fresh, yet convenient when it comes to lunch. Simply take your pick of salad kits at the grocery store (or throw your own together) and top with some flank steak to bulk it up. Flank steak is lean, affordable, versatile and quick to cook - making it a perfect choice to batch cook in advance and use all week in a variety of meals.

SNACK TIME

Yaaas, snack time again! Most likely, you're experiencing some chocolate cravings at this time (oh, just me?)...

To solve that, try making these PB Chocolate Chip Collagen Bites. They're a mix of protein, healthy fats and carbs, (and drizzled with chocolate, obviously) making it ideal for snack time.

Collagen is a protein found in the connective tissue, bones and hide of cattle. You can find it at almost any grocery store nowadays. 

It's beneficial for our hair, skin and nails and is tasteless, so can easily be added into baked goods or dissolved into your morning coffee. More protein? BOOM.

First, melt together butter, PB, maple syrup and vanilla extract. (satisfying)

Next, we've got the forage. I mean fiber. We've got chia seeds, flaxseed meal, oats and mini chocolate chips (*extra chocolate chips, because duh). Combine with the PB mixture from the stove.

Dinner

Beef. It's What's for Dinner. for real. How'd you guess?!

For dinner, simply use that leftover flank steak and make a taco in these Mexican Steak Soft Tacos! That's right, Taco Tuesday every. day.

Lighten it up by using a whole grain taco shell, swapping sour cream for plain greek yogurt (more protein, yay!) and load it up with fresh veggies. Dinner is served!

Reaching your ideal protein level isn't difficult, but it does require being a little more mindful.

When in doubt, add beef. That is always the answer.