WHAT DOES PROTEIN DO?
Think of protein as the building block of your muscles. You need it in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Therefore, eating enough protein helps you maintain your muscle mass and promotes muscle growth when you do strength training.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CONSUME PROTEIN?
Balancing every meal with protein is important to help your body stay healthy and function the way it should. Adequate protein intake can increase satiety, and helps your body build muscle after working out. Out of all macronutrients, protein is the most filling by far. It helps you feel more full—with less food!
Taking the time to prepare protein-packed meals will ensure you're fueling your body properly. Supplementing your diet with synthetic protein is fine, but taking the extra step to get the majority of protein from nutrient-dense foods is important for your overall health.
We’ve caught up with Coaches Kelsea and Lauren for their go-to protein picks! Both recipes take 20 minutes or less to prepare so they’re perfect for busy weeknights—try adding these into your next meal plan for a fresh fix!
“Healthier” Fried Rice
“This recipe is quick and simple! I love to throw it together when I need a quick meal or when I’m feeling too lazy to cook (which is often). I love anything in bowl form, so this meal is so satisfying and filling, too! I add lots of sriracha because I love salty, but you can leave it out if it's not for you! To make this meal even easier, buy frozen rice and just heat it in the microwave for 3 min and buy precooked chicken breast. Boom – you’ll have a meal in less than 10 min!”
- 4oz Chicken Breast
- 50g Jasmine Rice (or preferred rice) pre-cooked
- 1 Egg
- 150g Cauliflower Rice
- 30g Onion Chopped
- 1-2 Green Onion Stalks (chopped)
- ½ - 1 clove Garlic
- ¼ inch Ginger (chopped or grated)
- ¼ - ½ tbsp Sesame Oil
- ½ tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 10-15mL Coconut Aminos
- Sriracha (to taste)
- Salt & Pepper
- Optional: Avocado, Sesame seeds, Cilantro, Green Onion
Macros per serving: 9F/30C/32P
- Cook chicken (air fry, bake, pan cook, or buy pre-cooked).
- Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onion, green onion (only the white parts), garlic, and ginger. Saute on medium heat until onions are translucent.
- Add egg to the side of the pan and scramble.
- Once the egg is just about finished, add in cauliflower rice and mix together.
- Once cauliflower rice is close to cooked, add in pre-cooked jasmine rice and mix everything together.
- Add rice vinegar, coconut aminos, sriracha, and salt & pepper to taste.
- Cook everything together for ~2-3 more minutes or until everything is fully cooked.
- Add to a bowl and top with whatever you prefer (I like to add chopped avocado, chopped cilantro, the green part of the green onion, and sesame seeds).
- To make this a higher carb meal, add more rice (you may even take out the cauliflower rice).
- To make this a lower carb meal, take out the rice and add more cauliflower rice.
- To lower the fat intake, you can add an egg white instead of the full egg.
Marinara Lentil Pasta
“I love this recipe because it shows that you can still enjoy foods you love—like pasta—and reach your health and fitness goals! It’s a well balanced meal that features a protein, carb, and fat source and has many micronutrients in it as well! You can find all of these ingredients at Walmart. It’s super easy to throw together and have for lunch or dinner throughout a busy work week or you could make this for your whole family to enjoy!”
- 1 box Yellow Lentil Penne Pasta
- 1 can Great Value Marinara sauce
- 16 oz. 96/4 Lean Ground Beef
- ½ bag Frozen Pepper and Onion Blend (Great Value)
- ½ bag Frozen Chopped Spinach
- Salt, Pepper, Garlic—to taste
Macros per serving: 7F/49C/36P
To measure out 5 servings: Once the recipe is cooked and combined: weigh out to the total amount of the dish in grams. Divide that number by 5. That number in grams will equal 1 serving. Serve and portion out the remaining servings for future lunches or dinners.
- Cook pasta based on box directions. Bring water to a boil and cook for 6-8 minutes. Drain.
- While pasta cooks, sauté together peppers & onions and spinach together in a pan using cooking spray. Once warmed and cooked through, add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.
- Cook beef in skillet simultaneously until cooked and add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste.
- Combine pasta, vegetables, meat, and sauce together in a pot.
- Weigh out the final product and divide by 5. This will equal one serving.
- Serve and enjoy!
- You could enjoy adding hot pepper flakes for some additional heat and flavor and/or top with shredded parmesan cheese for extra fat and protein.
- You could also make easy swaps like chicken for beef, broccoli for the peppers, spinach, and onions, and alfredo for marinara—these are easy swaps to make to change up flavor combos from week to week and keep your meals exciting!