by Brooke Joanna Benlifer, RD
Do you ever find yourself ravenous a mere hour or two after eating? If this sounds familiar, consider adding some protein to each meal and snack to achieve a greater sense of satiety and provide fuel for the day ahead. You’ll also avoid the sugar highs and lows that can result from inadequate protein intake. Aim for small, frequent meals (ideally 3 meals plus 2-3 snacks). Envision meals and snacks as opportunities to nourish your body with essential nutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
Balanced snacks include:
Apple with 1 oz almonds
Baby carrots, 2 Tbsp hummus and string cheese
1/2 cashew butter sandwich
1 small fruit and 4 oz lowfat yogurt
Here are some ways to easily boost your protein intake!
Incorporate any of the following:
silken tofu, plain/fruited/vanilla yogurt, nut butter, whey protein powder, almond/soy/rice milk
Bonus: While most beverages do not rate high on the satiety index (an indication of the “fullness factor”), smoothies do!
High Protein Vegetarian Meals
Quick & convenient: Boca Burger, Gardenburger, Morningstar Farms, Veggie Patch
Mix cottage cheese with yogurt for a high-protein custard-like creation! Or power up your cottage cheese by adding: cinnamon and raisins, chives, or berries and some slivered almonds.
Melt a slice of cheese on whole-grain bread, or spread low fat Ricotta on 1/2 of a whole wheat English muffin.
Add grilled chicken strips or leftover tofu cubes/turkey/fish to a salad! Try pre-marinated tofu, or cut plain, firm tofu into cubes and add cinnamon and a dash of sugar for a high-protein dessert.
Make your own trail mix with chocolate soy nuts, almonds, walnuts, dried fruit and pumpkin seeds. Experiment with a new type of milk…soymilk or almond milk! Try light vanilla or light chocolate varieties on your cereal or 8 oz as a lunchtime beverage. There are a number of varieties—8th Continent is a personal favorite for soymilk and Blue Diamond makes phenomenal almond milk.
Kashi Go Lean oatmeal, Kashi Go Lean and Go Lean Crunch cereals, Hi Lo cereals
Add nonfat dry milk to skim milk, yogurt or oatmeal/cream of wheat for an extra kick!
Eat more egg whites! They’re an excellent source of high biological value protein. You can also add hard-boiled, chopped egg whites to hot cereal.
Toss beans (kidney, navy, garbanzo, white) into soups, salads, sauces, burritos and pita pockets.
Try feta cheese!
Wild salmon, chunk light tuna and canned sardines are high in protein, and heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids!
La Tortilla Factory low-carb tortillas contain 5 grams of filling protein.