Now that you know WHY you want to eat protein with every meal, let’s figure out HOW to do it!
1. Determine what a nutritious snack is that contains protein, and that you like to eat.
- Clean and cut up celery with peanuts-only peanut butter
- An apple with sliced low-fat cheese
- Baby-Bel low-fat cheese
- 1/4 cup servings of nuts put in snack size ziplock baggies
- Protein shake or protein snack bar (be very picky when buying these)
- Low fat cottage cheese
- Plain yogurt with honey or molasses or cut up fruit
- Roasted chicken breast chunks with lettuce leaves
- Black beans (out of the can and drained) and maybe with a ripe avocado or salsa (eat with a fork, not tortilla chips)
- Cucumber and carrot slices with hummus
- Lentil or vegetable soup
2. Some foods are easy to have on hand, like in your car, your purse, a desk drawer at work, or ready-to-eat in your pantry or refrigerator.
3. Obtain these foods and put them where they will be the first thing you see when you’re looking for a snack or meal. Where are you going to put them? What is your strategy for having nutritious meals and snacks on hand?
- Grocery shop at Trader Joe’s every week on my way home and pick up those nuts and the yogurt that I like.
- Buy snack size ziplock bags, fill them with 1/4 cup almonds and 2-3 dried apricots, put some in my desk drawer, some in my car, and the rest on the eye-level shelf of the cupboard in front of everything else.
- Buy two pounds of carrots on Sunday and wash and slice them, then make a quick batch of hummus. Put these on the eye-level shelf in the ‘fridge.
Tip: I keep a jar of unsalted dry roasted peanuts in my car so that if I am hungry while I’m out and about I’ll have a nutritious snack on hand, but I don’t love the unsalted peanuts enough to munch on them otherwise. They are tasty enough for me to eat them, but not too tasty.