Food trends come and go, but protein’s popularity doesn’t seem to be fading any time soon. As a partner of the Together Counts program promoting healthy, active living, we know how important it is to maintain a balanced style of eating. It’s important to keep in mind that the average American adult gets more than the recommended amount of protein, and it’s possible to overdo it,but, if you’re looking for new and fun ways to power up your meal plan with protein, check out these tips.
Make protein pancakes. A friend and coworker introduced me to this idea. She uses egg whites (purchased in a carton) in place of water, for pancake mixes that only require adding water. She notes that it takes a little trial and error to get the consistency right. I gave this a try this past weekend: I replaced half of the water with egg whites and was pleasantly surprised by the light and fluffy texture of the pancakes. Top with sliced banana or fresh berries and you have a filling start to your day!
Try this protein parfait. Protein powders are not necessary to meet your protein needs, but if you do have some on hand, and are getting tired of your usual protein shake, try creamy protein pudding. I add a half a scoop of vanilla protein powder to a couple of generous tablespoons of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. I typically toss in a handful of fresh blackberries and mix and smash everything together for a delicious and filling snack.
Think outside the beef. As much as I try to make veggies the star of my meal plan, I do love a good hamburger from time to time. I’m always looking to stretch my food dollars by looking for economical solutions. One way to do this is to add one cup black beans and one cup of sliced mushrooms to ground beef the next time you fire up the grill for burger night. Rinse the black beans, add both the beans and mushrooms to a food processor, then add to the beef and form patties. Fish is also a great source of lean protein that’s quick and easy to prepare as well as being delicious! The American Heart Association recommends two servings per week as part of a healthy diet.
Maggie Thorison is the Wellness Manager at TOPS Club, Inc., the original nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss support and wellness education organization. She writes the Wellness Wednesday blog for TOPS’ website.
For more healthy mealtime options take a look at these other articles from Together Counts™!
- 8 Simple Ways to Healthfully Transform Leftovers Using Frozen Foods
- 5 Ideas to Get Kids to Eat Healthy
- Grocery Shop Your Pantry