Protein is an essential nutrient and is used within many biological processes within the body. Protein is especially important for building and repairing tissue damage that occurs to your muscles during workouts. You need plenty of raw material for muscle building, strength retention and recovery.
The digestion of protein is the most time consuming, therefore leaving you feeling satisfied and providing more energy longer.
People often ask me what protein I eat in my diet to sustain my energy – especially as I workout frequently. My exercise regime currently consists of weight resistance strength training, body combat, walking, swimming and yoga. On average, I work out 5 times a week.
I wanted to share with you some of my favourite protein sources that help keep me fuelled and full of vitality and energy – not only when I work out, but part of my everyday diet.
1. Quinoa – technically a seed, and gluten free – quinoa is an adequate source of all essential amino acids required by the body for growth and repair. Amazingly versatile, quinoa is fab in soups, chilli, pilaff, salads, stuffed in veggies and made into porridge and puddings.
2. Edamame – soybeans contained within a pod. My personal fave. Great appi sprinkled with a little himalayan salt, in salads etc.
3. Chia seeds – loaded with nutrients. Chia are great sprinkled over salad, added to granola, blended in smoothies and made into puddings.
4. Sunflower, pepitas & sesame – I am known to sprinkle these on everything! Love a a little texture and crunch. These seeds contain essential fatty acids essential for heart health and lowering cholesterol levels.
5. Non-dairy milks – almond, rice, coconut etc. Home made is best. If you buy, choose a quality milk with minimal ingredients. Organic where possible, with no sweeteners and additives.
6. Nuts & nut butters – choose raw nuts, toast yourself and add your own spices to flavour. When choosing nut butters, go for a good quality – minimal ingredients. Nut butters should only contain the nut itself and salt (e.g. almond butter). Free from hydrogenated oils, sugars and preservatives.
7. Chickpeas – high in fibre, fantastic in salads, hummus, vegetarian curry, soups etc. Buy dry, soak overnight and cook in water.
8. Beans, peas & lentils – so many varieties to choose from, we are spoilt for choice. Again, buy dry – soak and cook.
9. Dark leafy green vegetables – nutritional powerhouses rich in chlorophyll – including spinach, broccoli, kale, chard, silver beet etc. Easy to sneak into everything…especially smoothies. Love!
10. Tempeh & tofu – made from soybeans, tempeh and tofu are one of the highest sources of protein. They act like sponges, soaking up what ever you marinade them in or cook with.
Perhaps some fresh sources of inspiration!
Better keep yourself clean and bright. You’re the window through which you must see the world. ~ George Bernard Shaw.