Prioritizing Protein: Tips to Get it in Your Diet

March 28, 2012 · 35 comments

I have followed a high-protein diet for as long as I can remember.

That’s right, I choose to not remember my college meals of Easy Mac, M&M trail mix, and peanut butter crackers. That never happened.

Anyway, I’d say I work pretty hard to incorporate protein into my mostly veggie-filled meals.

Protein is one of the body’s main building blocks for muscle, bone, skin, and other tissues. It keeps your belly full longer and it helps the body recover after a workout (which is partly why chocolate milk is such a great refuel!). I prioritize protein in my diet because it aids in tissue repair, provides energy, and and helps fight off illness and disease. It also helps build our skin, hair, and nails.

[Edited to Add: I'm always experimenting with different protein pancake concoctions, but Julie's banana bread protein pancake recipe was a family favorite.]

Did you know our body doesn’t store protein? That, my friends, is why it’s important to eat healthy protein daily. Because I’m anemic, it’s especially important for me to get my protein.

Let’s talk protein sources.

I’m a big advocate for lean protein. My favorite protein-filled diet staples include egg whites, Greek yogurt, turkey breast, almond butter, and quinoa. On a typical day, I’ll eat 3-4 of those. And when I know I’m not getting enough of those lean protein sources, I’ll turn to protein supplements.

Protein powder in smoothies, protein powder in pancakes, protein powder in oatmeal… it can go down in lots of different ways. Depending on my mood, I generally go for the traditional chocolate or vanilla protein powder.

You all know I’m a chocoholic. The best chocolate protein powder I’ve tried is actually a brand my dad picked up after I got him into smoothies. Optimum Nutrition Double Rich Chocolate… it’s the money. I highly recommend it with some frozen berries, spinach, cocoa powder, and a pinch of xanthan gum. Your body will be so happy with all that protein.

Add some protein to your diet. For more ideas, check out these easy protein-packed recipe ideas from some of my friends:

Clare’s egg white muffins
Gina’s breakfast cookie
Gabriela’s pumpkin milkshake smoothie
Lindsay’s vanilla pear pops
Julie’s peanut butter protein bars

Or get yourself some protein supplements from Happy travels in your valiant quest for protein.

P.S. There’s still time to enter the CHOBANI Giveaway if you haven’t already.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily March 28, 2012 at 9:12 am

Do you have the recipe for the protein pancakes? Everything looks AWESOME.


2 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss March 28, 2012 at 9:17 am

I added a link to Julie’s banana bread protein pancakes. I’ve tried a bunch of different concoctions, but this one was great!


3 Chelcie @ Chelcies FOod Files March 28, 2012 at 9:15 am

I love all of your protein suggestions! Egg white omelets and Greek yogurt are my favorite protein packed options
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4 Krista @ A Belle in DC March 28, 2012 at 9:20 am

These are some great tips. I appreciate your recommendation for a specific protein powder. I’ve tried both Julie’s pancakes, smoothies and Gina’s breakfast cookie but I always get so overwhelmed when I go to actually BUY protein supplements. I am out and so this is perfect timing! Thanks!
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5 Kelly @ Running Kellometers March 28, 2012 at 10:06 am

Do you buy just egg whites per-packaged from the store? If not, what do you do with the yolks?
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6 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss March 28, 2012 at 11:13 am

naah, just buying eggs is so much cheaper. I typically throw my yolks down the garbage disposal. I know it’s wasteful, but it’s a rare occasion I’ll eat them.


7 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile March 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

Awesome post! I eat protein alll day long with every meal/snack. All of your pictures look delicious!


8 Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables March 28, 2012 at 10:15 am

love this post-I’ve been struggling lately with protein because I cut out dairy (greek yogurt) and eggs to see if it helps with stomach issues and I find that egg whites in particular are so hard to replace in terms of protein and nutrition. Hopefully this fast will end soon so I can go back to eating them! :)
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9 Christina March 28, 2012 at 10:23 am

I just bought wasa crackers and haven’t quite figured out how to top them so the first snack idea is perfect. I’ll be trying it out today! I also follow a high protein diet and you just gave me so many new recipe ideas, thanks!


10 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss March 28, 2012 at 10:40 am

I loove dipping wasa crackers in black bean or squash soup.. and laughing cow light is always delicious on them!


11 clare @ fittingitallin March 28, 2012 at 10:44 am

thanks for the feature, lady:)


12 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss March 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

uh, duh! :)


13 Cait March 28, 2012 at 10:58 am

I know it sounds strange – but when I run out of protein powder (the horror!) I mix in a couple tablespoons of egg whites with the water in my oatmeal. You cook them up right along with the oats, per usual. It completely disgusts my boyfriend – but you can’t taste them at all and it adds a much needed protein boost to the morning!


14 katie March 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

Loving all these protein filled eats!

I love the ON casein protein powder in chocolate supreme, so good! I will have to check out that flavor of the regular protein powder!

Happy Wednesday love!
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15 Nikki March 28, 2012 at 11:21 am

Oh my gosh! How do you make your omelette so perfect?! Jealous!
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16 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss March 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I’ll be honest, that’s a real rarity. I recommend a huge pan and a realllly big spatula.


17 Yellow Haired Girl March 28, 2012 at 11:23 am

I. Love. Protein. Honestly, sometimes I think I might eat too much. I’d rather eat protein than anything else … and right now I want to eat those wasa crackers. Like, immediately.
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18 Liz @ Southern Charm March 28, 2012 at 11:30 am

Um that first mean looks to die for!! I want some of that right now! Cant wait to hit up the grocery!
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19 Gaylemarie March 28, 2012 at 11:44 am

You should try vanilla protein in iced coffee. Use that instead of creamer or milk…its money!
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20 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss March 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

WOAH! why have I not tried this?! happening tomorrow.


21 Carrie @ Lift Eat Repeat March 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Great Protein options! I’ve never had a problem getting enough protein- I love egg whites, chicken, tuna, protein powders etc. My husband and I call our oats Proinappoatmeal- protein, cinnamon, diced apple and oatmeal! HA
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22 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss March 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

trying to read/sound out “Proinappoatmeal-protein” just made my brain hurt a little.


23 Mattie @ Comfy and Confident March 28, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I have been trying to incorporate more protein into my diet, it is really hard! I have started to use protein powder a lot more. I used to be so scared of it, and it doesn’t taste that great. But, hidden in smoothies and oats, it’s great!
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24 Amber K March 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Why an egg-white omelette? Just curious because there are so many benefits in the yolks. I actually don’t worry too much about my protein intake, but these are some great ideas!
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25 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss March 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I personally choose to nix the yolk on my nutrition plan, although I often will mix some yolk in when I make my egg whites. yolks are, however, brimming with nutrients, so depending on what you’re trying to achieve in your diet, they’re generally a good thing to eat.


26 Kristen @ notsodomesticated March 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Quinoa is protein?? Why am I so clueless about these things? I thought it was a grain … it is a grain that also has protein? Fascinating.
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27 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss March 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

it’s a healthy whole grain with lots of protein! :)


28 Jill @ Jill is Active March 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Great suggestions! I always try to have some raw almonds or a Larabar or Kind bar on hand too. My favorite protein recipe is definitely the protein pancake. You can put spinach into it and you won’t even taste it! Of course, you have to make the batter in a blender so it actually mixes in but it’s a great way to get more nutrients and iron (especially for anemic people!)


29 Lisa March 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Yum. All these look like great ideas for some added protein! I have been obsessing over protein smoothies lately. can’t.get.enough
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30 Kalyn March 29, 2012 at 2:58 am

Your Wasa cracker, Laughing Cow, and turkey combo is my go-to 9 pm snack. I usually top mine with a little salsa, but I’m tempted to try your egg-white patty now!


31 Shalani March 29, 2012 at 5:16 am

Protein is good for children especially for growing up and to stay healthy.
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32 Heather @Run Eat Play March 29, 2012 at 8:42 am

Great post – I am always looking for new ways to get protein in my diet because I don’t eat meat and low iron too. Thanks for the ideas!
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33 kristen @ livinlifeinlouie April 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

chocolate peanut butter protein oats!!! is it as easy as it sounds??? I think I might eat breakfast for dinner tonight haha


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