Now that I’m a “runner girl” (so my dad calls me), it’s even more important than normal to ensure I’m getting my daily protein fix for the day. Women, and especially women who exercise, need protein to build and repair muscles and bones, provide energy, and control the body’s metabolism. And what better way to repair your bod post-workout than the perfect protein snack. No, I’m not talking about muscle milk or scary protein-enhanced high-cal bars. I’m taking healthy, tasty bites for you to enjoy! Here, my top 9 protein picks:
1. Hard boiled eggs: Or even just the whites! For the perfect hard boiled egg, bring egg to a boil, remove from heat and cover for 14 minutes. It’s a fail-proof method. Make lots in bulk so you always have one to snack on when you’re in a pickle!
2. All Natural Nut Butters: My faves are almond butter and peanut butter, but I’ve even experimented with sunflower butter. Today I purchased Whole Food’s all natural nut butter where you actually get to grind it yourself. Nothing more fresh and natural than that!
3. Cheese: I love string cheese with rice crackers or an apple for when I’m on the go. I also love cottage cheese with mandarin oranges or peaches mixed in!
4. Edamame: These little green soybeans are the perfect take-on-the-go snack. They’re healthy, nutritious and utterly delicious! Buy them frozen so you can enjoy these green gems every day, not just beside your sushi.
5. Luna Bars: I absolutely love these protein-packed bars for women! My favorite flavors? Lemon Zest, Peanut Butter Cookie and Toasted Nuts ‘n’ Cranberry. These babies are around 180 calories, with 9 g. of protein! How’s that for a healthy snack? These tastes definitely taste more like a dessert than “health food.” Stock up on them today!
6. Greek Yogurt: I buy my greek yogurt plain, then add in my own “toppings” like agave syrup (to sweeten), cinnamon (to spice it up), berries (to add a little flavor) and nuts ‘n’ seeds (for extra crunch).
7. Nuts: Speaking of nuts, nuts alone are a great protein-packed snack. I love raw walnuts and almonds, and you’re likely to find them in my cabinet at all times.Currently, I also have sunflower seeds in the house, which are fun to play with too! I enjoy a handful of nuts when I get an afternoon hunger-attack, and also mix them into my yogurt and salads.
8. Tuna: Tuna doesn’t always have to be used for a full-fledged meal. Sometimes I mix up some tuna with a little olive oil and some dill to snack on with a few crackers or pita chips. This fish is a winner in the protein world!
9. Ezekiel Bread: I LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut butter and sliced banana on Food For Life’s low-sodium Ezekiel bread (high-protein organic sprouted whole grain bread). It’s one of my fave post-run and afternoon snacks. Sprinkle with cinnamon and it’s heavenly. The Cinnamon Raison Ezekiel bread is also to-die-for!