Protein! How to sneak it in even if you think you hate it.

Protein!

How to Sneak it in Even if you Think you Hate it.

Anyone else feel like eating enough protein is literally impossible? Like I am not some body builder drinking raw eggs for breakfast and eating three chicken breasts for lunch. That makes the foodie in me want to cry! I would be bored with that in about two seconds flat. For some reason, most of us have no problems getting enough fat or carbs into our diet- but protein is a whole different story.  For me, every day, especially when I’m going to the gym regularly- I am trying to sneak that protein in! I know I feel better when I do!

Protein Intake in pregnancy is especially important. Now that you are growing a tiny human- all of those amino acids are even more beneficial to you both! Per the American Pregnancy Association “Protein positively affects the growth of fetal tissue, including the brain. It also helps your breast and uterine tissue to grow during pregnancy, and it plays a role in your increasing blood supply.” Other studies have shown that protein can also lower your risk of developing Pre-Eclampsia, which can be life threatening! Because of digestive issues during pregnancy such as nausea and constipation- this can make getting protein in even harder.

Because of this, I am gonna list some sneaky ways to get protein into your diet that you might not have thought of! 

1) Morning Smoothies- I make a protein shake/smoothie every morning... I know lots of my friends are smoothie fans! A great place to sneak some protein powder in? Right there!  I add protein powder, greens powder, frozen fruit, and almond milk and go to town every day! You can make a smoothie/shake 1839493 different ways to make it your own! 

2) In Soup or Chicken Broth. I add some Vital Proteins Collagen Powder to my soup and literally don’t even notice it. I add it to broth too! Seriously sneaky way to get some protein in!  

3) Beans! Love hummus like me? Go to town! I make my own to get the most authentic version. If you have a Vitamix or Blendtec it’s seriously easy! Also- I have a serious love affair with Kroger’s Organic Spicy Black Beans! They are so good and only $1 a can! Add some avocado and you are all set! 

4) Salads. Sneak some protein in your salad! Chicken, Fish, Cheese, Boiled Egg, Tofu or nuts will all do the trick! 

5) Cheese! Seriously, hard Cheese is a great source of protein. And who doesn’t love cheese?! 

6) Eggs. What can you NOT make with eggs? They are pretty much the perfect food! Hard boil some (ever tried doing this in the instant pot? Winner!) and keep them in the refrigerator for a quick snack. Sunny Side Up on avocado toast? Absolute HEAVEN. Can’t get enough!

7) Nuts. All nuts! Almonds are my pick. Grab a handful and get some extra protein in! Peanut Butter and Almond Butter are also winners!  

8)  Tuna. I know many moms are avoiding tuna because of high mercury content. But- recently I found an awesome solution! Safe Catch Tuna tests every single fish they process for mercury levels and only proceed with tuna that meets their strict standards. This means you can once again have your Tuna Salad during pregnancy! Safe Catch Tuna is even endorsed by the American Pregnancy Association as the only tuna safe for a developing baby! Cool stuff ah? 

9) Quinoa. In my house we use quinoa often as a replacement for rice. It is great on its own or in soups or salads for some extra substance and also has 24 grams of protein per cup!! If you are sick of grilled chicken in your salads, this might do the trick.

10) Good old Ground Beef. Burgers, Meatloaf, Tacos, Shepherd’s Pie, Meatballs, Lasagna and more can all help you meet your protein goals! With 20 grams of protein for every 5oz of beef, ground beef is a cost effective, solid option to add to your refrigerator or freezer!