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Quick grab-n-go protein snacks/meals

Updated on June 20, 2011

Quick munchie diet foods. Great breakfasts for those on the go.

The idea behind this hub and accompanying capsules is simple; Put together high protein snacks and "meals" for those wanting to "control" (I don't believe in eliminating carbs- and I've dropped to 9% bodyfat without) carbohydrate consumption, but making it less of a chore. My layout will be quite simple, and open to the interpretation of the reader.

Sure, hard boiled eggs and such are an idea. Seriously, though, what an innovator you are! Try egg salad with a twist. Combine eggs (yes, the yolk on occasion- sulfur is necessary for joint health) with healthy oils (olive, canola, corn, or healthy spread) and whatever else falls in there. Black pepper (good source of piperene (bioperine is the trade name)- a synergist in the absorption of creatine)Never get caught in a rut. Think... think, think, think. What flavors would you like to combine with eggs (or whatever). Cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic and many other spices have been shown to have far reaching ramifications (though not peer reviewed). Many spices are good for us. Screw it, if it tastes good, AND you believe it helpful, it's a win-win!

Thick sliced deli meat (chicken, turkey, lean roast beef-- ham should be limited, but okay).

Go to the deli department of your local grocer. Pick up some of the above mentioned meats, sliced on 2-2.5 (trust me). Pick up any one of the following cheese products: (White!) American, Swiss, Monterey jack, (some) cheddar or mozzarella. My recommendations don't stretch beyond those.

Quite simply roll a slice of cheese up in the meat. Adding mustard (optional), chopped olives, chopped onion, chili powder, black pepper, Morton Lite salt (in moderation). If you select ham, slices of pineapple may compliment the roll up. Also, try a romaine leaf, slivered tomato, a lite coating of cottage cheese, dates(intermediate only), raisins (another intermediate), sour cream (though sour cream falls outside my recommendations). You get the idea- be creative.

Oh, smoked salmon! Very healthy (undenatured protein (protein unaltered by heat or acids- intact and not cross linked), intact essential fatty acids (heat destroys them!), and it's ready right out of the package. Many of the same ideas can be incorporated into the salmon, too. Salmon mixes well with many of the deli meats (except beef) mentioned before. Smoked salmon on whole grain toast (real whole grains, and no high fructose corn syrup!) with garlic powder, onion powder, cumin (acquired taste), cream cheese (sparingly), cottage cheese, Smart Balance (I love that stuff!).

For men, there are androgenic ramifications to what we eat (women not so much, but they're still there), so some capsules will dealve into androgeny.

Some adjuncts you may try with any of these: any type of chopped nut. Cashews (not a nut- a fruit), walnuts (huge bang for the buck w/ EFAs), philberts, etc.

Make your OWN dressings!

Many store-bought salad dressings and condiments contain one of two ingredients that should be avoided: High fructose corn syrup and/or trans fats.

HFCS is NOT unhealthy because of the fructose! HFCS is rendered differently that other sugars and behaves differently in the human body.

Trans fats have been hydrogenated. That means hydrogen molecules have been added to the molecular chains of mono or polyunsaturated fats. A saturated fat is such because the entire perimeter is hydrogen. Therefore, it's perimeter is "saturated" with hydrogen.

Monounsaturated fats have been shown to aid in weight loss, regardless of the fact that they are fats and are more calorically dense than other macronutrients. Natural oils ARE fats. Most of these oils: Olive, canola, corn, soybean etc. are actually good for us, in moderation.

While all ingredients should be doled out to taste, I will still list some great spices to make dressings with.

In a glass container, add the oil of your choice or even blend them. One thing of note for dieters: Safflower oil is very high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA has many positive health benefits and has been shown in numerous viable studies to aid in weight loss. One note, since I'm speaking of studies... Red wine vinegar has FAILED to produce ANY positive affects on weight loss in every real study done. If you like it, use it, but vinegar isn't particularly good for our liver.

Fresh garlic, chopped green onions, pepper corns, Morten Lite salt (more potassium, less sodium) and a tiny dash of Mexican chili powder makes a great dressing. Since this is an infusion, let it sit for two weeks before using it- longer is better. The oils extract the essence of the spices.

I'll add more as time permits, but this is a good start. These dressings are suitable for salads, dipping, mixing with canned fish instead of mayo, or using as a spread on deli-type sanwiches.

Healthy Carbohydrate Choice?

   Yep, tastes really good, too. Now this isn't "quick", but you can save some leftover in the fridge for another day.

   You'll need some long grain brown and wild rice, low sodium chicken broth, cashews, light olive oil, fresh garlic, a white onion, Morton Lite Salt, black pepper, a smidgen of chili powder.

   Brown the rice and cashews along with the garlic and olive oil. After a few minutes, add the chicken broth along with the other spices, but not the onion. The appropriate cooking time is about 50 minutes- plenty of time to peel and chop the onion. With about ten minutes of simmering left, add the onion. Adding it too soon takes away from the flavor and ruins the consistency. Texture should always be a consideration when preparing food.

  Sometimes I like to add some black beans and a little cumin after the cooking is done. This dish is even good with diced chicken, scrambled eggs, tuna or canned salmon added. That turns it into a pretty complete dish, served with vegetables on the side.

Foods to keep on hand

Mission Whole Grain Tortillas, ONLY Arnold or Natures Own whole grain breads (no HFCS in either- the Arnold are better quality and taste/texture), Smart Balance spread, olive oil, canned tuna and salmon (make it Chicken of the Sea- best quality and taste), any beans (black and garbanzo work best- especially garbanzo [very high in folate, fiber and BCAAs]), garlic, onion powder, as well as Morton Lite salt and black pepper (black pepper contains piperine- which aids in nitrogen retention and creatine assimilation), whatever low fat cheese you like (low fat cheese because dairy is high in saturated fat- we're NOT avoiding fat on this "diet").

On the produce side, opt for romaine lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage (EWWWW), tomatoes, mushrooms (any species), spinach, oranges, red grapes, apples; all melon fruit is to be avoided! While melons are rich in citrulline, their GI score is abysmal!

Avoid fruit juices altogether, Milk isn't great, but it's benefits equal it's low points. Low Sodium V8 is processed like Hell, but huge in the potassium and lycopene dept. Definitely include yogurt from time-to-time. The bacterial flora of your intestines dictates your ability to assimilate nutrients.

Meats are pretty simple. Cold cuts should ONLY be Boars Head- lots of reasons there. Fresh is better than canned because the canning process hurts the protein. Plus, canned meats are higher in sodium! So pork, eggs (Egg Beaters or Eggland's Best), chicken, lean beef, turkey and cold water fishes (like cod, pollock, salmon [I know those and poultry and fishes aren't meat, but ya know]).ham and bacon are to be avoided.

A good salsa like Pace should be kept on hand. Anything that could be an adjunct to wraps, sandwiches, salads etc. helps. Even Hellman's is a good source of omega 3s, but high in saturated fat. Also, remember milk is loaded with sugar. Lactose free milks are even higher, as the lactase enzyme digests the lactose reducing it to more simple sugar.

Portable foods

I'm going to include a list of easy-to-prepare foods:

I like to make up large quantities of black beans with garlic, cumin, Mexican chili powder, Lite salt, black pepper, and onion powder. This works great for making mass quantities of wraps.

I spread a little olive oil on the wrap, then shredded cheese, the beans, then cheese on top. This helps hold the wrap together. Include any type of meat you may want- chicken or pork work best for this taste.

Fold the ends, then the sides and poke a few toothpicks in to hold it together. Bake them on a cookie sheet for about 7-8 minutes on 300. After that, I place each one on it's own paper plate, add whatever vegetables I want in the side, then slip the plate into a large Ziploc bag. They can be stacked up in the fridge or freezer. I take them out of the fridge in the morning so they'll be room temp when I go to eat them. Microwaves destroy texture, as well as denature the Hell out of the protein

I do the same with chick peas, but opt for curry powder, as well as onion, and black pepper. Any of those combinations make a perfect addition to any tuna, salmon or turkey salad. I use Smart Balance spread instead of mayo. When I eat like this, my strength stays good, my muscle mass intact, but I tend to lean out well- especially with the chick peas and salmon combination


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    • profile image

      Amber 7 years ago

      Noah and I love baby greens dressed with nothing more than extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Of course, we usually have slivered red onions and a dusting of feta cheese (Trader Joe's sells a lower-fat, somewhat dry version of feta). Awesome article. I need to get back on the responsible eating wagon. Lately I'm just embarrassed to be me. :-/

    • profile image

      Amanda 7 years ago

      The dressing I make for spinach salad:

      1/3 cup olive oil

      1/4 cup white balsamic

      1 T ( or so -- to taste) of mustard

      Shake it up; pour it on the salad.

    • joecseko profile image

      Joe Cseko jr 7 years ago from New York, USA, Earth

      Well, Levi, that's a tricky question to answer with so little detail. If someone's working out, doing a progressive resistance training regimen, that's one answer. If they're not doing so, the answer changes dramatically.

      The problem with this scenario is, no one can build muscle without the proper stimuli. So ant weight gain would come mostly as fat. Forget anyone that talks about weight gain from increased muscle glycogen from carb loading!

      Firstly, muscles are only about 1% glycogen to begin with- the rest is stored in the liver.

      Secondly, muscles won't store more glycogen unless there's a continued need for that fuel.

      Give me more details and I can help you better.

    • profile image

      levi jones 7 years ago

      What quick meals or snaks will help me keep weight or even gain weight