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High Protein Dishes For Weight Training

I've recently got back into weight training and am currently trying to eat 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pund of body weight and as such am looking to get between 160 and 200 grams of protein daily. I take a whey protein supplement but prefer to get most of my intake from whole foods. I'm getting pretty sick of egg whites chicken and tuna.

Anyone able to share high protein recipes for breakfast lunch and dinner?

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  1. Sorry James, but when you are on a restrickted diet, you get protein shakes, egg whites, chicken, and tuna LOL. Maybe you can change the flavors with herbs, add lentils to your diet for protein variety... but i can't think much else.
    Hope someone else has better ideas...

    1 Reply
    1. re: BedazzledLV

      so far from the truth!!

    2. Um, steak? Pork?

      1. Is there a reason you can't have beef, pork, shellfish, lamb, etc.? I know most weight training diets call for lean proteins, but lean beef (think eye of round, tenderloin, etc.) and lean pork (tenderloin, trimmed loin chops) have about the same amount of fat as chicken.

        2 Replies
        1. re: biondanonima

          BTW - my husband and I are eating higher protein these days because we're doing P90X. Last night I grilled a lean flank steak and served it over moo shu vegetables - cabbage, green onion, wood ear and shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, garlic, ginger and scrambled eggs, sauced with a mixture of soy, hoisin and oyster sauce. It was delicious, and had very little fat or sugar (I used just a tablespoon of oil for two servings, and not much hoisin/oyster sauce).

          1. re: biondanonima

            Sorry -- should have been clearer. I'll eat anything, I love offal, seafood, anything. I was just looking for some tasty recipes and maybe some tips on sneaking in some protein here and there.

          2. You can definitely eat real food. Cioppino, crustless quiche made with a mix of whole eggs and whites, nut or cereal-crusted chicken breast, chili made with a lot of lean beef and a little bit of beans, crab, tuna or chicken salad made with low fat or regular greek yogurt instead of mayo (tons of protein), Nigella's chicken and sausage bake, Jamaican brown stew, ceviche, steamed mussels or shrimp, grilled steak with peppers and onions (flank steak is pretty lean), pulled chicken thighs with tomato or hot sauce.

            GHG is good at explaining how to hide protein powder in food, if she's around.

            9 Replies
            1. re: jvanderh

              ha! great, now there's pressure for me to come up with something good ;)

              @jamesm, you've gotten tons of great suggestions already, but after that setup from jv i feel compelled to deliver! with a bit of finesse you can work protein powder into oatmeal, eggs, baked goods, nut butters...and you can even use unflavored rice or pea protein in savory dishes like soup, chili or veggie/bean burgers.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                You can put protein powder in eggs?! And I've never even heard of rice or pea protein! How do they taste?

                1. re: jvanderh

                  I haven't heard of pea protein either. Interested to learn more.

                  I've been making pancakes with a mix of whole grains flour and lentil flour and adding some vanilla whey protein isolate. Good amount of protein per serving plus it helps me get the good carbs I need as well to hit my macros. Toss in some sliced bananas and top with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter it's a great pre-workout or post-workout meal on the weekend.

                  And thanks for all the suggestions so far. Very helpful. Oh and in regards to the comment earlier about a 'restircted' diet, it's actually the opposite. I've been eating more food than ever. On heavy lift days it's actually tough to get enough food in the right balance. It's a fun challenge though and I've been loving it. So far I've added about 8 pounds of lean mass and dropped about 2-3 percent bf so I'm at about 11 percent now.

                  1. re: jamesm

                    Hi, jamesm: "So far I've added about 8 pounds of lean mass and dropped about 2-3 percent bf so I'm at about 11 percent now."

                    Great. As long as you stay active, those added lean pounds are going to allow you to eat more of what you like every day.


                  2. re: jvanderh

                    you sure can! actually, egg white protein "pancakes" are a pretty common bodybuilding meal. whisk together egg whites, protein powder, maybe a dash of cinnamon or vanilla and sweetener (i use stevia), and stir in some oats if you're not carb-depleting. pour into a hot pan & cook until firm. you can also just whisk unflavored protein into eggs before scrambling or making an omelet.

                    you've never heard of rice protein? it's actually pretty common - it's a popular vegan alternative to soy. the flavor varies depending on the product/brand - it comes in unflavored, vanilla and chocolate. my biggest problem with rice protein is the texture - it's often gritty or chalky. pea protein is relatively new, there are only a couple of products on the market - Olympian Labs & Now Foods are the two biggies. i haven't tried the Now, but i know it's unflavored. the Olympian is lightly sweetened & flavored with vanilla. it's relatively mild, and doesn't have that nasty "beany" flavor you get with soy protein.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Interesting. Thanks!

                      1. re: jvanderh

                        anytime :)

                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        protein pancakes have gotten me through some hard diet-times. lol!

                        theyre best when you pulse the oats in a food pro some to make a really course oat flour i think

                        1. re: mattstolz

                          yeah, you know you're committed when you actually get *excited* about protein pancakes because they feel like a treat :)

                2. Also doing high-protein here - lowfat plain greek yogurt and lowfat cottage cheese are daily consumables. I like Fage yogurt better than all the rest of the now-trendy greek yogurts; my go-to cottage cheese is Friendship, which is apparently only available in the Northeast US. But it makes other cottage cheeses pale in comparison.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bakerloo Line

                    i think i'm going to start an e-mail campaign to get Friendship to set up a West Coast dairy. i miss my beloved No Salt Added cottage cheese!

                  2. Aside from egg whites and tuna, can you tell us what else you eat that's a non-animal protein product?

                    Reason I ask is because you'd be suprised how much tertiary protein is in the average diet from grains, rice, pasta, cereals, nuts, seeds, veggies, etc. And when eaten in combo, they form complete proteins that are as comparable as protein from egg whites or an animal source.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I'll eat anyhting, sorry that wasn't clear in my post. I'm an adventurous eater and a pretty decent cook. Just looking for some tasty recipes and suggestions for additional protein. For example, I make a bulgur or quinoa salad quite often as a side and recently I've been adding light feta and toasted walnuts or pecans and not only is it really delicious it packs another 10-15 grams of protein per serving. I actually crave this salad.

                    2. Hi, jamesm:

                      Turkey, salmon, pork loin, liver all change things up a bit.

                      You don't say if you're trying to bulk or cut. A lot more flexibility with the former.


                      8 Replies
                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        Right now I'm in basically doing a recomp. Eating at or just above maintenance and taking full advantage of the newbie gain phase. So far so good.

                        1. re: jamesm

                          oh the newbie gain phase. how i envy you.

                          1. re: jamesm

                            Hi, jamesm:

                            Newbie? Great. Then you might consider HMB supplementation. It can, at a young-enough training age get you some lean gain and fat loss in the same cycle(s). It worked--for awhile--for me.


                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              this is probably not the place to get too far into this discussion, but it is definitely my belief that as a newbie NO supplements (besides a protein powder and a multivitamin!) are needed. its like throwing a match into a forest fire.

                              i always advise holding out on supplements until they are needed to overcome plateaus. even years into my training all ive added to my supplementation is a pre-workout, a BCAA, and a ZMA supp! and judges seem to think its workin out alright for me :)

                              1. re: mattstolz

                                Hi, Matt:

                                You look... fit.

                                We have different philosophies on supplementation. If the goal is to build and hold lean mass, I say take judicious advantage of what is healthy, legal and works right off the bat. And IME HMB works to simultaneously build lean and strip fat *only* below a certain training age.


                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  interesting! i have never done much research into HMB cuz normally if the name is long enough that it needs an abbreviation, its not allowed in the organizations i compete in. but i think HMB actually is banned in them.

                                  either way though, i agree with you about "judicious, healthy, and legal". so much more can be accomplished with that combo than most people will ever realize.

                                  and a good, healthy diet is the basis of it all!

                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                    My goals aren't ambitious, general health, personal challenge and admittedly some vanity. I've been genetically fortunate and I'd like to avoid supplements for a variety of reasons. I'm sure at this stage I can accomplish what I'd like to on a natural diet and with some hard work. But when the inevitable plateau comes I'll look into it. Thanks for the suggestions.

                                    1. re: mattstolz

                                      Hi, mattstolz:

                                      It's not banned by the IOC, and it's a direct metabolyte of Leucine, so I doubt it's banned by anybody, but definitely check before you get DQ'd. BTW, the half-life is VERY short...

                                      If you're interested, here's a good link: http://www.afpafitness.com/articles/a...

                                      Anything legal and healthy that spares muscle from catabolism or shortens recovery times is something to look into.

                          2. There are so few reasons a diet needs to be restricted because of weight training! i shoot for 220g of protein a day and still manage to keep my fat intake below 70g. you can still eat things like beef, pork, and fish, just have to look for leaner cuts (pork tenderloin is delicious, flank steak is awesome for quick cooking applications and grilling, and just about every type of fish can be made delicious) some hints i like:

                            find yourself several good spice rubs and spice combos. spices and herbs generally are extremely low to zero calorie and many of them (tumeric for example) have amazing health benefits. these can be used to add flavor to just about any cut of meat in order to grill or roast

                            aromatics! garlic, celery, onions, carrots, fennel, ginger, lemongrass, chilies, dried mushrooms.... the possibilities are almost endless. onions and carrots will add a minimal amount of carbohydrate to a dish (and kick you out of ketosis if thats the kind of diet youre on) but it is a very small amount. and the amount of flavor added far outweighs the add.

                            as far as actual DISHES go, some of my favorites:
                            fish burgers (pulse fish in food processor until it is in small pieces and add whatever flavors you desire, along with a tiny bit of egg and breadcrumb to hold it together, form patties, grill, bake, or pan-fry. this works with everything from salmon to tuna to tilapia. USE FRESH FISH NOT CANNED)

                            stir fries. or possibly "stir fries" because they might not be super authentic. but hot fast cooking in a wok with a good sauce and some super fresh crisp veggies is always delicious. over brown rice its a great whole meal

                            Ancho Chicken: reconstitute ancho (or whatever dried chili you desire) in water or stock with garlic, onion, cumin, salt, and pepper. blend the sauce till smooth and add chicken. simmer until the chicken is cooked through, remove, pull with forks, and add back to thickened sauce. this is good with everything from whole wheat flatbread pizzas to brown rice to pasta to tacos.

                            ground turkey! its your friend. lower fat that ground beef, and can be used for just about anything youd use beef for. turkey chili, burgers, tacos, meatballs, meat sauce, sloppy joes.... theyre all fair game.

                            if youve never tried it, buffalo or bison can also be your friend. much lower fat than ground beef and again, just as many applications.

                            ive been doing the bodybuilding thing for almost five years now so i have tons of recipes... let me know if you have a certain cuisine/food you are lookin for specifically and ill see if ive got something for you

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: mattstolz

                              Awesome, thanks very much. Truly appreciated. Just curious how much has your diet changed from the first 6 months or so until now?

                              I hear you about ground turkey Ive gotten a ton of mileage out of that. Actually have some turkey patties in the fridge right now waiting to hit the grill...spiced with shallots, garlic and cumin. Going to serve with a chipotle yogurt sauce, avocado and tomato on a whole wheat bun with some oven baked sweet potato fries.

                              1. re: jamesm

                                the main thing that has changed is how much i have to pay attention to what im eating now. the main thing i do is track everything i eat with a online calorie tracker (caloriecount.com) when i started as long as i was getting enough protein and calories it didnt matter what it was as long as it happened, still had good gains. at this point, everything is important, because any advantage i can get to put on extra lean mass i am going to take.

                                check this article out, it was just posted by one of my friends and i think its a really good read about diminishing returns as you progress through weight lifting:

                            2. I eat beef jerky as a snack, good source of protein. Low or non-fat cottage cheese is also good. A lot of cold cuts have a good nutritional profile and make a good snack, can eat them with 2% cheese.

                              My go-to is probably tilapia, I buy a can of chicken and sausage gumbo, add some Frank's Red Hot Sauce, a pound of tilapia and a cup of broccoli, it's pretty filing.

                              I get around 60 grams a day from whey.

                              1. As I was making dinner last night (stir fried pig's blood with garlic and leeks), I thought of this post.

                                If you're not squeamish about it, pig's blood is extremely high in protein and low in fat. http://www.fitbit.com/foods/Pig+Blood...

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  what kind of consistency does pigs blood get when stir fried??

                                  thats definitely something that would break the monotony of chicken and egg whites!

                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                    No kidding! I'd eat it though, I'm not squeamish. I had brain eggs benny for brunch two weeks ago. I'm going to look into it. Thanks!

                                    1. re: jamesm

                                      mattsolz and jamesm,

                                      It's usually congealed, so it resembles (in both look and texture) like a very grainy tofu. Rather bland and tasteless, but does have a slight mineral/metallic follow-through on the palate.

                                      Pics below (not mine).

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        Very interesting. Thanks for the tip. I'm in Toronto so there's a lot of Asian markets, would this be something that could be found there? Or would any butcher be able to provide it?

                                        1. re: jamesm

                                          Definitely Asian (or pref. Chinese) markets. You're in Toronto, so it should not be a problem.

                                          Down south in the States, there has been a temp. ban on imported pig's blood the last time I checked.

                                          Good luck and enjoy!

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            Thanks, I'll try my best. Always interested in trying something different. Now getting my girlfriend on board may be a challenge....

                                            1. re: jamesm

                                              We once brought our non-Asian friend to a Chinese restaurant and ordered a plate of stir-fried pig's blood (like the pic on the left above), and told him it was soy sauce marinated tofu. Halfway through the meal, we couldn't hold it in any longer and busted out laughing and broke the news to him. Funniest part was he turned completely pale at the news ... like all the blood drained ouf of his face.

                                              Go figure.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                That's a good approach, but you don't have to live with your friend :)

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  lol the food disguising thread in the food media section would have a field day with this post