By Lisa Crockett
Protein is an important part of a healthy diet and is often the centerpiece of plans for losing weight or gaining strength. This is great news for diners looking to amp up the health quotient in their diet because most high protein foods are delicious and satisfying. What’s better than a steak or a chicken breast, grilled and seasoned to perfection? The downside, though, is that most typical go-to protein foods aren’t terribly portable. Putting that chicken breast in your purse or briefcase for later on generally doesn’t work. Here are some ideas for foods that will help you stay on track when all you have time for is “grab and go.”
Jerky. It’s the ultimate portable food, and it will stay good in your car or purse or backpack almost indefinitely. Homemade jerky is the gold standard, but it’s time consuming and technically difficult to make. Instead, look for commercially prepared jerkies that are prepared with less than five grams of sugar per serving. Keto Carne makes a version prepared with no sugar, just meat, garlic and salt (www.ketocarne.com).
Nuts and trail mix. These delicious treats are generally pretty nutrient rich, but they can also be high in calories. If you’re looking to lose weight, limit yourself to a single serving a day.
Roasted garbanzo beans. Portable, cheap, healthy and easy to prepare, these are nearly perfect if you have time to prep ahead. (Visit www.castlepinesconnection.com, and enter “Garbanzo beans” in the Search field for a delicious recipe.)
Protein powder shake. Throw your favorite protein powder in a blender, mix with a bit of orange juice, ice and half of a frozen banana. If you need to save this delicious treat for later, put it on ice in a portable cooler and shake before drinking.
Eggs. Eggs are a fantastic source of protein and they’re easy to fix. Boil a dozen, and peel them (or simply buy them already prepped and peeled at the grocery store). If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, scramble a dozen eggs with a half a cup of salsa, pour into a greased muffin pan (to make about a dozen “muffins”), and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan, then store in the fridge for a quick and delicious snack or meal.
Cottage cheese. Portion it out into single servings in plastic containers so you can grab them as you leave for the day. Go for a low-fat variety, and if you’re turned off by the blandness of this 1970s diet staple, spice things up by mixing in sliced carrots or topping with a pinch of seasoning salt.
Edamame. Available at most grocery stores in the freezer section, these need just a quick zap in the microwave. Many varieties come unshelled, so be sure to bring along a small bag or container for discarded pods.
String cheese or Laughing Cow “Babybel” cheese rounds. Unwrap and enjoy; delicious and easy to grab. If you need a little something to contrast with the cheese’s creaminess, grab a handful of celery sticks for crunch.