chicken+saladProtein is an important nutrient that helps control weight, curbs hunger, helps you feel full longer, and boosts your metabolism.  Protein is also important to build and repair muscle, build strong bones, build tissue, maintain energy level, support the immune system and stabilize blood sugar.  Experts recommend that we get 10% -35% of our calories from protein.

Getting enough protein is a key factor when trying to build stronger muscles.  In order to build muscle you must do exercises such as weight lifting, squats, lunges, and changing your exercises to put fatigue on your muscles.  These exercises break down or damage our muscle fibers, which is necessary to building stronger muscles.  This is why we feel sore or feel a burn when we work our muscles.  After we work out, the process of rebuilding the muscle fibers begins and this causes our muscles to grow and become stronger.  In order to rebuild and repair itself, the muscle requires protein, vitamin D, water and plenty of rest.  It’s important to get these nutrients and rest soon after your workout to start the process of rebuilding.  It will also help alleviate the soreness faster.

Some of the best foods that provide protein include:

  • Meat (red meat, poultry)
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Beans
  • Low fat dairy

Here are a couple of my favorite recipes that provide great protein and are delicious:

Almond Encrusted Salmon
Soak the salmon filet in a pan of milk for an hour or two.  Spray 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.  Spray salmon lightly with butter or margarine.  Shake garlic powder lightly over salmon.  Crush almonds and a few crackers together and sprinkle over salmon.  You can use any kind of nuts in place of the almonds.  I had macadamia nut encrusted salmon in Hawaii and that’s where I came up with the recipe.  Broil in oven for about 15-20 minutes.  This tastes really good.

Chicken Salad for Sandwiches
Cook chicken breast and cut into small pieces.  Add Marzetti Poppy Seed dressing (enough to coat chicken).  Add some cut up onion, cut up celery, salt, pepper, sliced almonds, and cut up red seedless grapes (you can do as much or as little of these ingredients as you like).  You don’t need much salt or pepper.  I love this chicken salad.

These are great recipes that provide the protein that is vital to your health.  Enjoy and healthy eating.