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How to Build A Protein Power Bowl

Posted by | Diet | No Comments
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  • September 04, 2019
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Eating healthy doesn’t mean it needs to be boring or the same every day! What you eat should be colorful, inspired, fresh and nutritious. There are endless combinations of healthy meals— you just need to be creative and have some imagination.  The ultimate protein power bowl will combine protein, carbs, fresh veggies and healthy fats.  A macro mix of ingredients selected to your taste and liking!  Use these easy steps to build your very own healthy protein power bowl to help meet your nutrition needs – fuel your muscles and maintain a healthy and sexy lean body!

Step 1 – Choose A Protein

When building a protein power bowl – it should be obvious that protein should be the main component!  Why?  Protein is an essential macro when it comes to building and maintaining a lean body.  It also has a thermic effect in the body, since it takes more energy to digest than other macros, which means just eating it burns calories.  Protein also goes a long way for improving and maintaining glowy skin, lustrous hair and strong nails.  Choose proteins that are high quality and provide all the essential amino acids – these are the ones that can only be obtained through certain foods and are not made by the body, without these you can forget about building lean muscles.

Here are a Few High Quality Proteins to Choose From:

  • Chicken Breast
  • Chicken Thigh
  • Turkey Breast
  • Lean Beef Steak
  • Lamb Chops
  • Lean Pork Loin
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Tilapia
  • Grilled Shrimp
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Mince Beef
  • Mince Chicken

Vegetarian Proteins:

  • Black Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Faava Beans
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Tofu Steaks
  • Halloumi Cheese
  • Feta Cheese Cubes
  • Greek Yoghurt

You don’t need to limit yourself to just one protein – consider combining a few proteins. For example you could choose black beans and lean mince beef, shrimp and feta or maybe chicken breast and chickpeas.

How Much Protein:  This macro will be determined by your goals and individual needs, but as a general rule – you will need about 1 to 1.5 g of protein per pound of body weight per day.  For example if you weigh 120 lbs you would need 120 g to 180 g of protein per day.  Divide that need out over the number of meals you eat daily.  Most likely 3 to 4 – about 30 to 40 g of protein per meal will do or 100 to 120 g of protein.

Step 2 – Choose A Carb

If you’re following a strict low carb diet you may want to skip over this step in favor of more veggies instead, but for those who are super active and need some carbs in the diet the choices are limitless.  Carbs are a necessary evil – they are the main energizing macro that helps drive our muscles and our brains; without them in some capacity you will bonk, and with too many of them you will get fat!

The key is balance – choose carbs that are high in fiber and low in sugar.  High fiber carbs digest slowly, providing a slow and steady stream of energy to the body that maintains blood glucose levels.  When this happens, we’re less likely to have cravings for food or for that matter to overeat.

Here are a Few High Fiber Carbs to Choose From:

  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Bulgur
  • Freekah
  • Roast or Mash Sweet Potato
  • Roast or Mash White Potato
  • Whole Grain Pasta
  • Rice Noodles

Low Carb Options:

  • Roast or Mash Pumpkin
  • Roast Zucchini
  • Roast Carrot or Parsnips
  • Zucchini Noodles
  • Veggie Noodles
  • Cauliflower Rice
  • Veggie Mashes

How Much Carbs:  This macro is dependent on your goals – low and no carb keto diets will require you to skip over this step or opt for the low carb options.  If you’re carrying extra fat weight and need to drop some weight, then you’ll likely be on the lighter side of this macro – around 20% or less of the calories in your diet.  However, if you’re extremely active and are more interested in maintaining your condition than 30% of your calories from carbs should be enough to satisfy your needs.

Step 3 – Choose Your Veggies

There is no limit on choices when it comes to veggie selection, this high volume, low calorie food group will provide you with a variety of phytonutrients you need to live a healthy life.  Veggies deliver the goods – antioxidants, natural sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber and even water.  The more veggies you eat, the healthier you’ll be.

Be sure to eat from a variety of colors such as red pepper, purple or green cabbage, orange pumpkin, green avocado and zucchini, white or red onion. The vegetables you choose can help shape the flavor of your power bowl. Don’t be scared to try new vegetables and new methods. Try roasting, mashing, grilling or boiling your veggies.

Veg It Out with These Options:

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
  • Grilled Eggplant
  • Roast Pumpkin
  • Pepper
  • Onion
  • Mushroom
  • Leafy Greens
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Sprouts

How Much Veggies: Don’t limit yourself to just one veggie – choose a few.  Mix it up – some cooked, some raw, some grilled, some roasted.  Also, don’t worry so much about the calories or how much you’re eating, 1 or 2 cups of fresh vegetables will fill you up with minimal caloric impact.   You can also add a bit of fruit if you desire – figs, cranberries, apples, blueberries, strawberries, pomegranate seeds and plums.  Drop a few like its hot – they can add a bit of sweetness and complement the flavors in your bowl.

Step 4 – Choose Your Fats

Fat might be something you’ll consider skipping over, but it’s essential to your health.  We need fats for our brains, joints and to help balance our hormones and help with the metabolism.  It’s also necessary for absorption of some essential vitamins into the body.

Fats can come from the oil you choose to cook your power bowl components with or can come from the additional items like nuts and seeds. Cook with coconut, olive or sesame oil. Top your bowl with nuts such as almonds, walnuts or peanuts, or seeds like sesame, sunflower or pumpkin.  Avocado, Greek yoghurt, or labneh and olives are also a great sides to your bowl.

Big Fat Options:

  • Avocado
  • Labneh
  • Greek Yoghurt
  • Olive Oil
  • Olives
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sesame Oil
  • Tahini
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Peanuts
  • Nut Butters

Step 5 – Choose Your Flavor

The individual components you choose will help build the flavor of your bowl. You can add additional flavors such as a splash of lemon or lime, salsas, chutneys, hummus as well as using garlic, onion, herbs and spices. Create your own marinades or dressings or choose to use light vinaigrette.  The sky is the limit!

A Few Protein Power Bowls to Get You Started:

Protein Power Bowl #1:

100 g Flank Steak

1/3 cup Brown Rice

2 tbsp Black Beans

1 tbsp Roast Sweet Corn

1 cup Green Beans

Pico du Galo

Guacamole

Squeeze of Lime

Protein Power Bowl #2:

100 g Chicken Breast

1/3 cup Mixed Quinoa

2 tbsp Roast Chickpeas

1 cup Mixed Leaves

Roast Red Onion

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Protein Power Bowl #3:

100 g Chicken Thigh

1 cup Fresh Spinach

Grilled Eggplant

Red Capsicum

Cherry Tomatoes

Roast Red Onion

Olives

Hummus

Protein Power Bowl #4:

100 g Grilled Salmon

1/3 cup Brown Rice

2 cups Shredded Veggies – Carrot, Snow Peas and Cabbage

2 Spears Grilled Pineapple

Roasted Cashews

Kimchi

Teriyaki Sauce

Protein Power Bowl #5:

100 g Grilled Chicken Breast

1 cup of Chopped Romaine

¼ cup of Bulgur

½ cup Roast Pumpkin

Feta Cheese

Pumpkin Seeds

Cranberries

½ Chopped Apple

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

The combinations are endless.  Use your imagination and build whatever protein power bowl your heart desires.

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

LJ

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